Credit Or Danon
This is truly something special and we want our guest of the day Adi Yacobi to tell you herself!
“In my B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, I’ve studied and researched the power of words,” said Adi. “I highly believe in the power of words. For example, in the chorus of “I’m Special,” I sing, “I know what I can do and how far I’ll go – cos I’m myself. ” Every person is able to create a world of infinite possibilities.
The secret is to understand what makes you special, different, and embrace your special traits as your strength to make a difference and make this world a better place. My mission in this world is to help women through lyrics and music and start a journey of self-love and acceptance.”
Embracing the power of music, Adi combines her outstanding musical talent with her academic experience, where she graduated with a BA in psychology and sociology.
As an artist, activist, and volunteer, she’s raising awareness for environmental subjects and gender equality, with the goal of echoing a positive change all over the world.
What’s your story as an artist?
I grew up in Israel in an Italian and Georgian home where music was a language, a way to express yourself. My father used to wake us up with loud classical music and operas (yep, this was my alarm). My mother used to sing to us various songs in Italian and my father shared Georgian music, Bosnian, Spanish, and music from all over the world. This really opened my heart to different cultures and created an ability to communicate with others without the need to know their language but using a universal language – music. At the age of 8, I started classical vocal classes and joined the choir of my city. I performed as a soloist and with the choir in national and international festivals and official ceremonies. I remember bringing my favorite songs to my vocal class such as Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, and more but my vocal teacher would always say that pop music is garbage, and that classical music was the only option for me. I was very frustrated because I always felt alive when I sang pop songs, it was fun and energizing, I felt I could be myself. What I loved about pop songs was that I was free to create something new, to be creative, and sing what I felt, while in classical music I had to be very precise with what was written (btw I love classical music and I still listen to it till today). Later I also performed in the jazz repertoire, which was very freeing and fun. At the age of 12, I discovered the magic of Indian music, which gave music a new meaning. I also listen to Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, French, and African music. People used to tell me that I have a strange taste in music, now I call that strange taste – Special.
I started writing music when I was a teenager, but never shared anything. I remember thinking that I was not thin enough like the other pop singers and that would prevent any chance of being noted. It was even harder because people in my class laughed at my looks and that destroyed my self-esteem. Later in life, I had the opportunity of studying in university and having a BA in Psychology and Sociology, which really helped me understand myself, understand life in a deeper way and have more tools to understand and help people (through the years of university were not easy for me because I felt I was not “following my dreams” – not recording music. Looking back, I’m thankful I went to university). The years in university helped me elevate my self-esteem and understand the complexity of cultures and people. I recall that one of the classes was about the power of words, how it influences our minds and souls. It was interesting because it made me think about how through music, we can create a better reality and practice self-love. In addition, I love reading books and listening to motivational speakers such as Mel Robbins, Jay Shetty, Robin Sharma, Lewis Howes and more, which installed in me the strength to not give up even when everything seems hopeless (and trust me, through this journey, there are many moments like that). I love listening, observing, and understanding people. My mission is to combine my academic knowledge with the music I create to help women love and accept themselves just the way they are – because every woman is special.
What do you want your music to communicate?
I would like my music to communicate hope and love. We all want someone who believes in us and pushes us after our dreams. But sometimes we don’t have that person and people are busy, and that is ok. I want my songs to be a place of support, to be that motivational space where you can elevate yourself through music, where you can practice self-acceptance and strengthen your self-esteem. The success of “I’m Special” would be when even ONE woman does something she was scared or not confident to do because she has a negative body image, like going to the beach, wearing that dress you always wanted to wear, starting with someone you like (and check if they are interested too), dancing like there’s no tomorrow. That would really warm my heart and make me happy.
If no one told you that today, know that I believe in you. I see you. I know you have the strength to overcome all the bad things people told you when you were a child and even now. I know how it feels to be treated as not good enough, people seeing only the size of your body and your looks, and I can tell you that you have that innate light inside yourself that makes you unique and special. Please don’t keep that light only to yourself – share it with us – You are Special.
What do you think is special about this release?
I think that what is special about the release is that it gives a voice to stories of women that are usually untold. I think that we are used to talking about body positivity, body neutrality and body image only from the perspective of shape/ size, which is super important, but the problem is much wider. There are women and girls who are crying right now because of their color of skin, the shape of their Asian eyes, their afro hair, red hair, being disabled, being blonde, being “fat”, having down syndrome and more. We totally lost direction and forgot that what really matters is taking care of our home – our body. The goal is to be healthy in your body, in your special physiognomy and natural shape of body, and cure your soul.
