Musical powerMusical power

Pop song is joint Iranian-Israeli effort

‘Million Dollar Baby,’ which hits Israeli airwaves Tuesday, features Iranian rapper, Israeli musicians and singer

Debra writes for the JTA, and is a former features writer for The Times of Israel.

Israeli dance trio TripL. (photo credit: courtesy image)
Israeli dance trio TripL. (photo credit: courtesy image)

The song is a frothy dance anthem, with the trademark thumping bass and synthetic vocals that mark so many pop hits. But “Million Dollar Baby,” a song from Israeli dance trio TripL and Israeli DJ Tomer G that hit the Israeli airwaves on Monday, is more than your average musical number.

The track features the Kodie, an Iranian-born rapper living in Sweden, who has long said that music can do just the trick in areas where politics have failed.

The song was written and produced by TripL, who joined forces with Israel powerhouse Tomer G, a pop-dance artist who has worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears, to lay vocals on top of their dance tracks. Thanks to a chance meeting at the Amsterdam Dance Event, an annual five-day electric music conference and festival, Tomer G. met rapper Kodie and soon a collaboration was born.

“At the beginning we didn’t know that he was born in Iran, and then we added him on Facebook and were like, that’s him?” says TripL’s Moran Levy. “But it didn’t matter. Everything is for the music – we don’t really deal with politics.”

Iranian-born rapper Kodie. (photo credit: courtesy image)
Iranian-born rapper Kodie. (photo credit: courtesy image)

Kodie, who moved to Sweden from Iran at the age of 5 and says he considers himself more Swedish than Iranian, has a similar mantra. “Music has the power to unite people of different nations, cultures, religions and backgrounds,” he says.

Levy says he knows that the politics of the collaboration are interesting and may stir up some buzz for their hit song, but at the end of the day, they are excited about the project simply because it’s good, infectious dance music.

Israeli vocalist Tomer G. (photo credit: courtesy image)
Israeli vocalist Tomer G. (photo credit: courtesy image)

“No one did it because he was Iranian, Swedish or Israel,” he says of the collaboration. “Now when we look back on the whole process, it’s funny, with our story, but the politics of it were not the main event. The main event was to make good music with good people, good producers, amazing singers, and a really good rapper.”

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