Star is risen

Israeli star Mergui releases first English-language single

Singer, who opened for Maroon 5 in May, says his breakup with pop superstar Noa Kirel is at the heart of new album

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Israeli pop star Mergui releases first single in English on July 15, 2022 (Courtesy Saban)
Israeli pop star Mergui releases first single in English on July 15, 2022 (Courtesy Saban)

Israeli pop star Jonathan Mergui, known as Mergui, has released his first English song, “Sucks to Know You (F.U.),” part of his EP, “Dark Side of the Rainbow.”

The video for the track follows Mergui through a field of sunflowers, as he bemoans the aftermath of a breakup, repackaging it into a somewhat unhappy chorus that repeats, “Fuck you / I hate you / I miss you / Sucks to know you.”

Mergui is apparently singing about Israeli pop superstar Noa Kirel — his ex-girlfriend who was recently announced as a strong possibility for Israel’s pick for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

In an interview this week with Variety, Mergui confirmed that Kirel, who is also working hard on her outside-of-Israel career, is at the heart of the album.

The EP’s title, “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” sums up their relationship, Mergui told Variety.

“Everybody thought it was a rainbow,” he said. “But deep down, I knew it wasn’t going to work. To fix it was complicated and tricky, so I looked aside and almost pretended that, you know, I got this.”

Mergui placed second in the fifth season of the reality music show in 2018, just after winner Netta Barzilai, and has continued establishing his Israeli fanbase, performing on army bases around the country during his army service and opening at the recent Maroon 5 concert in Tel Aviv.

The 22-year-old caught the attention of Saban Music Group earlier this year, and was invited to join the group’s music label.

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