Asaf Avidan is the greatest singer you’ve never heard of. I randomly came across him 3 years ago, when I watched a YouTube vid of some guy playing guitar on a stairwell; and as soon as he opened his mouth, wow...
He combines the wails of Janis Joplin with the dexterity of Jeff Buckley to create one of the most unique voices you will ever hear.
Much like Jeff Buckley, I have a definitive feeling that he won’t discover his true fame until after his death, so I made a distinct effort to see him live when he played at my favourite venue, the Union Chapel in London. It was such an incredibly spiritual experience that I knew I was witnessing an angel, a conduit for delivering a message far beyond any native language.
Check out this interview from 2013, he comes across as a very calm, articulate and wise human being. He says after breaking up with his girlfriend and quitting his animation job at 26, he just took up the guitar and started singing, and 8 months later his first EP was done. I just find it crazy how someone can just have that voice, I work my arse off just to maintain my feeble attempt at a voice, and he just casually possessed that vocal powerhouse, madness.
Here’s my song choice for this guy, ‘Turn of the Tides under the Northern Lights’. An absolutely face-melting vocal performance, and more importantly, a song that really captures the illustrative song title; feeling like a small speck on the coast under the powerful wonders of the Aurora Borealis.