Born into a family of singers and chazanim, it’s not surprising that Eitan Freilich is now releasing his international debut album, featuring original compositions from the world’s top Jewish composers.
Eitan has been singing and performing from the age of 13. After studying in Yeshiva in Israel, Eitan trained with distinguished professionals. Famed for his energy and vibrance, Eitan now performs at large events across the United Kingdom.
In April 2015, composer Yossi Green suggested that Eitan should release an album of his own. Eitan recalls: “I didn’t even think of it until Yossi encouraged me. I am so grateful he motivated me – if not for that conversation, I’m not sure we would be discussing an album!”
Days after speaking with Green and with help from Yossi Zweig in New Jersey and Simon Cowen in London, Eitan began work with legendary producer Avi Newmark. Producing an album is no easy task: “A job is not how I would refer to my role as a producer. It’s more of a passion. I bring the production to fruition, from selecting the compositions, to the overall sound picture”, says Avi. When asked what makes Eitan different from other artists he has worked with, Avi responds: “It’s not always about different. Eitan has a drive for perfection and a genuine love of music, which he communicates very well. These qualities have helped create an album that Eitan can wear like a well tailored suit.”
Eitan and Avi began work on the material for the upcoming debut album. Composers worldwide began sending Avi songs, hoping they would be chosen for the album. Compositions by Yitzy Waldner, Ari Goldwag and Elie Schwab, to name a few, were selected. Eitan recalls, “I received sterling advice from artists such as Baruch Levine and Eitan Katz. Certain songs really inspired me.” How does a producer knows when a song will be successful? “Simple”, says Avi. “No artist is the same. You need a complete understanding of your artist as a singer and as a person. It is not just vocal skill that dictates what songs should be used.”
In June, Eitan flew to New York to meet the team that would be working on his album. He also met with composer Yitzy Waldner, who with Avi, showed him round the studio and worked with him on further compositions. On his return to London, Eitan worked with an award-winning vocal coach in preparation for an intense recording experience. “Most singers record their albums at their own pace” Eitan reflects, “We decided to block out three weeks from my schedule. This would be an intensive recording process, recording day after day until my vocals were complete.” He also began studying the lyrics and sources with his Rabbonim in London, to gain deeper insights into each song.
Eitan returned to New York in August to record his vocals. Avi remarks, “Eitan is just a lot of fun. He can stay relaxed even though there is a lot he is working on. That just makes for good times in the studio. Oh yeah and he is super witty!” Avi worked closely with arranger Ian Freitor and his team. The arranger is responsible for interpreting the raw composition. He may decide matters like which instruments are used, the key, tempo, style and form. “Ian and Avi are an incredible duo. They pushed the best out of me in the studio”, Eitan enthuses. “The creative process is clearly top of the list in importance for any production”, says Avi. “Ian and I have worked together for many years, on many projects, launching many stars. I am very selective in who I work with in every aspect of production. Ian and I make the perfect team. So yes Eitan is correct.” responds Avi.
After just three weeks, the vocals were finished and Eitan returned to London. Avi and Ian worked intensely in the studio to finish the tracks, working with the Yedidim choir, and the talented Yitzy Spinner. Meanwhile, designer Levik. T. and Eitan’s management worked on the graphics and marketing materials. Eitan also teamed up with comedian Mendy Pellin from Beverly Hills. They began working together to write the script for a spectacular music video and currently have a team preparing their 5-day-video-shoot with their film crew.
Why purchase this album? “It’s a total package”, responds Avi. “There is something here for everyone, and Eitan delivers right on point.”
‘Am Yisrael Chai’ by Eitan Freilich will be distributed by Nigun Music to stores worldwide and available for digital download this week.