Superhero Meital set to change the world

Israeli actress-turned-Hollywood-singing-star speaks candidly to the ‘Post.’

Meital performing 370 (photo credit: alex turner)
Meital performing 370
(photo credit: alex turner)
The clip of the sky-set electro-pop hymn “On ya,” remixed and majorly featuring rapper Sean Kingston, marks the Hollywood singing take off for probably Israel’s most provocative and controversial actress.
In the music video she jumps out of a plane piloted by Kingston, lands on an island full of beautiful people, shakes her booty, sends some cosmic rays to fix the crashing plane and shoots, superhero-style back up into the sky. She appears to channel Lady Gaga, Madonna and Britney Spears. As the video progresses, it is clear that this woman does not take herself too seriously; she parodies them all, including herself, in order to push the limits as far as she can.
“I challenge the pop star ideal by being sarcastic, by addressing the conversation with some of the lyrics in my songs,” one-name- only electro-singer-songwriter and performer Meital tells The Jerusalem Post, prior to a show in Tel Aviv recently.
“Why be so mad about the things other people have? How long do we have to try to keep climbing? We are already in the sky,” goes “On ya,” whose chorus is “I wanna be on ya, on ya, on ya.”
“What I do with music, images and so on, is to bring some kind of lightness, some humor,” says Meital, who liberally sprinkles her appearances with cabaret and comedy. She sees singing “as another vehicle for me; to be an artist is about the role you have in society, you need to channel messages that you need to deliver to the audience. What I do has to have a purpose, otherwise I am not doing my job as an artist,” she says.
MEITAL FEELS that “we are all trapped in the modern capitalist world, especially in America. In the past the American dream was based on having a great family, you could be a good person and have a basic job. Today it is f##k the family, if you don’t have money or are famous; you are not worth making love to.
“These values are very problematic; I think they put us, as humanity, in a very difficult place. The whole modern world is following American culture. There is violence – outside of war – and violence against children.”
Meital wants to help improve the status quo.
“Now that I am growing up I want to make changes, we are going to be here for a while and what about the younger generation? Even if we are going to be cloned, even if we will be able talk to our holograms; if we lose our souls we lose our relationship to the higher power, described by everything they teach you in the Bible, and karma.”
Although we are really advanced, technologically, we are still human, she says. Her message is that “we don’t need to talk ourselves so seriously.”
“When people’s egos get mixed up and they think they are God, then God punishes them and makes them feel they are not God,” says Meital.
Her next song to be released will likely be, “Things I never had.” It talks about the epidemic of plastic surgery among young girls who, she says, are told by society, “if you want to be ‘hot’ you have to go to the surgeon, cut yourself, get fake breasts or ass or lips and then you can compete in the game.
“Today at 17 [in the US] the lucky girl gets new breasts as a present. Every model is requested by her agent to do a boob job, otherwise she can’t work. Models today are anorexics with big breasts,” she says.
Known as Meital Dohan in the world of cinema, TV and theater both in Israel and the United States, the 33-year-old performer turned a new corner in her career three years ago when, back in Israel from Los Angeles, she was advised by her spiritual guide to “return immediately and become a singer.”
“I argued with her, I almost cried, I said ‘I can’t do it, what are you talking about?’ But I knew she had good intuition, everything she had told me in the past had come true.”
ONE DAY in December 2009 Meital began dialing and by the third call got through to someone called Che Pope, who agreed to help her musically.
“I really vibed with him, it was like falling in love on a friendship and creative level and we started making music together, and after a while we began going to the studio and recording,” she says.
It took Meital some time to realize Pope was also Che Vicious, a Grammy-Award-winning producer who works with the biggest names in the business such as Eminem, Dr Dre, Lauren Hill and Kanye West.
Backtracking to 2001, Meital is on a flight to New York to attend a film festival when the stewardess turns out to be the girl from her moshav who encouraged her, at age 13, to become an actress. She suggests Meital take part in an Off-off Broadway production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding directed by a friend.
“I wasn’t interested, but she convinced me to take her number. The day before I was to leave the US, as I was thumbing through my notebook, I noticed her number and I called her,” Meital says. After Blood Wedding she worked on an off- Broadway show she co-created.
“After that I was ready to wrap it up and go back to Israel and then I got Weeds,” she says, referring to her role as a tough sexy sabra in the comic Showtime series.
The off-Broadway show was about the American dream, which she admits to being “obsessed with.”
“The American dream used to be that a man would be proud to raise a family and have a woman on his arm,” Meital says.
“Today it is money. The value of love is the value of money. Instead of thinking, ‘this woman, she is mine, I want her to be happy for the rest of her life,’ it is ‘why don’t you sign here because I don’t want to give you a penny in case.’ Where are we at as men and woman?”
MANY WESTERN men are intimidated by women. And the women are almost constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, because they have to be superheroes, juggling the baby and a million things, and also have to look good for the men who can just drop them for a 17-year-old, explains Meital.
“Where are we with feminism? Where is all the work we did with it? Everyone should have the same opportunities, and everyone in the universe deserves that. But physically we are not the same as men,” she says. “We need to look at where we are at and start talking about it.”
In her first music video, “Yummy boys” she reverses the male and female roles, “and instead of men treating woman as sex objects, I am the woman who treats all the men as sex objects.” Another of her songs, “I know you wanna f##k me” takes sexuality and empowerment of the woman to another level, she says.
Meital feels that as a social commentator she is in good company with Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali Gee, Borat), “you think ‘this guy is really crazy,’ but he’s actually really smart; and with South Park “it is gross, grotesque and crazy, however it is super smart.”