Articles - Celebrities


In such a competitive and cut-throat industry Israeli born musician, Lior, is a breath of fresh air who refuses to bow to the lure of commercialism and does as much as he can to support charities. Lior moved to Australia when he was ten and has earned five ARIA nominations, including nominations for his 2005 gold album, Autumn Flow, best male artist and best independent. Despite industry recognition such as the ARIA Awards of Lior’s talent, he remains true to his independent beginning but appreciated the chance to inspire other independent musicians.   Lior - Australian musician.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.

“I guess it was good to go…and to be recognised as an Independent, in what is largely a celebration in the music industry for major record companies,” Lior said.  “I think for me, I kind of hoped that it also would be a little bit of a platform and inspiration for other independent artists, to show that you can be recognised and get exposure as an independent artist at the ARIAS and that you don’t have to rely on a record company to do that in Australia”.

Lior’s artistic independence in both his personal and musical life is important to him, and he enjoys the freedom to dictate what media and promotional obligations he undertakes.

“[As an artist] you are risking, I suppose, drowning yourself in a lot of things that are not really in relation to the creation of music [but] are more related to making other people a lot of money. It’s great to have both artistic control and also [control] of your life,” he said.

Lior remembers the early days in his musical career before he was a recognised celebrity, like when he played at the Woodford Folk Festival.   “It was really a beautiful supportive experience for me.  I was here, [at the Woodford Folk Festival], playing the songs that were just about to be recorded on the album so it was just great to get such a beautiful reaction.”  He also remembers the newness of no one knowing him, which gave him a “pioneering sense of excitement” that allowed him to “grow organically” into the artist he has become.   Lior and Xavier Rudd at The Woodford Folk Festival.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Lior and Xavier Rudd at The Woodford Folk Festival

Recognition of Lior’s music began to spread around Australia and Autumn Flow was featured on Triple J. However the attention he received when he first went on tour was overwhelming. “I placed very little expectations on it [his first album] and it had received radio play, so travelling to the far corners of Australia and having people singing along to the words of the songs, I think that really initially threw me off balance. I couldn’t quite believe it and it has taken a lot of reality checks for me”, said Lior.

Lior - Australian musician.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative   Lior - Australian musician.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative
Lior            Lior

Despite growing appreciation of his music, and the release of a second, live album, Doorways of My Mind, Lior has not let fame go to his head and uses his status to assist charities, particularly those that support young victims of the Middle East conflict.

“Its about helping people that are from disadvantaged backgrounds, kids who have turned to drugs and alcoholism and its their only way of escape as they haven’t been given the opportunity to embrace a purposeful and meaningful focus in  life so it’s very community. That’s where it’s at for me”, he shares.

Other charity events Lior has supported include performing in benefit concerts for REACH, a Melbourne organisation that helps young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.   “I try to do as much as I can,” said Lior. “Obviously there are so many wonderful causes and people doing work. It’s impossible to spread yourself over, we do what we can,” he said.

Lior’s personal life has been the inspiration for about 90 per cent of the songs he has written, which he describes as a “diary entry of my life.” Rest assured this approach to music-writing promises to be anything but ordinary, with Lior’s personal experiences taking him back to Israel to work at a Kibbutz in the desert! When Lior was younger his music was far more melancholic but as he has grown, Lior has found the melancholic state saps his creative energy, which he now finds in being happy, stable and clear. “You can kind of focus on the creative energy and realisation,” said Lior. One of the turning points in Lior’s life was the birth of his first daughter, Lucca, an event which he described as “by far the most momentous change in my life.”

There is little doubt that Lior’s life will continue to change as audiences become better acquainted with his grassroots music. In March, Lior returned from a successful UK tour that saw his track, ‘This Old Love’, added to BBC Radio 2’s play-list a month before its release. Upon return to the southern hemisphere, Lior hit the road again, this time in New Zealand, as part of the WOMAD festival tour. Not surprisingly, his gigs have delighted audiences and Lior has played to huge crowds, many of whom were hearing his music for the first time. Lior’s future promises to be bright, with his next gig taking him to play at the Dalai Lama’s address in Sydney in June. Only onwards and upwards from here!

Article and photo by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative  (21/5/07)

Lior's website is www.lior.com.au
Associated articles:  Woodford Folk Festival 2006
                            David Broza