Itamar is a Brooklyn-based songwriter from Tel Aviv. Interlacing gripping melodies with raw lyricism, he forms adept arrangements supporting sincere, poetic-while-straightforward songs.

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Hey Itamar! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello KWM and hi readers! I’m Itamar. Who are you?? Thank you for listening if you have, and please feel free to reach out and say hi. So I live in Brooklyn but originally I am from Israel. I have a studio in my apartment where I spend most of my time these days, and when I’m not there I’m in the kitchen making coffee or cooking. That’s sort of an introduction isn’t it? 

What’s behind the name Itamar?

Itamar is actually just my first name, which is typical in Israel-and apparently in Brazil, I recently discovered.  

As an ‘artist name,’ it just felt like the most natural choice. 

‘One to Five’, it’s a really beautiful track. What’s the inspiration behind it?

Thank you! ‘One to Five’ revolves around the experience of escapism and pokes at the idea that technology and comfort are the solution for everything. This is a subject matter for which there is plenty of inspiration everywhere and after circling in my mind for a while, some thoughts about it ended up finding an outlet in this song. I really wanted the track as a whole to embody escapism, and so the ‘uplifting’ nature of the music intentionally contrasts and denies the trouble that comes up in the lyrics.

You’re based in Brooklyn. What’s the music scene like over there?

Well, obviously now but even before the pandemic I felt like these small creative hubs we used to call ‘scenes’ have pretty much left the physical world. While there is a very high concentration of incredible artists and great venues here, there aren’t so many places where everyone hangs out regularly, interacts and inspires one another. The communal exchange of creativity is far from gone of course, but it seems like most of it is happening elsewhere. I’m very curious to see how live music will evolve in the near future and what impact it’ll have on how music scenes look like. 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a musician?

Be who you are. The biggest cliche of course, but a deeply true one that somehow wasn’t obvious to me. The person who gave me that gift was my saxophone teacher, during sophomore year in high school (Shoutout to Erez Barnoy, forever grateful). I was deep into studying the tradition of jazz and had a huge obsession with Lester Young –  transcribing as many of his solos as I could and basically trying to sound exactly like him. Erez saw this and suggested that digging into the roots is surely a part of the process, but not instead of exploring and developing your own identity as an artist. Thankfully the message from that conversation landed immediately and set me off in a new direction from then on.

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