Netta ‘toys’ with global stardom with U.S. debut on ‘The Today Show’

"This has been an unreal experience - every day I wake up in another country."

Netta Barzilai on NBC's The Today Show (photo credit: ITAY BEZALELI)
Netta Barzilai on NBC's The Today Show
(photo credit: ITAY BEZALELI)
Israeli superstar and Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai made her US debut on Tuesday morning – on NBC’s The Today Show.
“This is unreal,” Barzilai told host Carson Daly just before she performed her hit song “Toy” live on the program. “This has been an unreal experience. Every day I wake up in another country.”

Daly asked Barzilai about some of her most memorable experiences since she won the competition earlier this year, and she couldn’t help but mention meeting Prince William in Tel Aviv last month: “He’s a real prince charming.”
Barzilai told Daly that the song “was inspired by the ‘#metoo’ movement, and this is an amazing time when women are finding their voices.” The singer, who brought her signature looper instrument with her, said that “Toy” also “gives power to anyone who’s been struck down, who’s been bullied – it’s to everyone who has been told that they can’t be what they want to be.”
Israel’s Eurovision winner is in the US for the first time since taking home the top prize at the contest earlier this year. She has been doing a series of radio interviews and appearances, but this was her first time performing live. The Today Show is regularly watched by more than four million viewers across the US.

In late May, Barzilai signed a deal with the global record company S-Curve/BMG for global distribution of the winning song "Toy."

On Monday, she also participated in a discussion on the live Build series hosted by the HuffPost website.
Barzilai and interviewer Kevan Kenney discussed her meteoric rise to fame, her time in the Israeli Navy Band and what she has planned for the future.
An audience member asked Barzilai about the presence of Hebrew in her winning song. The singer said when she saw the first version of “Toy” it didn’t have any Hebrew in it, and she made sure to include the line “Ani lo booba” (I am not a doll) since “it was really important to me to add something from home.”


A young fan presented @nettabarzi with fan art live on the @buildseriesnyc stage! ✨

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Barzilai said during the Build interview that she wants “to reach as many people as I can with the positivity and the message... I realized when I won that this is bigger than me – and I have to serve the cause.” The cause, she said, is letting young people around the world know that it is OK to be different, and to look different and not fit in.
And as for the future?
“I just want to be a musician, and create wonderful, amazing stuff.”