Israeli folk rocker and peace activist David Broza’s latest album "East Jerusalem West Jerusalem" was recorded in East Jerusalem with Wyclef Jean, the Palestinian rap duo G-Town, and a band composed of both Israeli and Palestinian musicians. This week, he released the video shot by MTV Iggy for his single also entitled “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem” featuring Wyclef Jean, who Broza considers a longtime friend. The video broadens the scope of the song from just one divided city to a worldwide plea for human reconciliation. Today on April 25, 2014, Examiner.com had the opportunity to interview David.
Speak about the significance of your song "East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem"?
The title song of the album "East Jerusalem West Jerusalem" was written with Wyclef Jean in a studio up in Harlem New York City, where Wyclef was recording. We got together to write this song for the album, which I was ready to record in East Jerusalem. It reflects everything that I believe in and which is my guideline in life. The line which Wyclef opened with "Same face in Ghaza, is the same face out in California" and then "So many places, all the same faces" says it all. People are the same all over the world. The conditions and situations which they live in make them behave differently, but all people want to feel love, know peace, and be healthy. The environment surrounding them may not always offer that. The song should reflect these thoughts and hopefully inspire.
How did you connect with G-Town?
G-Town was introduced to me in the studio of Sabreen, where I recorded the album "East Jerusalem West Jerusalem." I have known them for several years. We have performed together and have gotten to know each other. I was hoping to some day record with them, but didn't know what song would be right, other than jamming as we often do. Then, as I was working on the songs for the album, I sent Steve Earle recordings of all the songs and then a lyric I had written one night while suffering from sleeplessness. He loved it and thought that with a little work he could help turn it into a cool hip hop song. This was going to be that opportunity I was looking for through which I could ask G-Town to be part of the album. Steve Earle came back to me with a melody and the refrain "Peace ain't nothin' but a word". So I had a place in the Hip Hop song, too. Now I had to work with Mohhamed Mughrabi and Fadi Amos to translate or write a verse in Arabic . The only thing missing now was an Israeli hip hop artist who could write a verse in Hebrew and perform it. I called on my favorite Israeli hip hop band leader Shaanan Street, from "Hadag Nachash" and he was very cool about it . Within three days we had the whole song ready to record. I think it is the first such collaboration between Israeli, Palestinian and American artists.
How did you first connect with Wyclef?
I met Wyclef Jean many years ago in a party in LA. We hit it off right away and a few days later, I was invited to his studio to jam and write and record some songs. It was a great time. One of the songs on which we collaborated then came out on one of his "Carnival" albums. It's called "Welcome to the East" .
What's next for you?
I am now busy finalizing the editing of the documentary bearing the same title as the album, "East Jerusalem West Jerusalem". The film will feature the work in the studio and expose the environment in which we worked as well as some of the artists appearing on the album. I look forward to bringing the story of the album out on all its components and showing through it the power that music and art has even in areas of deep conflict. The film will be out within the next few months.