Exclusive Interview with TYP (The Young Professionals)

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Written by Jessica Jabroux. All photos by Olivier Rieu for Style Quotidien. 

The Young Professionals, also known by the acronym TYP, are an electro pop duo that are about to take the US by storm with their new single “Let’s Do It Right” featuring Eva Simons (known for her hit collaborations with LMFAO, Afrojack and will.i.am).

Founded in 2009 by Ivri Lider and Johnny Goldstein, TYP’s first album was released internationally in 2012. Called 9am to 5pm, 5pm to Whenever, it is a concept album about the proverbial working stiff, and includes a unique version of Lana Del Ray’s hit Video Games. Now signed with Universal, TYP’s “Let’s Do It Right” from their new album Quick Quick, Star Star, Money Money, is a sure fire hit that promises to launch the duo into international superstardom.

TYP’s punchy bass-heavy beats and energetic electro refrains have a familiarity, yet they feel fresh and contemporary. From the album 9am to 5pm, 5pm to Whenever, songs like “Be With You Tonight”, “POP”, “20 Seconds” and their remake of Ottawan’s “D.I.S.C.O.” are sure to get you dancing and stay with you long after you’ve finished listening. Although their sound is distinctly electro pop, TYP’s music is a modern blend of varied and generational influences.

The idea of combining old and new music is certainly not a new concept, but TYP’s sound derives a real authenticity from the vast age difference between Lider, 40, and Goldstein, 23. “I grew up in the 80’s listening to a lot of electronic music like Depeche Mode, Yazoo, the Eurythmics, Kraftwerk; really all of the electro bands,” Ivri explains. “Johnny grew up in the 90’s, so he was more into hiphop artists like Dr. Dré, Snoop Dog, Eminem and Timbaland.”

“With TYP, we always create something new based on something old,” Lider continues. “Electronic music today always draws on something from before. It has history, it has roots, and this makes it stronger I think. People can connect to it. We want to look for new sounds, and take things in new directions, but there is always a history,” Ivri explains. “We are always connected to sounds from the 80’s and 90’s.” Goldstein agrees. “It’s really hard to create something that’s totally original, but for TYP it’s the combination that is new,” he says.

Both Lider and Goldstein had separate careers before coming together to form TYP. Lider is a trained classical and jazz pianist, and has had an illustrious career as an Israeli pop star since the late 90’s. From his very first album, he was a platinum-selling artist, and he has also written music for films and theater productions. Recently he was selected to be one of the judges on the first season of The X Factor Israel alongside supermodel Bar Rafaeli.

Goldstein, on the other hand, was the new kid on the block. He started experimenting with music from a very young age, and began to forge a musical career while still in high school. Although things got off to a bumpy start, his career picked up steam with the release of his first album called The Johnny Show, which featured a number of collaborations with high-profile Israeli artists.

So how did the two come together? “When I was working on my collaboration album,” Johnny recalls, “I wanted to do something with Ivri, but he wasn’t available. About a year later I contacted him again to make some music. We found that really worked well together.” Although their busy schedules didn’t allow them to see each other more than four times over that first year, thanks to the Internet the duo quickly wrote over sixteen songs together. Today, they write together in the studio, where they equally contribute to both the lyrics and musical compositions of their songs.

Most musicians forge a solo career after the success of their band, but Ivri has taken the opposite path. “Before Johnny, I never wrote songs with someone else,” he reveals. “But I was always open to working with other people, because I like many different kinds of music. I get bored if I only do one thing, so I’m always open to new experiences. When Johnny sent me some of his music I listened to it and thought it was fucking amazing,” he recalls. “And I was really pushy,” Johnny interjects with a laugh. “Yes,” Ivri concedes, “that’s true.” Despite the duo’s growing success, Lider has continued to pursue a solo career, perhaps driven by this quest for musical variety. “I think TYP has done a lot for my creativity as far as my solo projects,” he admits.

Another member of the band, who was not present for the interview, is drummer Tal Tamari. “He also plays guitar and bass,” Goldstein reveals. “He’s very talented.” Tamari is also a solo artist who has worked with both Goldstein and Lider on other projects. When the duo formed TYP, Tamari was Johnny’s roommate, so it was a no-brainer to bring him on as the drummer for the group.

In addition to the obvious musical appeal of the band, Lider and Goldstein also add strong visual elements to the TYP experience. They recognize the importance of a strong visual image for today’s artists. “We work very hard on the videos,” Johnny says. “It’s an important part of the music.” Lider adds, “The idea is to find new ways to connect to people. We want to tell you something about our world through this multi-faceted presentation.”

Another key part of their visual presentation is the addition of Uriel Yekutiel, a cross-dressing performance artist who has become an identifiable symbol of the band. Before joining TYP, Uriel was known for making web videos. Johnny and Ivri had seen him on Youtube and thought he was really special. “He’s intelligent,” Lider says. “There’s a gender blender thing there that is really interesting. That’s what I like about him, and I think it really fits what we’re doing. Because our approach is about duality,” Lider continues, “and our love-hate relationship with the western world.”

The image that Yekutiel has carefully crafted over the years fit well with the concept for the “D.I.S.C.O.” music video, where he can be seen dancing throughout. His bright costumes and flamboyant style contrast well against the gray suits and somber expressions that are worn by Lider and Goldstein in the video. Uriel also reflects the band’s open approach to their sexual orientation.

Yekutiel has easily integrated into the group and can be seen not only in their music videos, but dancing on stage during TYP concerts. I ask him if he has any formal training in dance. “I have formal training in nothing,” he says jokingly. Then he says more seriously, “Really, I just like to try things, and hopefully I get it right.” We talk about the integration of music and visuals. “A big artist today cannot be without a very strong image,” he says. “Look at Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. We all are artistic people, and the image is a part of the art.”

TYP continues to push boundaries with their revolutionary approach to recording and releasing material. “We are trying new ways to work,” Lider explains. “We’re going to release an EP so that we can release more songs in a shorter time. Then in six months, we can release something else. There are not many music stores anymore,” he observes. “Today everyone downloads, and people are very impatient. So we’re responding to that.” Johnny agrees, saying, “It’s our way of making sure the music is really fresh.”

You can purchase TYP’s single “Let’s Do It Right” featuring Eva Simons from the following: iTunes; Google Play; Deezer and Spotify. To view the lyrical video, click here.

Photo credits: Photographer: Olivier Rieu; Stylist: Christophe Carvillo; Assistant stylist: Edouard de Stouvenel; Assistant Photographers: Edilson Lomba Tavares Boz & Sam Ssefa; Makeup: Amandine Fournier; Hair: Takayuki Nukui; Digital work: Stefan Selakovic