Tula Ben Ari
“Tula’s, beauty, enormous talent and soul, all brought together in perfect harmony. Her voice is like a lighthouse that illuminates the darkness of the world.”
Rising star, Tal Ben Ari, aka, Tula, came to the public’s eye back in 2006 when her participation in the videos “Chanda Mama’” and “Lets Not Worry” with international project Playing for Change, became a huge viral hit, with millions of views on YouTube. This marked the beginning of a successful and fruitful international career as a singer and performer.
Tula was born in Tel Aviv, to a half Yemenite, half polish family. Growing with these joined roots in the melting pot of the Israel and the Middle East would influence her music deeply in the years to come. At the age of 21, Tula arrived to Barcelona, where she found a vibrant and eclectic musical scene. She started studying music in "Taller de Music” school, while alongside she worked as a street musician. She collaborated with other musicians she met from all over the world and after a short while, a talk started around town about an Israeli singer with an angel’s voice. Pretty soon she was approached with offers to join some of Barcelona’s most prominent bands of the Jazz and world music scene, such as: Asikides, Moussakis, Man Ex Maqina, 08001, the duo project Skyland, and the Cuban a capella quartet, Gema 4. (Watch Gema 4 videos)
She performed and recorded with these groups all around the world, and developed an international reputation as a versatile, virtuoso singer, who can easily perform various genres of music with enormous skill.
After developing her reputation, Tula was approached with the famous international project, Playing For Change. With PFC, she collaborated on 2 albums and 3 DVD’s of “Songs Around The World,” and became a member of the Playing For Change Band. Tula toured all around the world and performed in some of the most prestige stages and festivals a musician can dream of. Among them were NY Lincoln center, JF Kennedy center in Washington, Glastonbury festival, La Carouselle du Louvre, Teatro De San Carlo in Napoli, Byron Blues Fest, Jay Leno’s Late Night Show as well as hundreds of other festivals, in more than nine years of intensive touring.
With PFC she also won two prestigious Grammy awards in Brazil and was hailed by magazines such as Rolling Stone.
In the last decade she shared the stage with some prominent artists including Robert Plant, India.Arie, Keb' Mo', John Densmore (The Doors), Tinariwen, Baaba Maal, Ellis Hall, El Peret, Lucrecia, and many more. The success with PFC led to many other offers and opportunities. Including solo appearances with the Lyon Symphony, TED talks and countless other collaborations and projects. However, for the past three years, Tula has intentionally decreased her touring, so she could focus more on her solo career.
Tula’s solo career started back in 2012, when she recorded her first solo album Sheela, with American producer Dave Bianchi. The album was released with What About Music label and was a huge success. Following her debut album, Tula then recorded her second album, Skyland, together with Cuban singer and guitarist Mel Seme. This album, released on the same label continued Tula’s musical line, which combines Israeli folklore with Latin American and ladino influences.
Tula’s unique sound is derived from her deep roots as well as her deep immersion in the traditions of Latin American music. As well as her virtuosic ability as a singer, Tula has also mastered the guitar and the percussion as her secondary instruments. This incredible versatility allowed her to explore the different genres she created in, to their deepest levels.
In 2016, Tula moved back to Tel Aviv after 11 years abroad. In Tel Aviv, she had immediately started collaborating with some of the countries most prominent world and jazz musicians, performing all around the country and collaborating abroad. Also in 2016, Tula also started a collaboration with electronic music producers such as the famous Junno Reactor (The Matrix movies) and Haim laroz (Zehava Ben) and performing in some of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals.
How we met:
We met Tula during our second trip to Barcelona, through Pierre Minetti and Francois Viguié and recorded her on the song "Don't Worry" on a beautiful square in the center of the city.