Nirvana gets the Mideastern treatment
Smells like green tahiniSmells like green tahini

Nirvana gets the Mideastern treatment

Shefita, the Oriental alter ego of Israeli singer Rotem Shefy, offers her Mediterranean spin on classic 'Lithium'

Twenty years have passed since the unofficial spokesman of Generation X committed suicide, leaving behind millions of angsty teens to make their own way in the world.

Kurt Cobain’s pioneering Seattle grunge band Nirvana never made it to Israel. But on Wednesday, his spirit merged with the Mediterranean breeze to create a decidedly not-dark — it’s actually rather delightful — rendition of one the band’s most cherished anthems.

Shefita, the Oriental alter ego of Israeli vocalist Rotem Shefy, has put her Middle Eastern touch on the band’s landmark single, “Lithium.”

In the song’s video, a bejeweled Shefita smokes a water pipe crusted with pills as she commands a group of musicians standing around her, dressed in white suits and playing an array of Middle Eastern instruments.

“I’m so ugly, that’s OK, ‘cause so are you,” she sings with an almost cartoonish local accent to the aging butler cooling her off with an oversized fan.

Ending the clip with a cathartic ceremony, Shefita sets a makeshift Kurt Cobain shrine in flames.

Remaining in her diva character, Shefita explained to Israeli news site Walla what made her cover the song. “Well, as everybody knows, Kurt Cobain was my longtime lover,” she joked.

“A moment before he died in my arms, he made me promise to cover one of his songs.”

Asked about her origins, she mysteriously replied that she comes “from a distant place, somewhere between Dubai and Iran.” When she met a young Israeli stud who was taking care of her family’s garden, she instantly fell in love and followed him to Israel, she said.

Shefy, as Shefita, previously garnered media attention with her version of Radiohead’s “Karma Police,” which she created as a joke but which quickly received over one million views on YouTube.

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