Inbal Croitoro is a singer-songwriter from Tel-Aviv who moved to London 4.5 years ago for her BA studies, and besides the severe lack of sun and the absence of double digits temperature she fell deeply in love with the city. Debut single “Almost 20” was released at the end of 2017 and the second single and the video for “Right Mistakes” was published yesterday.
“It was a long process and quite a fun one, so it really does bring a lot of joy to finally release it and make my songs available to the public” – says Inbal.
Let’s talk about your first single “Almost 20”. What the idea behind the video. Does it have a personal flavour of you moving to London?
“Almost 20” speaks about having a short time to confront feelings about your own self, your relationship with someone, and the relationship with your hometown. When we were thinking about the video, I wanted to put the focus mostly on the relationship with my hometown, with a comparison to my new home, London, as I wanted to create another layer of interpretation to the song, that from first listen can sound like a love song to a specific person.
Do you agree with a famous line “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”?
I could see how this may apply to many people, including myself. Yet, there’s something about London and it’s endless possibilities that can be too much for some people. Coming from a big city myself, this intensity just makes me want to become better. It’s a matter of nature and nurture, so for me being tired of London is being tired of trying. I do miss the beach of Tel-Aviv and walking everywhere in under 20 minutes, so I try to visit often just to soak up some of Israel into me till the next visit.
You are currently working on an EP that should be released later this year. Rumour has it, it was composed, produced and mixed in Brazil, Helsinki, London, Tel Aviv, Seoul and the United States. Was that intentional?
The rumour is correct. We definitely didn’t intend this to happen, in fact, it was quite hard to work remotely. At the time, I was going back to visit my hometown, Tel Aviv, and had to go to the States for a good few weeks, while Andreas, my producer and dear friend, was moving from London to his hometown in Brazil, and shortly after followed his heart (and his girlfriend) to South Korea. While I returned to London, he was moving to Helsinki. Although it was physically challenging to work apart, I think it contributed a lot to the song and it’s production overall. Having the influences from these countries, it’s peoples and the influence over our own mindsets both Andreas and I were in, enabled us to see Almost 20 from a clearer perspective, and to be more creative and boundaryless, which led the song to a less obvious structure than we initially intended it to have.
You premiered the video for the latest single “Right Mistakes” yesterday. Congratulations. Tell me more about the song.
I’m really thrilled to have my second single out. It was quite a long turnaround with “Right Mistakes”, as it really took me a while to come to terms with how ‘poppy’ it is. Unlike “Almost 20”, and the rest of the songs on the EP, to me, “Right Mistakes” has much more of a mainstream tone to it. I thought showing this side of me might be fun and a bit less serious, and that’s why I chose to release it second before the seriousness continues. It has much of a lighter tone to it, and video also features my bandmates Gonçalo Malafaya Almeida, Alon (Didi) Danan and Aaron Dolby, who are absolutely brilliant.
The song refers to the mistakes we make, knowing it’s the wrong decision, and yet choosing to do it anyway.
I find that sometimes in life, you need to take chances, that will most likely turn out wrong or bad, though it’s the choosing that counts. One thing that always leads me is the feeling of ‘at least I’ll give it a try’, so if something doesn’t work out, it’s not for the lack of trying. The song takes the relationship angle in this case, but the concept applies quite universally; give it a try. You might fail, but it’s worth exploring.
How do you know the song is finished?
I’m sure this one is a common complicated matter for a lot of artists, as it’s really hard to let a song go. There’s always this little twist and another melody line you can add, so this process can take years. It’s also a hard decision as once it’s done- it’s out for grabs. Whoever listens to your song can give it a new meaning and as the creator, you always want to be as close as possible to what you imagined the song to evoke in others. For me, listening to a song via loudspeakers and feeling that the right intensity and emotions are there, is when I stop and send it to be mixed.
When did you realise that music is what you want to do?
It took me a while to find my niche. I used to write lyrics and composition for other artists (and still do); it opened my appetite to many genres, which was an incredible experience as a musician, but it definitely made my own project much harder to narrow down to one specific genre group. Luckily, when I arrived in London I was fortunate enough to meet my tutor at the time and present mentor, Julian Marshall. Working with him made me realise I can do whatever I need to make my songs work, and by listening to the natural flow of the music, without the limitations of “this is what I have to do in the next verse”, I can create a song that is much more complete melodically than I created before moving to London. In that way, you could say I’ve developed as a musician.
What are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest influences are Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Bjork. Buckley’s melodies are so rich and touching, whereas Radiohead, especially in “OK Computer” inspired my alternative production senses, and Bjork is an outer space artist that just rips the boundaries of music and aesthetics and creates something mesmerizing.
How would you define success in the music business?
I suspect success is a very subjective term, so I can only speak for myself on this one. Often, the thing that draws people into the arts is the notion of self-expression of a rich inner world that perhaps cannot be expressed in different subject areas or professions. For me, success is sharing this creative world with others, and others enjoying and relating to my experiences. I think making people connect with their emotions is a great thing – that’s what we do as friends and partners all the time, right? Art encompasses the same ideas – for me a lot of it is about making a bond.
What was the greatest advice someone has ever given to you?
Do your best, enjoy it and let it go – don’t dwell on your past decisions too much. Following your previous question, the process of creating something from scratch could either be liberating or stressful. Or both… Before moving to the UK, I’ve made myself one promise- whatever happens, enjoy it and take the most from it. The stress that is usually added to our lives can so easily take the attention away from the liberation of expressing yourself and can get in the way of simply doing what you love. So what’s the point of focusing on the negative? The part of letting it go is just so you can move forward, and not continuously debate on something that is in the past and/or out of your control.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
Oh, 2018 is going to be a fun one! My second single released finally and will be followed by my debut EP, INBAL I. I’m also working with my band at the moment, so hopefully, in a few weeks time you can see us live and gigging in London!