Noa. 'I was so excited'
Photo: Chen-Li Fishman
Quincy Jones. 'Still a party animal at 80'
Photo: Getty Images
Israeli singer Achinoam Nini has enjoyed major success in the international market, especially in France where she is known by her stage name Noa, but that didn't stop the rush of excitement she felt when she saw legendary American producer Quincy Jones attend her concert in Barcelona unannounced with two other record producers.
Jones also visited Nini backstage in what appeared to be the start of a wonderful friendship, yet lacking any professional opportunities.
But Jones, whose long career includes the production of one of the most significant albums in the history of Music, Michael Jackson's "Thriller," surprised Nini once again. He invited her to perform at a private event he hosted in Los Angeles and complimented her, this time on Facebook. At this point, there already seemed to be some potential for cooperation.
Jones, we also produced the "We are the World" charity song in 1985, is scheduled to attend Nini's concert in Los Angeles on June 18 together with senior officials from the American music industry.
"I first met him a long time ago, after 9/11" says Nini. "He produced the event and I was invited to sing 'Imagine' with singer Khaled from Algeria. We connected and I was invited to a major event he produced in Rome. We stayed in touch, and then last summer he suddenly showed up, bought eight tickets for my concert. You can imagine what I was going through. I was so excited."
So who called who?
"His manager asked if I was interested in performing with an Iranian artist at the artistic center in which he is a member of the executive committee, and I said yes. I got on stage in front of an audience who didn't even know who I am and came to listen to Iranian music.
"The previous evening he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and he insisted that Gil Dor (Nini's long-term musical partner) and I come to the event in his limo and escort him on the red carpet and the entire evening. The next day he took us out. The man is 80 years old and is still a party animal. At the end of one of the parties he insisted that Gili and I perform a song without any preparations."
And what's the bottom line?
"He has decided to take me under his wing. I wonder what will come out of it. I couldn't believe I was sitting next to such a legend. And he keeps updating his Facebook and Twitter accounts like an 18-year-old. I was speechless."
You've already brought Pep Guardiola to Israel ? Is there a chance Jones will come here too?
"I'll work on it. In the end we'll open Noa Tours."
And back to Israel: What are your plans?
"I just performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as part of the main event in honor of Jerusalem Day. On June 23 I celebrate my 44th birthday, and instead of a party I'm performing at the Zappa Herzliya club."