Hot damn! We've landed another HUGE set of XXQ's - this time with a true international star that you didn't realize you've been following - Ms. Meital Dohan. You may know the Nissan Nativ graduate and Israeli born fem fatale as Yael Hoffman on Showtime's "Weeds" or from the critically acclaimed feature film Monogamy, but she's done so much (so much!) more. Obviously she's an award-winning actress in theater, film and television, but she's also an author of a number of successful plays and the book "Love & Other Bad Habits" as well as the creator of a brand new record, "I'm in Hate with Love".
Before we get to the music however, let me throw a few facts your way on just how accomplished Dohan already is:
- She's earned Israeli Oscar nominations for performances in both "God’s Sandbox" and "Giraffes".
- She played a key role in "Ugliest Esti" (the Israeli Ugly Betty), garnering her an Israeli Emmy for Best Comedy Series.
- She's even won the Israeli Tony for Most Promising New Actress!
Now, onto the music. The first release off of "I'm in Hate with Love" is a single titled "Yummy Boyz", a tune as interesting as the title would suggest. The new record has "different types of songs, different genres. Some of them are more like lounge music and some are more dance music like 'Yummy Boyz'" says Meital. She continues, "So far people are going pretty wild for it so I feel very lucky and fortunate." Check out "Yummy Boyz" on YouTube to get an idea of what a live show would be like (an experience Dohan says you won't soon forget). Track Meital as she continues her film career and releases another single this fall, followed by the album itself. Now, keep going to learn a whole lot more in the XXQ's.
XXQs: Meital Dohan
PensEyeView.com (PEV): Born and raised in Israel, Meital graduated from Nissan Nativ, Israel’s prestigious acting school, and has starred in many theater, television and film productions, what kind of music where you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence?
Meital Dohan (MD): I listened usually to what my dad was listening to in the car. Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Cat Stevens and Tracy Chapman. But in general I love all types of music.
PEV: You have had tremendous success in acting, earning Israeli Oscar nominations for performances in God’s Sandbox and Giraffes. You played a key role in Ugliest Esti - the Israeli Ugly Betty - which won the Israeli Emmy for Best Comedy Series and even won the Israeli Tony for Most Promising New Actress in 2000 for your work in Best Friends, with Israel’s renowned Cameri Theater. With all of this, how do you balance your very busy life?
MD: That's a good question because it is hard to find balance sometimes when your schedule is hectic and you have a lot of people around you all the time, but I exercise a lot, try eating healthy and I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Roth at a charity event a year ago and he taught me Transcendental Meditation which I've fallen in love with and I'm working on raising awareness for it in Israel and opening a charity for veterans in Israel.
PEV: What was it like for you when you first started out and making the transition to professional musician?
MD: Honestly as funny as it sounds it all happened very naturally. I was in Israel doing a TV show and my healer (and I'm not a hippy) suggested that I go back to America asap and she said that she sensed that I needed to start recording music. The next thing I knew I met Che Pope who worked with talents such as Dr. Dre and Lauryn Hill and I couldn't resist it. So I went with the flow and let's see where it leads me. So far so good.
PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?
MD: There were a few roles and points in my career that I felt I had an "AHA" moment, like Weeds for instance. Or when I played one of the lead roles in Ugliest Esti in Israel. I've also had those moments with the music, because people just really came on board very quickly and seemed to connect with the kind of music I wanted to make. Everyone wants to be part of something fun and empowering and I think that's what my music represents.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Meital Dohan show?
MD: I can't reveal my secrets! Let's just say it'll be something people won't forget. If my music video is telling of what's to come, there will always be an element of shock, surprise and downright fun. People will be dancing, laughing and smiling all at once and I think that's really the recipe we're looking for.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
MD: Since I was in the Cameri Theater in Israel almost every day for many years, I got to be on stage when I had a fever, after I had fight with a boyfriend or on days when going on stage was the last thing I wanted to do . Being on stage gives me the feeling that I am at home. I probably feel more comfortable on stage than in real life.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
MD: My inspiration was really to just make the kind of music that I want to listen to. It sounds overly simple but I think it just came from that place where I was wondering, "what's out there right now that i really LOVE?" and instead of wondering and wondering and wondering, I just thought, oh ok, well then I guess I'll just make it. Songs just pop into my head. I'll think of the words, start humming a melody, and then me and my producers Che Pope and Rayna Zemel will really flush it out in the studio and try a few things out until it really just pops and we go, yeah, that's it.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release, that features the first single from the album, a track called “Yummy Boyz”. What can fans expect from this work?
MD: My most recent release is Yummy Boyz from the upcoming album I'm In Hate With Love which has different types of songs, different genres. Some of them are more like lounge music and some are more dance music like Yummy Boyz. You can also watch the video on youtube or on my website. I really think people just need to watch it because trying to explain it will ruin the surprises. Let's just say Obama makes a special appearance, as does Osama. It's all about being silly and having fun while acknowledging the absurd needs we have as human beings, so politics in my videos can mix with a big party. So far people are going pretty wild for it so I feel very lucky and fortunate.
PEV: Describe the kind of mindset you had to be in to create this album?
MD: As you know the cliche is that there needs to be a little bit of heartbreak to create good music. I guess it won't be a lie to say that's where I was.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Meital Dohan?
MD: When I was a child I was actually very shy. I didn't know I wanted to be an actress until I was a teenager.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew you wanted music to be a large part of your life, if not the biggest part?
MD: I think music came into my life in an unexpected way. It's all about the people you meet and the energy around you. I met people who really believed in my music and I felt it too, so that's why it's going in this direction right now.
PEV: What one word best describes Meital Dohan?
PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?
MD: I'm not on the road just yet, but I do love my house in LA.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
MD: I would love to tour in Asia. I have never been there. I want to see India and go to the ashram of Osho and maybe sing about Yummy Boyz while they meditate.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?
MD: My friends and family and wonderfully supportive of my music. I haven't had a chance to tour in Israel yet, but when i do it'll be a very exciting time.
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
MD: I don't have much spare time between the music and acting, but I do some writing as well and published a book of poetry called Love and Other Bad Habits. And I like all the great things you can do in bed.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
MD: Have you ever heard of Radiohead? (laughs).
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?
MD: Who knows. Life is a wild creature. Maybe I would have been fishing or teaching diving in Costa Rica which is another place I would like to perform by the way.
PEV: So, what is next for Meital Dohan?
MD: The next single I'm gonna be releasing is probably going to come out in the fall and following that will be my album. Beside that I am working on new movies.