Band with a cause

The Flower Children's songs encourage charity and social activism.

Most bands would consider waiting almost 10 years to gain public recognition a setback, but for Tamir Konkas, lead singer of melodic rock group The Flower Children, the choice was a personal one. "I felt the time was right to release our music to a wider audience," explains Konkas, 35, who formed The Flower Children in 1997 as a means of expressing his social ideals through music. The band's single "You Promised a Better Future" recently began receiving airplay on Radio Jerusalem and Reshet Gimmel. "The group gives me the opportunity to combine my passion for music with my ideology," Konkas says of the band, whose songs encourage charity and social activism. The singer cites becoming a father as the main reason behind his decision to "go public" with his music. "Having such a strong nurturing instinct towards my own children [one is five, the other four months] has heightened my awareness of the needs of underprivileged children," he explains. "By exposing my music and message I can promote their cause." Konkas is currently busy publicizing the efforts of "Sunrise," a new Tel Aviv-based charity aimed at supporting single-parent families. The organization is looking for a sponsor to back the building of a family center in central Israel "where single parents and their children can enjoy resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them." A company manager by profession, Konkas became involved in social activism at a young age. "As a child, my mother instilled in me the importance of helping those less fortunate, and this value has guided me throughout my life," he explains. "I consider anonymity an important part of giving, and I hope to convey this idea through our music." The Flower Children's front man is determined that the band be about more than just promoting charitable causes. "I want to change people's outlook, to implant in them a desire to give for its own sake. Like the hippies, we want to create a selfless society," he says, alluding to the band's choice of name. This is not the only feature to have been influenced by the Sixties. "Our music has a strong Beatles feel to it," says Konkas. He also cites Israeli legend Arik Einstein as one of band's musical influences. He feels his message is especially necessary in a society he believes is becoming increasingly individualistic, "as illustrated by the recent financial reforms which hit the weakest elements of society hardest."