Sun-kissed serenade

Haifa-born folk-indie musician Oded Shechter has completed his debut album, ‘Kiss The Sun,’ and will be performing at the Barby next month.

ODED SCHECTER: The shared goal for Tel Aviv musicians is definitely to play your own show at the Barby (photo credit: MASHA KUSHNIR)
ODED SCHECTER: The shared goal for Tel Aviv musicians is definitely to play your own show at the Barby
(photo credit: MASHA KUSHNIR)
Sometimes it’s a hobby, sometimes it’s a lifestyle, but for 27-year-old singer-songwriter Oded Shechter, music is “a prism.”
Shechter explains, “Music is my way of observing and defining my needs in relation to the world around me... like a pair of prescription glasses bringing clarity to this complex world.”
The Haifa-born musician first tried on said glasses at the age of 15, when he picked up a guitar and immersed himself in the classical genre. Despite other musical tastes, the then adolescent valued discipline, whereby proper classical technique was his portal into musicianship.
“My classical training still influences the way I play today,” he says.
Shechter is also a self-taught keyboardist.
He takes to the ebonies and ivories naturally in his upcoming album Kiss The Sun, with bright melodic motifs in “Morning Grace” and entrancing chromatic baselines in “Kiss The Sun,” two of the album’s standout
Nonetheless, it was only at the age of 11, after being hypnotized by the poetic genius of Leonard Cohen, that Shechter discovered the true beauty of composition. Cohen’s dark, lyrical phrasing sparked a newfound passion for the young boy: singing.
“I never planned to sing,” he says. “It was never something I intended to do. I really loved playing the guitar, but singing naturally sprung from a need and will to express myself in a deeper, more holistic way.”
This process of digging deeper to reveal what lies beneath is by no means a one-man job. The majority of Shechter’s songs are dramatic dialogue of sorts; they each address a specific person near and dear to his heart.
When asked about the “you” he sings to on tracks like “You Shine” and “Do You,” the emotive musician responds, “I’m talking to my mother, my father, a lover, or sometimes even... well... me. I don’t plan who I’m going to sing to, it just pops out.”
Spontaneity also finds its way into Shechter’s creative process. He explains, “I never approach the writing process with a certain agenda. My lyrics start as a journey to find an outlet for a feeling I want to express. The song becomes an attempt to try and explain that emotion – to define it both musically and in words.”
Even though each of his songs taps into a different emotion, there is definitely a consistent narrative in Kissing The Sun, one that Schecter summarizes as trying to find his own voice and rhythm in his relationships.
“This is something that is important to me as a person, and as a result, a musician as well,” he says.
The album’s title emphasizes one feeling we can all relate to: love. “Kiss The Sun” paints love as the complex construct that it is, with endless layers that can be both dangerous and tantalizing at the same time – a romantic take on the idiom “playing with fire.”
Nonetheless, while love is one central theme, Shechter is as multi-layered as love itself, visible in his recent music video “Do You” in collaboration with photographer and director Omer Burin.
The production paints a beautifully orchestral portrait of two boxers preparing for a match. After much anticipation, in the moment they are about to fight, they begin to dance a mesmerizing contemporary routine with one another instead – an understanding of “how being a man can also coincide with a non-aggressive, gentle, peaceful existence,” Shechter explains.
As a musician and artist, Shechter stands behind the power of artistic collaborations.
“Everyone has a special talent or gift. My job is to find that person and make something great together.” Shechter has also disclosed that more collaborative videos are on the horizon.
For the moment, though, his plate is full with the release of Kiss The Sun, an Italy-wide tour, and an upcoming show at the Barby in Tel Aviv, where he is scheduled to open for Forest.
“The shared goal for Tel Aviv musicians is definitely to play your own show at the Barby,” Shechter grins. “I am blessed by the wonderful opportunity to open for such an amazing group of musicians, especially since it came totally by surprise.”
Forest approached Schechter after he played a show at Florentine’s Hoodna, home of the Hoodna Orchestra. After hearing his set, one of the venue’s booking agents – and Forest band member – decided Shechter would be the perfect fit to match the band’s folk foundations.
Shechter characterizes his sound as folk-indie, whereby he combines various styles and instrumentation inspired by musicians like Noga Erez, the Angelcy, Folly Tree, and Asaf Avidan (an important influence in Shechter’s early music life) with electronic and progressive sounds.
Whether it be a new sound or a new venue, the insanely creative singer-songwriter is always in the process of searching for fresh outlets to present his music and himself. “For now, I have the tour, album, and show on September 13 to focus on, but who knows what’s next for Oded Shechter.”
Prescriptions are ever-changing. There’s always a possibility for new glasses.
Oded Shechter opens at the Barby on September 13, doors open at 20:30. Stay tuned for his album release date and other tour information on his facebook page: https://www.facebook. com/OdedShechterMusic/.