Pop Sabbaticals


Maor Levi is a DJ and producer based in Ashkelon, Israel. Under his various pseudonyms (including 123XYZ, M.A.O.R., and Pillow One), Levi has released nearly 20 singles since the age of 12. He’s been working on his first full-length album since 2007. It’s been “nearly finished” for the past 18 months. However, he hasn’t had much time to work on it recently–he’s been in the army.

Lots of famous Israelis find ways to exempt themselves from Israel’s compulsory draft. Recently, supermodel Bar Refaeli avoided the draft by staging an official marriage to a family friend (they were divorced soon after). Back in 1992, rock star Aviv Geffen, whose music often expresses far-left, anti-government messages, made a public act of not serving.

But some Israeli pop stars, such as Levi and singer Roni Duani, are making statements by doing their tours of duty–even if their fans have to wait a few years for their next release.

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