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Singer Ari Dayan’s New Album “Sinfluencer,” Is a Catchy Satire — and 32 Minutes of Levity in a Difficult Time

Dayan spoke with the Journal about her new album “Sinfluencer” and how she and her partner Brett have handled being vocal voices supporting Israel this past month.
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November 22, 2023

It’s been a difficult past few weeks Jews around the world. For singer/songwriter Ari Dayan, in what was supposed to be a month filled with promoting her new album, “Sinfluencer,” she has done almost none.

Prior to this year, the day October 7 wasn’t just any day for Dayan and her partner, actor Brett Gelman. October 6 is Brett’s birthday and October 8 is Dayan’s. They usually celebrate their birthdays on October 7. 

“For the first three weeks [after the attacks] I wasn’t even thinking about work or music,” Dayan told the Journal. “All I was thinking about — and all I’m still thinking about — is Israel and the Jewish community, fighting for us and being loud for us.”

 They joined several groups on WhatsApp and have been connected with various activists, people with large platforms and other actors and influencers, spending the days doing whatever they can to try to help families of hostages in Gaza. 

“We’ve been having a lot of meetings and Zooms with families of hostages,” Dayan said. “Several times, we’ve spoken with one single partner whose other partner is being held captive in Gaza right now. When I see these people, I just think what a true nightmare that is.”

Dayan didn’t even return to the recording studio until the first week of November, and when she did, only worked on one song. That song, yet to be named, she described as “a cathartic ballad about what the Jewish community is experiencing.” 

Still, there’s a new album to promote. Dayan began work on “Sinfluencer” in February of 2023.

“[The new album] has such a dichotomy,” Dayan said. “I made this album as this satirical character who’s very vapid and shallow and all the songs are hyper-positive and it’s a social commentary on what it means to be a pop star in this digital era,” Dayan said. 

The album opens with “Big Rich Daddy,” a peppy dance anthem reminiscent of Britney Spears’ 2007 album “Blackout.” The most popular track so far, “Ozempic Wegovy Mounjaro,” is a satirical body image inner dialogue, with the hook, “I don’t care about my face, just a little tiny waist, put that shot in me.” The music video is as sassy as it is sad. Dayan plays a character who is starving herself and doing anything to fit a seemingly unattainable and certainly unhealthy appearance. While the songs and music videos elicit smiles and head shakes (the disbelief kind and the “hey this song is funky” kind) and will get you up in your feet to dance, it’s clear from her conversation with the Journal that Dayan is a tender and sensitive person. 

“I cry at least once a day, sometimes happy-crying, but now it’s more like 30 times a day,” Dayan said, adding that this album is for people who need some levity. “Right now, my general audience are people that I now see want me dead,” Dayan said. “So I don’t know. I’ve built a new audience, I hope, and I’ve retained some people who haven’t lost their minds. A lot of my fan base is part of the queer community. I’ve retained some of them, hopefully the majority of them. But I definitely have lost some. And I hope that the door doesn’t hit them too hard on the way out because I don’t give a s–t.” 

Aside from creating her own music, Dayan has a side project, Mala, where she performs moody, atmospheric songs for movies and TV, including a cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” given a dramatic and dark twist. Her music recorded as Mala has had placements in film trailers, “The Kardashians,” “Love Island,” “The Hills: New Beginning,” “Ex On The Beach,” and in commercials for BMW Korea and Xbox. 

Dayan spoke with the Journal about her new album “Sinfluencer” and how she and her partner Brett have handled being vocal voices supporting Israel this past month.

(The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.)

JEWISH JOURNAL: How do you reconcile these treacherous moments of the world and the humorous content of the album altogether? 

ARI DAYAN: It feels so out of place with where my heart is right now. I was sitting down and my partner was asking me the other night, ‘how do you feel about releasing this album right now?’ And I just was staring off into space. This feels like a true nightmare. It’s so confusing to be like, and normally I really promote my music and do a lot of art and content around the subject matter. And now it just feels like ‘What?’

JJ: “Ozempic Wegovy Mounjaro” is so far as the most played song on “Sinfluencer.” What kinds of things have you heard from various fans so far? 

AD: Oh my God. I mean, The Bop of the Century’ is my favorite. ‘This is the Pride anthem of 2023.’ One of my queer friends called me one morning, he said, ‘Oh my God, this guy I know told me “[I] had sex to your song!’

JJ: What’s the first thing you picture when you think of healing?

AD: The first thing is solidarity that I feel with the Jewish community. We kind of stumble into each other’s lives and there’s so much love immediately that I think I’m so proud to be part of our community because we just have that and difficult times we come together like blood. It’s really special. 

JJ: How have you and your partner Brett taken care of each other in the past month?

“A lot of artists are revealing themselves to be violent Jew haters. It can feel extremely lonely and isolating.”- Ari Dayan 

AD: Well, I feel so lucky to have him. Even though we have all these new Jewish friends, it can feel very isolating to see people that you’ve been friends with for a decade or sometimes more or colleagues that you’ve worked with and peers, especially in this creative space. A lot of artists are revealing themselves to be violent Jew haters. It can feel extremely lonely and isolating. So it feels great to have him and he feels the same way. We both, we have each other, but there’s a real feeling of us against the world and that’s a shitty feeling. But with all that, he’s been a very outspoken voice and I’m really proud of him and we’re proud of each other. We’re holding each other, we’re mourning together. 

JJ: What’s a message you have for your Jewish fans and potential fans?

AD: This is a message for all Jews. Keep your heads up. We’re strong. We’re going to come out even more united and better for this. And if this has taught us anything, it’s how truly f—ing incredible we are. That’s all I’ve got. It makes me want to cry saying, in fact, I’m tearing up right now. But I feel so proud to be Jewish. I feel so proud of my Jewish brothers and sisters who have come together through all this. There is one more thing that I want to add. This is not a good thing to end on, but I will say I’ve been quite disappointed in some people who are Jews who are not on our side of history. I was discussing it with my therapist and she said something quite profound. She said with the trauma response, we used to think it was just ‘fight or flight,’ but they’ve added two more: It’s fight, flight, freeze and fawn. What those people are doing is they are aligning with their abusers essentially because they think ‘I’m safe.’

“Sinfluencer” is available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music

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