Harvey Leeds -- Judge For A Virtual 'Israeli Idol'
March 8, 2013 at 3:52 AM (PT)
After over three decades at SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, promotion ace HARVEY LEEDS has found a new career ambition: global A&R scout. The JERUSALEM POST reports that LEEDS -- who the paper described as a "U.S. Music Mogul" -- is currently in ISRAEL looking to find an unknown artist or band that he can break in the STATES.
LEEDS has been evaluating talent at four showcase performances, being held on consecutive days around the country. They feature over 20 Israeli artists singing mostly in English. "I look at this a talent pool, and, for whatever reason that I don’t get, it’s not being tapped," he told the paper, noting that he first became interested in ISRAELI talent after seeing the band TINY FINGERS perform at the CMJ MUSIC MARATHON showcase in NEW YORK last year.
"God, those guys were great. So I started listening to a bunch of other Israeli bands and thought ‘this is **** unbelievable!’ Then [OLEH! RECORDS Dir.] JEREMY [LUSH] sends me something like 250 artists to listen to. A lot was what I expected, but then there was some extraordinary, mind-boggling shit there. I said I have to come over there and figure this thing out."
The conundrum for LEEDS is that a lot of the music is laced with, naturally enough, Middle Eastern music influences. Can that kind of music work in the STATES? "It’s music that can travel and it’s universal," LEEDS said. "It’s forever. So I get confused with all this talent, I don’t know ... but right now, I’m just digging the music."