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ביוגרפיה

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Jerusalem to parents from Morocco, Yossi grew up in Givat Zeev and began his musical career as a keyboard player. At the age of 7, he discovered his singing talent by accident when asked to replace a singer in a school ceremony. Following this he joined the youth choir Meorav Yerushalmi, where he took his first steps as a singer.

In 1996 he was drafted into the IDF and served in a military entertainment group where he met his wife, Tali, and the musical producer Ran Aviv, who has accompanied him throughout his musical career. Yossi began his singing career as soon as he concluded his military service, when he gained famed for the legendary duet “Mother”, which he wrote and sang with Shlomi Shabat for the album “Shlomi Shabat and Friends”.

 

In 2002 Yossi released his first album, “Yossi Azulay”, with the record company “Hed Arzi” and the personal management of Moshe Datz. The album included the hit songs “Ani Ektof Lach Et Ha'yaer'ach”, “Bocha Baleilot”, “El Ha'or” and “Le'orech Hayam)  which is a unique duet with the late singer Ofra Haza, who recognized Yossi’s talent in the studio they both used and supported his work. Yossi wrote lyrics and music for the album and took part in the musical production together with Nadav Biton and Ran Aviv. Shimon Bouskila, Hamutal Ben Zeev, and Yoav Ginai also wrote songs for the album. This album marked Yossi as a promising singer and artist in Israel’s music industry.

In 2004, Yossi released his second album “Yom Echad Itach” (One Day with You). The album included the hit song “Pas Le'yom Echad”, which that year was one of the most broadcast video clips in the Music Channel, and the duet “Hako'ach Be Ahavatech”, in which he hosts the singer Yoav Yitzhak. At that time Yossi became very interested in legendary songs, when he chose to record the celebrated chanson “La Chanson Des Veaux Aman” (Ahava Bat Esrim). This album became a Gold Album after selling more than 20,000 copies, and here too, Yossi took part in writing the lyrics and the music and in the musical production.

That same year Yossi was invited by his friend, the poetess Hamutal Ben Zeev, to sing the psalm “Shir LaMa'aloth” at her daughter’s wedding. The performance, which  moved and excited the audience, became a turning point in Yossi’s musical work, as it brought him to numerous Jewish wedding ceremonies, which paved a new path for him as a unique Jewish wedding singer, the first of his kind in Israel and the world.

In 2007 Yossi signed with the “Teta” company and in the context of his musical journey to his origins, began producing new musical arrangements for Jewish prayers, which were customized specifically for Jewish wedding ceremonies and granted them a new, majestic dimension.

In 2008, following great demand by the public, where his songs resonated deeply, Yossi decided to record the unique hymns and release them as a concept album (his third album), called “Tfilot” (Prayers) the album quickly turned into a great success, selling over 60,000 copies (double platinum). “Prayers” became an inalienable cultural asset in numerous household in Israel, and quickly gained success also among the Jews in the Diaspora. The album included “Shir LaMa'aloth”, “Ana BeKoach”, “Tzur Mishelo Ahalnu” (the third duet with Shlomi Shabat), “El Adon”, and many other hymns, turning Yossi into the voice of the Jewish soul heard around the world.

In 2010 a sequel album was released (the fourth album) called “Prayers vol. 2” that included additional hymns that came to be identified with Yossi’s unique performances, including “VeHi SheAmda”, “Im Eskachech Yerushalayim”, “Shalom Aliechem”, “Boi Kala”, and “Tefilat HaDerech”, for which Keren Peles wrote the lyrics and music. “Prayers vol. 2” was also hugely successful and sold tens of thousands of copies in Israel and abroad (Gold and Platinum).

At the same time, Yossi continued to establish himself as an esteemed singer and artist, who performs in hundreds of events around the world and is invited as a guest artist to special events at Jewish communities around the world.

The same year, Yossi, with his friend – the singer Tal Vaknin, founded the well-liked children’s choir, “Music Kids”, which accompanies the two in their performances at events and weddings throughout Israel and the world.

In 2014 the concept album (the fifth album in total) “Retromantica” was released. This album is a tribute to the great classics of international music and it includes songs in six different languages: French, Italian, Spanish, English, Hebrew, and Arabic, while preserving the unique musical quality that Yossi is known for. The album was embraced by the international audience and was adapted into a unique performance that includes 15 musicians and that is staged in the numerous events that Yossi performs at. The album includes the songs “Parla Piu Piano”, “Sway”, “La Chanson Des Vieux Amants”, “Besame Mucho”, and others.

During this time, Yossi also released two original singles: “Af Pa'am Lo Omer” (a second duet with Shlomi Shabat) and “Thanks to You” (Bizchutech), as well as a particularly successful video clip, “Time to Say Goodbye” which was inspired by the wedding performances and based on the piyut “Boi BeShalom” (Come in Peace). The video clip gained over 1.5 million views on YouTube and contributed to Yossi’s wide-ranging international success in Jewish wedding ceremony performances.

Parallel to his ongoing musical career, Yossi also hosted a daily show on Israeli radio and participated in the second season of Master Chef as a particularly valued contestant.

In recent years Yossi is engaged in performances around the world, dividing his time between Israel and performances for Jewish communities in France, Panama, Mexico, the United States, Brazil, Peru, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, England, Russia, Columbia, Greece, the Caribbean Islands, and more.

These days Yossi is about to release his new, sixth album, “Andalus”. This is an album of prayers based entirely on Andalusian music, which was the soundtrack of the lives of the Jews of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunis). Similar to its predecessors, this album is characterized by a rich and spectacular musical production, which includes a duet with the great French singer Enrico Macias and collaborations with the Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra, the children’s choir “Music Kids” and the singer Tal Vaknin. Also, Kobi Aflalo and Ohad Hitman wrote original songs for the album. The songs on the album include “Elecha Ekra Yah”, “Ki Eshmera Shabat” (duet with Enrico Macias),  “Lecha Dodi” (with Enrico Macias), “Ya'ala, Ya'ala” (accompanied by the Jerusalem Andalusian  Orchestra), Aufa Eshkona – and more.