I think that this song creates a new reality, a modern era for women – that every woman is a model. No matter what is the shape of your body and what size the fashion industry labeled you, you are a model. People always told me that I’m not thin, that I’m not fat – that I’m “In between”. I know many women who are under the “In between” category. I think that this categorization of women and models as “models” or “Plus Size Models” or “In between” is completely wrong and has a horrible effect on the body image of women. The fashion industry should stop categorizing women just because of the shape of their bodies and start calling all models – “models”, no matter which size. Trust me, women don’t need the help of a label such as “Plus Size” to know what the size of their bodies is.
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
I appreciate and love the journey of Alicia Keys – she is amazing! When I listen to her sing and read about what she does, I sense a feeling of peace – it’s something I really would like to learn from her (while I’m very stressed usually lol). Alicia Keys has a powerful voice, she brings all of herself in her music, I feel it and that inspires me. I love that at a certain point she stopped wearing makeup. This really raised the awareness that you can be beautiful without wearing makeup. I’m thankful for her for having the courage to do that and go against what was considered as “normal” and making a difference for so many women around the world.
What’s the record or artist that made you realize you wanted to be an artist?
Definitely Celine Dion. She is WOW. What a voice, the energies she brings. She makes me cry. I have goosebumps just thinking about her songs. I remember that when I was a child, I thought to myself, one day I want to be like her. Now, as a singer and songwriter, I understand that what we see on the screens is just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s a lot of work for artists and their teams behind the scenes. So today I appreciate her even more for the hard work and consistency.
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about?
“I’m Special” is the first song of the “Women Empowerment Music Project”, a project I’ve created about body positivity, self-acceptance, diversity, disability, inclusion, and women empowerment. The name of the song “I’m Special” is because every woman is special and unique just the way she is.
In my childhood and during my adulthood I’ve experienced comments and judgments about my body and looks. I know how it feels when people and kids laugh at you, it’s not an easy experience. But through life, I have understood that what they have told me reflected what they think about themselves, or they are saying something someone else told them. So, I practice not getting affected by things people tell me that I perceive as insulting or offending, and I recall the line I wrote in the chorus of “I’m Special”, “Don’t listen to what they say, cos what they put out is, what they have inside – it’s not your”. This line is like a tattoo for life – I take it to wherever I go and whatever I do.
Throughout my life, people told me, “wow! You have lost weight – you look great!”, basically reinforcing just the fact I lost weight. Not thinking if I lost weight because I could be depressed, anxious or having a difficult period. And I remember automatically wanting to keep being “thinner” to get these compliments, while my soul inside was suffering – because I was not happy. I know that I also have said these things to my friends when I was a teenager, and looking back I’m sorry I didn’t know to ask (the friends I was close to) if they are ok, if they are experiencing depression? Not judging them for their looks but seeing more of their inner soul. I think that what we should change in what we say to people when we see them is “You look great” or “You look glamorous” without referring to weight loss or gain. If you REALLY care about your friend or co-worker, don’t talk about weight, but rather try to understand what they are going through in life, maybe you will find out and understand how difficult their life is, how many challenges and that you were judging them for no reason. Women should not lose weight just to fit into another type of body dictated by other beauty standards. Sometimes our bodies change because of mental health issues and the pressure of our daily lives. I work a full-time job, and, in the evening, I work on my music. I have little time for other things. I do my one-hour walk when I can during the week to clean my soul and feel relief, but I know that sometimes I don’t get the time to do that. I still feel the expectations of society, especially when they know I’m a singer – people still have a very specific ideal of a singer – thin and sexy. So, I still get comments that maybe with some fewer kilograms I will be perfect for that, but I just move on and remember that it’s our duty to have diverse singers, so that people don’t perceive singers like me as usual and future singers can be confident about their looks and focus on what really matters – the message they bring as artists. My coworkers are inspiring young women who have babies and kids and I really feel the pressure they experience as mothers after pregnancy to look thin and get back to their bodies before being pregnant. It’s INSANE! Their bodies just gave LIFE and we expect them to nourish the baby, get back to work, struggle with postpartum depression and look as if they were not pregnant for 9 months. This needs to stop really quickly because women suffer from that. We need to break this cycle. What was surprising to me was that the women were the ones reinforcing losing weight after giving birth. When a woman comes back to work, consider saying “Wow! You are glowing and gorgeous! It’s incredible you just gave birth to a little baby!”.
What really matters is how you nourish your body and soul. Your body is precious because it gives you the opportunity to express your special soul. So be kind to your body, remember to make your body a warm and happy place to live in.
