She Was a Boy

Album: She Was a Boy (2011)


  • Yael Naim grew up in Israel, moved to France in 1998 when she was 20, and gained international attention when her song "New Soul" was used in a commercial for the Macbook Air laptop. When we spoke with Yael Naim, she told us she was in no rush to put out more music just because of the commercial, so we didn't hear from her again until her album She Was a Boy was released globally in 2011. Regarding the title track, she told us: "'She Was a Boy' speaks about the way we judge each other. Sometimes we see someone and then we have a judgment about them, and that's it. It can happen between people, it can happen between religions or community or countries. And it's always kind of scary for me to think how quickly and how fast we can close so many doors just because our fears and our implication sometimes get you. You know, with TV we have been taught to be afraid all the time from everything, especially from each other. So songs like 'I Try Hard' or 'She Was A Boy' speak about these kind of things."
  • Naim has a very organic songwriting style, as music comes to her and it's from that music that she forms the lyrics. Here's what she told us about writing "She Was a Boy": "I was on vacation in Greece, and there was a lot of my family around. It was a big mess of children crying and a really huge mess. And we were just sitting, like, during the day before going to the beach. I was just playing something and recording from time to time, and something came out. And it's really funny, because I heard the complete song in my head, and then I started playing it and it was like this song already existed or something really strange.

    So I recorded it, and it came really like it is now. Except I felt really strange about the beginning - I was singing, 'she was a boy, it wasn't easy for...' and in the beginning I resisted, saying, why do I want to write about a girl who was a boy? But at the end, I discovered it was a song about judging people."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.