Today Lee Triffon released her official debut single under her own name. But she has been creating and performing music for a decade now. Starting in a large rock band, via a synthpop duo, she ultimately went solo, first as Kokoro, and now using her own name. The journey was necessary for her to absorb everything, make sense of it and to find her mission in life. She accepted our invitation to tell her story. The inspiring story of how she found comfort and confidence, and finally transformed herself into… Lee Triffon.
Lee Triffon now lives in Los Angeles, but she was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. Growing up, she has always felt like an outsider, she tells us, “as if there was some sort of a communication code that is agreed upon by society and that I have somehow managed to miss it”. She had a hard time compromising between her own desire (“voice of my soul” she calls it) and the things her surroundings found important (“the noises of expectation”). “There was a constant battle of the titans raging inside me – heart and mind pulling me in opposite directions”, she adds. She set out to find that hidden path that was truly hers to follow. And music became a big part and even a catalyst of that path.
Triffon’s music journey starts with the popular Israeli progressive rock band Eatlitz, founded in 2001. She joined in 2006 as the lead singer. They were not only famous for the music and performances, but also for their internationally awarded animation music videos, like their 2008 hit “Hey“.
“My time there as frontwoman was filled with so many experiences, pushed me to my vocal and emotional limits and effected me deeply as a person and an artist. They are still a huge part of me.”
During her time as a part of Eatlitz she started exploring electronic music and founded the synthpop duo MONONOKII with French producer Philippe G. Together they created a sound similar to The Knife and Purity Ring. In 2012 they scored a hit with “Just A Bionic“. Triffon was now able to create her own concept and visuals. The general concept was creating warmth in a cold environment as if to give a soul to a robot. And it’s in the name: the literal meaning of the Japanese word mononokii is ‘spirit of a thing’.
Triffon went even further with her first solo project Kokoro. Her new concept is again anchored in the name: Kokoro is a Japanese word meaning ‘the rhythm of the heart’. Thus, creating music that follows the heart. And that turned out to be more raw and direct than MONONOKII! The sound of Kokoro was a collaboration between Triffon and the gifted producer Dan Farber. He is producing for Dim Mak Records in Los Angeles (but is originally from Tel Aviv as well). With a mixture of EDM, trap and avant-garde, they created a unique sonic and visual experience. A perfect example is the video “Broken“. “Channeling that character helped me confront my demons and cleansed a lot of negative energy from my life, almost like an exorcism”, she explains. But it helped her find comfort and confident in her (new) life; to be who she was meant to be. She moved to the US, and is now producing and co-producing her own music for the first time.
Where one road ends, another begins
Now using her own name, she is closing the Kokoro adventure. On Instagram she posted two photos to emphasize her progression. We see one road with the Kokoro logo (“Where one road begins, another ends”) and another empty, the beginning of a new road (“Where one road ends, another begins”). Although she has moved to Los Angeles, she stays connected to her roots, as her debut “Different Sun” was produced by London/Tel-Aviv based producer Ariel Levinsohn. The song is “the evolution of all the experimenting with different genres and collaborators”, she says.
Triffon believes artists have the great privilege to serve society by presenting different views on things, to inspire and to connect without boundaries of languages and borders. And she takes that new found role seriously and wholeheartedly:
“My mission is to be a channel of impressions and emotions for others to have a different perspective, and for my music to be a tool for the imagination to travel.”
“Different Sun” is clearly an invitation to travel through (via) her music and to trigger your imagination. But she also wants you to travel in (within) her music, in her world. Her invitation is even literal: “Come into my world” she sings, “I’ve got a different sun”. And who can resist her heavenly and hypnotic voice?! Her new song is indeed different, and has a lot of depth and atmosphere. It’s an ethereal downtempo song with so much to hear, and so many little details to discover. Although the sound is lighter than her earlier work, there is still that slightly dark mood that pulls you in and challenges you. You can clearly hear Triffon’s love for the song. This is the music she was meant to create.
We believe Triffon’s debut will be huge in no time. And we also believe that her story will have a great impact on future musicians who experience the same struggles.
The beautiful artwork is by Ascaf Avraham. “Different Sun” is the first single from Triffon’s upcoming EP. She will be releasing a track every month. Definitely something to watch out for!