Noga Erez Premieres "VIEWS (feat. ROUSSO)" [Live]

Tel Aviv rapper and producer, Noga Erez pushes the boundaries of pop with eclectic arrangements and catchy hooks. Signed to Berlin label City Slang, she is one of Israel’s breakout indie artists. In her newest venture, she reimagines her songs in an acoustic series called Kids Against the Machine. Today we have the exclusive first look at the six-piece acoustic arrangement of her single “Views (feat. ROUSSO)” [Live] – Kids Against the Machine Vol. 1.

Milk talked to Noga Erez about the unexpected story behind “Views,”  her favorite music videos from Tyler the Creator to Radiohead, and making a tent out of her Tel Aviv loft apartment.

What made you want to do an acoustic video for “Views”?

I always wanted to do a bunch of acoustic versions for my songs. I always felt like since I am a producer and my songs are very heavily produced, I would say it’s not very often that you got a production coming from me that is very stripped down. And I felt like I wanted to take the song and help people see that there’s a song behind all the mess that they hear. It’s important for me to let people know that what started the whole thing was a song. And I wanted the lyrics to come out but also I felt like what I wanted to do with this album was to be able to release the songs from the album but also give people an opportunity to hear other versions. So I was hoping to do acoustic version and then remix and then you know, other covers, etc. I’m still kind of planning that out, but that was the idea to have different layers of each song.

So what is “Views” about exactly?

Well, I mean, views is actually a song that started as a joke. I think, like a lot of the good things in the world, it was basically a mistake. Ori [Rousso], my partner and I, we were scrolling through this photographers’ Instagram page because we were going to work with him and then he made a comment like about how the photos that had more boobs are getting more likes. Like when it’s showing more skin and when it’s showing more boobs, it’s getting more likes. And I was like “duh that’s old news.” What’s weird about it is was that he said his sentencing Hebrew and I said mine in English then for a month we both kept repeating it and saying, “people like boobs, man that’s old news.” Ori kept singing it over and over again. And at some point, he came back from the studio with a beat for it. He took it really seriously,  but for me, it wasn’t even a song. It was a joke. But he really loved it. It seems to be a really interesting musical theme, but how can we change the boobs part because I didn’t want it to be boobs, you know? For obvious reasons. So we started looking for something that would sound the same and we got to views. The reason I’m explaining it is that I never felt the urge to write a song that criticizes people who buy views—who buy the number that tells about their success. When I write a song about something, it means that it was really urgent to talk about it, but that just wasn’t the case for “Views.” When got to “Views,” and thinking about how it all started and what makes people want to watch something and engage with something it is kind of connected. I guess that’s how he got there. And eventually, I think it doesn’t sound like a criticism song. It just tells us about a time where people can buy the appearance of their success. It’s just something that some of us are aware of and some of us are not.

Where did you shoot the video?

It’s in our home. The crazy thing about our place is that I always wanted my home to be a space that can be anything. Some people are very protective of their home and they have to have their home as a place where they don’t work. They have to separate work from where they live. I wanted my home to be a space where I live, create, have people come and go and do a lot of crazy things. I wanted the ability to have my own space that I can do whatever I want. We have this loft apartment in Tel Aviv and it’s like a big open space with really high ceilings and I didn’t want to have the same scenery happening again because we have done so many sessions and videos there. I was like “we have to dress this whole place again.” I had this idea of the color palette of the colors of Earth basically. That’s what I wanted. I just wanted it to be Earth colors like brown, off-white, beige, etc. I was working with this production company and they suggested all the fabrics. When I saw it for the first time, I was like, “I don’t know I mean  basically it looks like a tent.” But I think people loved what it looked like. It seems like we went to the desert in Israel. I think it kind of gives a very Middle Eastern vibe, in a very weird way. But that was not the intention. I was just looking for an earthy atmosphere.

There are so many musicians in the video. How many takes did you have to do to get the final product?

There were many of them. We have worked with each player individually before. We did a lot of rehearsal. It was one of those projects that you have an idea and you’re like “yeah, let’s make acoustic versions for this and that and shoot it in our home and have this and that and these people.” And then you don’t realize how much of a big deal it’s going to be and how much it’s going to take. We have been occupied with making it look and sound and feel the best way possible for a very long time. It took a lot of work for everyone to play together the way they did. And I feel like the one thing that I feel so satisfied with is how this thing sounds because I was absolutely shocked. I mean on the day of the shoot, everyone was so ready. We still had to give each song two hours, and we just kept constantly filming it. The idea was to do it in one take. So it took a lot of time.

You shot more than just “Views” in that setting? 

Yeah, it’s a series called the Kids Against The Machine. We don’t want anything to be with a machine in there and I mean, and the reason for the kids is, you know, yeah, it’s just a bunch of people playing like kids. We will have Volume One, Volume Two and Three. 

What is your favorite music video of all time?

Oh my god, it’s so easy. I mean, “This Is America” [by Childish Gambino] changed my life forever. I know it’s like a fairly recent one. Before that, it was “Yonkers” by Tyler the Creator. I tend to love one-liner videos. I tend to love you know, videos that you can describe in one line or one location videos. I mean that video really changed my life because I’m very much into the video making in my project. If you asked me about a live session video that would definitely be Radiohead’s “In Rainbows: From The Basement.”  It’s just so, amazing the way they took the originals and play them in a new way.

Stay tuned to Milk for more exclusive premieres. 

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