Meital Dohan Talks Working With Sean Kingston, Acting And New Album
Many female artists get lost in the pop shuffle but Israeli musician Meital Dohan manages to flip the bubbly genre on its face with thoughtful lyrics and soul-searching concepts.
The actress, writer and playwright now tacks on singer to her list of talents with a new single titled “On Ya” featuring Sean Kingston. The infectious single, produced by Brass Knuckles (who has worked with Kimbra, Rick Ross, Jagged Edge) and Brian Cid, features her label mate Kingston who adds a reggae feel to the dance track. Meital was happy to work with Kingston, who was introduced to her though Fo' Reel Entertainment CEO Cudda Love. “I liked [Sean's] style and music,” she says. “Sean is a talented beautiful superstar.”
When it comes to the second single off her debut album, I’m In Hate With Love, Meital hopes to lighten the mood. “I think when you’re really really depressed it’s something you can listen to," she says. "It’s a song about the celebration of life and one each other, rather being caught up in the race.”
With its peppy electro beat, “On Ya” has stuck with the masses. The visual, dropped in October, managed to garner over 1.4 million views on YouTube in just two short weeks. Her previous single “Yummy” did the same, but her wardrobe choice--or lack thereof--with nothing on but pink boxing gloves doesn’t hurt either.
“The videos are really all connected,” explains Meital. In her video for ‘Yummy’ Meital kept the super-herione theme going for ‘Yummy,’ while knocking out guys left and right, and for ‘On Ya,’ by uniting tribes on a remote island.
The singer likes to think of her musical persona as a heroine to some, while still enjoying life and bringing in a little humor to cheer people up. While she’s clothed as a superhero in the video for “On Ya,” she fantasizes about bringing a tribe together after crashing her plane on a remote island. “One of my favorite movies of all times was the Never Ending Story,” said Meital of her inspiration for her Ray Kay-directed visual. “ I wanted my video to feel like a variation of that with a story behind it of a woman superhero who lands among a tribe who’s having a fight to make peace.”
Meital (whose name is the Israeli word for "waterdew") may be unfamiliar to some but she’s pretty much a big deal in her homeland. She also plays dual roles as an actress who has won two Israeli Tony awards and nominations for the Israeli Oscars for her work. She has played the seductive Yael Hoffman in the Showtime series "Weeds." When asked about which passion she enjoys the most, it comes down to a tie for the Israeli beauty. “I enjoy acting and singing,” says Meital. “Writing is just something that comes naturally.”
Music was a talent that she’s always wanted to try but never had the time for until her spiritual guide urged her to pursue it. Her guide, who she doesn’t name has helped her with her personal journey as well as some of her career choices. “I have a great spiritual guide, like a healer or something, and in one of our meetings she said I needed to go back to America ASAP to start doing music,” recalls Meital, from the set of Israel's Dancing with The Stars. She made three phone calls with a friend to find the perfect producer. The third ring landed on super-producer Che Pope (Eminem, Dr. Dre and Lauryn Hill), who ultimately beat-mapping her album, which is slated for an early 2013 release.
Inspired by her buffet of musical tastes including artists like Fleetwood Mac, Eminem and Skrillex, Meital’s bullseye is to spread positivity through sound while still exuding her natural sex appeal. “When I create art, I want it to talk about where we at as a society, the universe and the sun,” she says, a champion of the female cause. The 33-year-old formerly hosted a webcast on Women’s Radio titled "Loud Miracles" where she interviewed people who have encountered miracles throughout their lives and penned the informative narrative Love and Other Bad Habits in January 2011. Love and Other Bad Habits features bios about Israeli figures and the social view of feminine behavior and what is expected of them.
But don’t expect a feminist on a soapbox to soak up her entire album. Meital redefines the image of a pop star with her multiple side-hustles and pensive approach to flimsy records. She still wants to craft hip-shaking tunes, too. “I’m just trying to deal with all of that in a different way.” [My album]’s about salvation and about family in general,” she says. “The concept for I'm In Hate With Love is about the state of the modern world. We have to think about our own personal freedoms," she urges. "It's about being confronted with the choices of our society and questioning how we value love in the capitalistic world. I’m trying to deal with all these issues of humanity in my art.”
Take a behind-the-scenes look behind Meital Dohan's new video "On Ya" featuring Sean Kingston below.