Diversity and inclusion are part of my core values in the art I create and share with you. I see so many talented, charismatic, intelligent, and gorgeous women who have so much to give to this world and they have so many dreams, but since they are physically disabled or with a certain syndrome, many doors are closed to them. I don’t see their disabilities – I see opportunities. I see what special gifts and wisdom they can share with us if only we give them the chance. Sometimes, because of our egos, we think we know better than others, better than those who we think are “inferior” to us, and we miss the opportunity to learn and grow together. There is room for everyone in this world, and we need to create this difference when we meet someone by seeing their special soul and not judging them by their appearance. We sometimes forget that we are all “disabled” in some way, some of us are disabled physically, but most of us are disabled, injured in some way from the inside (heartbroken, sad, depressed, anxious) – the fact that we can’t see the disability, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I would like to see more people with disabilities in companies, in the music and fashion industry, and in other sectors.
What inspires your sound?
I am inspired by everything. I love listening to people and the melody they create while talking. It’s interesting that every language produces different music and sounds. I love listening to nature, animals, birds singing, and I try to listen and feel the music they create. For example, urban cities create different music while villages have totally different sounds. What guides my musical journey and sound is listening to my heart and going after what makes me feel goosebumps. I love reflecting sounds of emotions in my songs, like happiness, inspiration, sadness, anger and more. In the first part of the song “I’m Special”, I wanted to express my anger in the music and in the sound “Don’t tell me I’m like everyone else, cos I’m unique, I’m special….” you can really feel that.
What’s your favorite tune of yours?
Every song has a special place inside my heart because it tells my story, my experiences in the world. I wrote “I’m Special” very quickly. I remember writing the lyrics at night in bed and the music came naturally from the feelings I’ve felt. Writing music is therapy for me, and at that time I needed to write “I’m Special” for myself to heal. I’m happy that now the song is going to help other women heal from difficult challenges in their lives.
Where are some things you really want to accomplish as an artist?
The best accomplishment for me would be to create more unity between people and more connection with animals (which I love). Adding more colors to the canvas of our perceptions, our thoughts, our patience to listen and understand the person we have in front of us. Break the cycle of seeing things in black and white, sharing a way of understanding the complexity of every person and situation. We usually judge a book by its cover. The same is with the people we meet and their bodies – “homes”. We prejudice people by their appearance. If someone is fat, we tend to think they are lazy (and they are not, they may have a medical condition, they may be depressed, emotionally abused etc.). If someone is thin, we tend to think they must be happy about their looks, but if we really listen, we discover we all struggle with the same daily challenges. I would love to have the opportunity to write, sing and collaborate with international singers from all over the world to create a positive change.
Favorite lyric you ever wrote?
Lyrics are like moments taken by cameras. Lyrics reflect the emotions in that specific moment you write them. I wrote “I’m Special” in a moment where I needed to listen to those words to feel better, so I wrote them to help myself at that moment. I think that the most powerful lyrics that helped me back then and raised my mood, reminding me of what I can do and how powerful I am are the lyrics of the chorus of “I’m Special”, “I know what I can do, and how far I’ll go, cos I’m myself, I’m special. Don’t listen to what they say, cos what they put out is, what they have inside it’s not yours.” These lyrics and the music give me a boost of energy and motivation every time I listen to them.
Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up?
OF COURSE! A lot of times! I remember that when I first entered the studio to record the songs, I was very naive (which was totally ok, we are always in the process of learning). I thought everything would be roses and chocolates, and that everything would be very easy. Let’s just say that it took me two entire years to complete everything, while back then I thought it would be completed in 6 months. I’m thankful for every challenge I have faced and the difficult moments – these made me stronger. I’ve learned a lot in these two years. I had the opportunity to learn different perspectives of people and understand more deeply the challenges people face in their daily lives. I work a full-time job to afford creating my music and art. In the mornings I work at the office and at night I work on the music. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. I highly believe that if you really want to achieve your goals, it may take a while, but you are going to make it! If I did it, you can definitely do it too!
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
To be myself. You live only once in this specific body. Why would you be so cruel and treat yourself so badly? Your body is your home – make sure you feel comfortable in it and especially – check carefully who you let in. I call all governments around the world to find solutions to install self-esteem and body image lessons in all schools and kindergartens. These are key changes to be made to reduce a lot of diseases, mental health issues and create a better generation – the one that will coexist with climate change and sadly with the extinction of many animals – influencing the imbalance of the whole ecosystem.
Where do you think the next game-changer will be in the music industry and entertainment scene?
I think that the pandemic has created a new reality of experiencing music, but the old way of being in a concert has a magic that no AI can achieve (at least not yet). I think that at the end of the day, we all want a hug and love. So, I believe that people would still want to experience music with other people and be present at the place. It’s like a pizza or a cake, you don’t eat it alone, you share it with others. Music is a shareable experience.