This is a story of a kid from a traditional family, who dropped out of high school at the age of 17 to join a metal band. He invented a new type of guitar and basically a whole musical genre. 13 years later he started an international solo career, ending up collaborating with every single artist he had posters of on his bedroom wall as a teenager. This might sound improbable, but that is a very short summary of Yossi Sassi's musical life. By Noa Faran Parush
Very few Israeli artists managed to evolve throughout the years as Yossi did. To name just a few of his current titles – He is a musician, musical producer and string virtuoso as well as a teacher and a cyber-security expert. Yossi’s answers to our questions for the magazine reminded us how that set of achievements comes to a profound, an authentic and an overall great person.
What was the last song you listened to? And what do you most expect listening to next?
Just woke up this morning in East Sussex listening to ‘Wildwood Kin’. The album was ‘Salt of the Earth’. Truly recommended for wake-up tunes. I’m looking forward to “Fearful Symmetry”’s debut – an ensemble of rock/prog-rock from England, good friends that will release their debut soon. From the bits I’ve heard it’ll be a MUST for the genre lovers.
What do you want to be when you grow up? How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do today?
I wish to continue being happy and balanced, to let the pure magic that flows inside of me & everyone else continue to shine and guide me to my next endeavours. If you listen you’ll tell yourself the next step, almost always.
My 10-year-old-me would probably say “so proud of you for finding a grown up who believes in you and understands what you can truly become.” My parents were wonderful and full of warmth and love, yet my aunt Yochi was the first to realize how to communicate with me, and the potential I had.
What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
There are many, dozens at the top of mind. I guess one of the musical ones is opening for Metallica. I’ve had the privilege of playing on stage or recording with most artists I had their posters on my teenage bedroom walls, so success is never achieved / flawlessly eluding concept for me. I always strive for the next thing.
What is the one thing we should pay more attention to as human beings?
That we’re all pieces of the same fabric, as simple and “corny” as it sounds. How many volunteer? How many truly respect others’ beliefs & dreams? In the age of the machines, we need human empathy more than ever.
For now, What or who inspires you the most?
My daughters. Each in her own way, talent and observation of the world. Children are entrepreneurs, pure in heart & agile in mind. I inspire from them a lot.
What do you most enjoy spending money on?
Experiences. Always favor a memory than an object.
What is your superpower?
The ability to attract amazingly talented individuals to be part of my journey. The Oriental Rock Orchestra is an excellent examples – a group of 8 musicians (excluding myself), in which every person is first & foremost an extraordinary human being, and then a truly master with his musical instrument.
If you could go back to anytime in history, where would you go?
I wouldn’t go back to any other time. I love the present and I can’t wait for the future. I feel better today than ever before. I never understood the term “Sweet 16”. Nothing was sweet then. Sure, kick-starting “Orphaned Land” was fun, and pursuing this band to become what it has become three decades later is a life achievement among others, but my life in general only gets better as I grow wiser and more accepting of nature’s basic rules.
What would be the title of your memoir?
Too early to tell – the journey still unfolds. I’ll let you know once I’ve written it.
Currently, what is your biggest challenge?
Balancing my musical endeavours with my Cyber Security/Information Security activities. Both areas are fields I enjoy and flourish at very much, and they complete each other – intellectually & mentally.
What is your most irrational fear?
People who are afraid of change. Emotions cannot be argued. Facts can be discussed & altered.
Visit Yossi’s YouTube channel