Adi Ulmansky is a multi-talented artist from Israel. She sings, raps, creates music and produces it. Her performance is still evolving and career is speeding up. In February Adi opened Warsaw edition of Electronic Beats Festival. Before the concert we chatted with her about pros and cons of independent work and how does it feel to be a girl in the music industry.
Welcome to Poland! It’s really nice to have you here. I know you have pretty tight schedule right now, are you more excited or nervous about upcoming gigs? Especially tonight’s?
Adi Ulmansky: It’s a combination I must say. I got a bit sick and with 21 shows it’s the tightest tour I’ve ever done. So it’s pretty amazing but at the same time I’m anxious because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it physically. But I hope it’s going to be fun. Especially because it’s the first time I’m here, in Poland. I have Polish roots, my grandma was born here, so I’m really excited.
Yeah, I was quite curious if you have any connections with Poland. I mean, we are in a one of the few countries where people can pronounce your last name without hesitation.
Adi Ulmansky:Exactly [laugh]. I finally don’t have to say it over and over again.
I am looking forward to hear all your beats live, especially because „Hurricane Girl” EP sounds amazing. It seems darker and more consistent than your previous work. Can you tell us something about inspirations that led to making it?
Adi Ulmansky: It’s funny because I feel like each time I’m doing a new EP it’s a different story. You’re evolving and everything is changing during time. I started with „Shit Just Got Real” EP and it was about coming out to the world, saying who I am and what I want to say, telling basic story. Then „Hurricane Girl” went a little bit deeper with tracks like „Was It You” or „Falling” which are more exposed and have more thought-out lyrics. I must warn you before tonight’s show, the music that I’m working on right now is really different, more downtempo in a way.
But that’s great. This R’n’B flow that can be found on Hurricane Girl seems to suit you. I think it’s an interesting direction.
Adi Ulmansky: I thought that’s where my music should go, mainly R’n’B, less rapping more singing. It was a good experience but I feel like I don’t want to be Iggy Azalea with all that bad publicity [laugh]. No, I’m just kidding. I really love „Hurricane Girl” and I feel good about it. But it feels weird because I’ve recorded it about a year and a half ago and I already feel like a different person. It’s so strange to see how all things change during time. In two months or so I’m gonna release a new EP and it’s just like from another world.
Both your previous EPs have this ethnic vibe. You’re from Israel, do you think that taking influence from your national culture is what makes your music unique?
Adi Ulmansky: Well, that was the concept at the beginning I suppose. I thought I was from Israel and I could look at it as a bad thing and I could look at it as an advantage – take some bits of the culture and use it. It’s funny because new music has really small touches of that vibe. Not because I hate it, I actually really love Arabic music for example and I’m really into that. I guess it depends on things I went through. Last year was a bit hard for me so music turned to downtempo with really sad lyrics. I just wanted to think less about what I want to show and to be as honest and as real as I can. That’s why there’s less of the ethnic vibe right now.
Israeli music scene is quite unknown in Poland. Can you recommend any artist we must definitely listen to?
Adi Ulmansky: Yeah, sure. Actually, the music scene in Tel-Aviv is quite cool and it has got bigger in the last two years. We get influences from Europe and I think that there are few acts that are really good. There is the one called Buttering Trio which is amazing. Another one is L.B.T., actually, my sound guy is one of the members. I bet you heard of Asaf Avidan, he’s great too. Well, I tend to have blackouts when I have to come up with names [laugh].
You are complete artist in every way, you rap, sing and produce your tunes yourself. When you see your career in the future would you like to continue working that way or do you consider involving other people?
Adi Ulmansky: It’s a good question because I have been thinking about this a lot over the last few months. It’s really fun to do it all by yourself. It’s like a full package and you’re the only one whose behind it. But on the other hand, there’s a lot of things you have to take care of so it makes the whole process a bit slower. I’ve recently started working with few other people, just trying. I wanted to give them a chance and see how it goes, if I would like it or not. Actually, it was pretty amazing. They brought lots of new ideas. I think, if you find the right people and you have really good connection with them, everything works fluently and results can be incredible. Cooperation is just making things better and better. So I guess I would find a good balance between doing stuff on my own and involving other people, making collaborations.
How does it feel to be a girl in the music industry? Do people still happen to be surprised that female artist can create quite independent act?
Adi Ulmansky: It has changed over the last few years. In the past people were really surprised. Now we have a lot more female producers and DJs but again, most people are not really accustomed to a woman doing that job. They’re always asking: „Ok, but whose producing the music?”. On the one hand I hope the change of thinking will happen eventually, we have more female artists who are going to play greater role. But on the other hand, when people are surprised I produce my own music, I can look at it as a compliment. Even if it’s a little bit chauvinistic. I don’t really care, I’m just doing my thing.
If it wasn’t music, do you have anything else that you’re passionate about enough to pursue as a career?
Adi Ulmansky: Well, I think if I wasn’t into being a musician I would be a photographer or cinematographer, because I’m really into visual arts. Or maybe a graphic designer? I feel like I have quite a clear vision of how I want things to look, so I think it would be it.
Have you thought about using your passion for visual art to enrich your stage performance? How would you like your shows to develop in few years time?
Adi Ulmansky: I always try to think about how to take it one step further. I’ve just started working with the light designer and he’s taking care of the whole thing. We were talking about how I wanted the stage to look and I told him that I would like to have trees on stage and then to light them. I was trying to have the combination of natural vibe and my beats which are electronic, but it was a bit over the top, I know [laugh]. The fact that you have great people around you that can actually make your dreams come true is amazing. In the future I would also like to create cool videos for the live gig. They will be in the background and I will be able to control them all live.
As you’ve said, there is an EP coming, you’re currently busy touring… Do you have any other plans for 2015?
Adi Ulmansky:Well, the EP is the main thing. We’ve just started working on a few music videos which I’m really excited about. I have really cool ideas for them. I’m very passionate about not just the music but the whole package. I’m just going to release song by song, video by video. That’s the fun part after working for so much time.
Hope you’ll have fun tonight and good luck with the show!