“It was one of the best moments I’ve had in my life,” Ninet Tayeb tells Soul Sisters about hearing her name called as the winner of the first season of Israel’s American Idol-style competition show Kokhav Nolad, back in 2003. Though that win immediately catapulted her to national fame, the good feelings faded fast.
“I hated it,” she recalls of the sudden adulation directed at her for succeeding in a genre (pop) that didn’t feel natural to her. “I got all this love from everyone but I felt like I didn’t deserve it because it was like, ‘Why? Why do you love me so much?'”
As her latest (and first U.S.-released) album, Paper Parachutes, proves, Tayeb has finally evolved into the rock front woman she was destined to become since those early days growing up in her small Israeli town listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Now living in Los Angeles with her husband and baby (the real “rock n’ roll badass” of the family, she likes to say), Tayeb is going full steam ahead as she looks forward to touring on the last album and going back into the studio soon to record the next.
“If you do whatever you want to do,” she promises, “no matter what people say, that’s the real rock ‘n’ roll.”
Listen to the full episode below, hosted by Jessie Katz and Darah Golub at NYC’s Chord Club, which includes a special performance by Tayeb at the end of the conversation. And be sure to subscribe to our iTunes channel for all future episodes.