Electro Pop duo The Young Professionals are a huge success in their home country of Israel, especially within Tel Aviv’s thriving gay club scene. But the group, fronted by vocalist Ivri Lider, 43, with music by producer/composer Johnny Goldstein, 26, has had little success outside of Europe and the Middle East.
Lider is a bona fide star in Israel; aside from being a successful solo recording artist (with 2 certified platinum and 5 gold albums), he is one of the judges of The X Factor TV show in that country.
When they met, Goldstein was an up-and-coming young music producer. In an interview with Attitude, Lider said the two started working together in the studio in 2010 and realized the work they were doing was good enough to release on its own. The band was formed shortly afterward, signing with Polydor records in Europe and Live Nation in the U.S.
Known for provocative, gender fluid lyrics with music videos featuring proudly queer elements, TYP is more out and proud in the Middle East than many American bands would dare to be.
A critical success, the group was nominated for Best European Act in in MTV’s European Music Awards; TYP won best Israeli act that year.
What You’re Missing: 6 Notable Songs by The Young Professionals
1All of It But Me (Featuring Anna F.)
With a catchy bass beat matched by equally catchy lyrics including the infectious hook, “boys you loved when you were 16 on the swimming team … boys you loved when you were 19, all of it but me,” as sung by Lider, All of It But Me is the band’s most mainstream original work to date.
A European gay dance club hit, the vocals of Austrian Anna F., add a distinct Europop flavor that blends well with Lider’s voice. The accompanying music video is a throwback homage to the artsy black-and-white work of Herb Ritts from the 1980s and early 1990s.
A semi-cover of Ottawan’s 1979 disco-era classic, the TYP song was released in 2011, reworked for the 21st century. It was the duo’s first dance club hit. The release is perhaps best known for its music video.
The video starts out with Lider and Goldstein decked out in nerdcore glory in an obvious parody of Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. But that’s misleading as the video for this version of D.I.S.C.O. quickly descends into a realm of the surreal as it becomes dominated by dancer Uriel Yekutiel, a mustachioed glamazon, who out-glams his back-up dancers.
Flavored generously with Middle Eastern groove, with 20 Seconds, TYP is not afraid to play with Islamic and Christian cultural imagery in the music video.
Of course the boys are oblivious to the voluptuous bell dancing women surrounding them until Uriel Yekutiel shows up to show them how it is done.
4F*ck Off Berlin
This song was originally part of the soundtrack of the semi-silent -and bizarre – 12-minute film, Fuck Off Berlin, by director Omer Tobi, that tells the story of a struggling Berlin-based artist.
TYP’s song was released as a single in its own right 2013 to better critical acclaim than the film it came from.
The introspective, plaintive Deserve evokes the late 80s/early 90s pre-goth period of alternative dance music dominated by Depeche Mode.
Take for example the lyric, “you deserve someone stronger than me; someone who doesn’t need a drink to tell you that he loves you,” and the painful inner turmoil it reflects. Martin Gore’s influence is all over this track.
Included in the album 9am to 5pm, 5pm to Whenever is the TYP the cover of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games. Arguably, this cover is better executed and more accessible to the listener than Del Rey’s over-bleak original.
Of note: the lyrics and pronouns remain unchanged; Lider sings about being held in a man’s “big arms” and wearing his favorite sundress. The gay LGBT flavor to this version adds a depth and impact missing in the original.
7Bonus: S.O.S. (ABBA Cover)
Released in 2015 as part of a covers and remixes album, here is TYP’s take on ABBA’s S.O.S. Lider’s vocal performance to Goldstein arrangement is equal parts cheese and gall. Cheesegall.