Meet the one and only international sensation Offer Nissim, for many people Tel Aviv Pride main attraction.
Offer Nissim burst onto the international scene when he produced Israel's entrant in the 1998 Eurovision song contest, the appropriately named Dana International. When the transsexual performer was the surprise winner, her success took her fellow Israeli musical Svengali right along with her. From there, it's been nothing but an upward trajectory for the DJ, who has developed an enviable track record of playing major gay parties across the U.S. and the world.
Born in Tel Aviv, Nissim stumbled into DJing at the tender age of 15, when he was asked to replace the headliner, who was a no-show. He began to develop what has become a following that few DJs anywhere can top for fan devotion. As the Tel Aviv gay club scene burgeoned into what is now considered one of the world's premier gay party cities, Nissim developed a style that successfully combined tribal House with an upbeat and even ethereal sound not normally associated with that genre.
In 1993, he began his work in the studio that has led him to commissioned remixes for a roster of dance divas which includes Madonna, Beyonce, Deborah Cox, Suzanne Palmer, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Donna Summer and — are you ready for this? — Barbra Streisand, whom he worked with on a version of "Avinu Malkeinu," the Hebrew liturgical chant Jews sing during their High Holy Days as a confession of sins and begging God's forgiveness. Probably his best-known and certainly most fruitful collaborations have been with Maya Simontov, the Israeli chanteuse known simply as Maya, for whom he has produced a string of hits.
Although he had built up a name and huge fan base in Israel and Europe, he was still largely unknown in the United States until 2004, when the late superstar DJ/producer Peter Rauhofer listened to some of his albums and invited Nissim to record for the label he started, Star 69. With Rauhofer and his label backing him, Nissim quickly became a fixture in U.S. clubs and especially on the Circuit. Today, his residencies — at the "Forever Tel Aviv" parties; The Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Mix in Paris — reflect a DJ who has truly become a citizen of the world.
With his flowing, long blond hair and androgynous good looks, Nissim has distinguished himself as one of the very few DJs gay men will look to while they're dancing. What they'll see is a DJ who doesn't bend over the turntables, so engrossed with his mixing that he tunes out the dance floor. Nissim has become famous for dancing in the booth, his arms waving wildly as he seemingly conducts the cheering crowds along with his grand orchestrations. In fact, Nissim's style is responsible for a sea change in the way gay DJs relate to their audience. It's no longer uncommon to see the DJ interacting with the crowd and feeding off their energy.
Credit Offer for turning the DJ into part of the fun.