It's the final weekend of Whistler Pride and Ski Festival and if you've joined in the party so far, chances are you've been dancing your butt off.
Don't wind down yet, though, because Snowball is coming, warmed up this year by Middle Eastern heat.
Pride's final night of celebration takes place on Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Whistler Conference Centre with an opening set by Seattle DJ Bret Law, a performance by drag artist Flava and headlined by Israeli DJ Yinon Yahel.Tickets are $85. Doors open at 10 p.m.
Yahel gave Pique an interview ahead of his gig, the first stop on his North American tour.Pique: I understand that you started out as a metal-loving guy. Is that still part of what you like to listen to?
Yinon Yahel: This is like asking me if I prefer blondes, red heads, blacks or latinas. I like them all! For me, music is something divine — as long as it's good, I can connect with it. So, yes, I still like metal, just as I love ABBA, Chopin and Bill Evans.Pique: Tell me about your new single, "Bad Boy."
YY: (Israeli dance music singer-songwriter) Meital de Razon presented the idea to produce a "Bad Boy" song to me, I instantly liked the title and the lyrics. Meital wants to find a bad boy, but one who will treat her good, and apparently the whole city of Tel Aviv feels exactly like she does. I can't wait to see the feedback the song will bring in Whistler.
At the moment, it makes sense to me to produce one single at a time, even though, sound wise, I produce each single as if I would be producing a full album. Since "Everybody Needs a Man," "Take the World" and other songs that I produced, the concept and build-ups are very clear to me. I think you can experience this in my latest DJ set Bye-Bye Sweet 2015.Pique: Tell me about your 2015 — you won song of the year in Israel, worked with Madonna... And you worked with Nadav Guedj on a remix of "Golden Boy," Israel's entry in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.
YY: Through my career I always have been looking for the next challenge. Besides producing music with (Israeli DJ) Offer Nissim for more than a decade, over the past few years I produced the biggest musical show in Israel, I was on The Voice Israel for three seasons. In 2015, I understood that the biggest projects are very time consuming and that I needed a change to stay motivated, so I did.
I started to produce more single productions for mainstream artists and I had great success. Then, my dear friend and songwriter Doron Medalie approached me with an offer to produce the Eurovision song for Israel, for the amazing singer Nadav Guedj, which I gladly accepted. "Golden Boy" was a big success. Nadav won the title of singer of the year and the song was chosen as song of the year. We currently are working on finalizing his album.
Right before the Pride parade in Tel Aviv, I was asked to produce the theme song for the Water Park Party featuring (X Factor Israel runner-up) Eden Ben Zaken. The song became an anthem at every party, wedding and events, and she eventually won the title of female artist of the year.
Yes, Madonna used my musical arrangements and sounds in her performance, but that's all I will say about it.Pique: What can the partiers expect from your set at Snowball?
YY: They can expect a 100 per cent high-energy set, Yinon-Yahel style, and mostly that I am going to make them sweat.Pique: How's the dance music scene in Israel?
The dance music scene in Israel is really awesome. Everybody's into it. There are a lot of great producers of many genres and I must say that if you never have been to Israel, you definitely must go!Pique: I saw in a Jerusalem Post story, that you have many Palestinian and Lebanese fans. Do you see your music playing a role in bringing people together?
YY: In the end, we are all the same, so music helps to bring us closer and it always makes me feel good to see it happen, but unfortunately it's not enough. I wish I could turn music into a more powerful tool that would contribute to real peace.
For more information on the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival, visit www.gaywhistler.com.
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