Erez Safar – a.k.a. Diwon (pronounced dee-wan) – an LA-based creative machine and gallerist producing video, music and art that pops in a world where popular styles have been left in a state of static. Safar is the founder and CEO of Bancs Media & Studio Bancs, an award winning production company & creative art space with expertise in branding, music production, websites, interactive design and commercials and the co-founder of Gallery 38 a creative art space and art gallery in Los Angeles which he curates with Badir McCleary of ArtAboveReality.
Safar is also the founder of Shemspeed, an independent recording label and promotional agency devoted to producing and developing dynamic multicultural artists and interactive media and is the producer of the extremely successful annual Sephardic Music Festival in New York City and Los Angeles.
Safar began as a radio personality at WMUC (University of Maryland’s campus radio station) in 2003, alongside popular music insider Peter Rosenberg. Soon after, Erez created Modular Moods and his first signed artist debuted on the Top 40 CMJ Music Charts. He has since performed across the globe, negotiated deals with Warner Brothers and Sony, and continues to sign the most dynamic and inspiring artists to Bancs Records and Shemspeed Entertainment. Safar has been selected by The Forward as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Jews and has been featured in countless publications and TV programs including the New York Times, BBC and CBS. His businesses have been profiled in Bloomberg Business Week, Time Magazine, and on NBC. His artists have performed with stars such as Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Idan Raichel, and Eminem; they’ve been profiled in Rolling Stone, SPIN, The New York Times, and XXL; and they’ve been seen and heard around the world on Conan O’Brien, CBS, and BBC World programs.
In addition to his music, Safar is dedicated to bringing diverse people together through education workshops and public appearances with his artists. Safar collaborated with Rohan Marley on a musical project to build harmony among different communities in Brooklyn, which garnered praise from public officials such as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. He coordinates workshops at educational institutions of all levels, from New York City public schools to universities across the country.
Safar’s unique blend of world music with beat-driven cultural rarities gives his work its distinct sound. MTV highlighted Diwon (Safar’s musical persona) for his blend of hip hop and dancehall. Most recently MTVu featured his single “The Takeover” starring Andy Milonakis, which TV Guide recently highlighted as “What’s Hot.” 2DOPEBOYZ and Vibe Magazine’s allhiphop.com have also noted Diwon’s rap flips of 80′s inspired sonics.
Diwon is a global artist. He’s known in New York for his mix of Middle Eastern samples and Baltimore club beats. On the Internet he is renowned for his remixes of pop acts like Lana Del Rey. On the inside, Diwon has the heart of a true-school hip-hop head. His music can be likened to a hybrid of Diplo and Cheb i Sabbah. Diwon’s beats are strongly influenced by the musical traditions of Safar’s mother’s family, whose roots lie in the ancient Jewish community of Yemen. URB magazine wrote that "Diwon is something else…in a profound kind of way," calling his sound titillating and “juicy for the ears," while The Village Voice described his productions as “adventurous and banging.
In the past year Diwon produced Y-Love’s "See Me" EP, which boasts club-friendly tracks influenced by Chuck D, Major Lazer, and Nicki Minaj. He is currently collaborating with Harlem-based rhymester Kyle Rapps on an EP inspired by Drive dubbed Tyrone Gosling and a forthcoming LP/mixtape entitled Syndication built entirely out of samples from classic TV. Syndication’s first single and music video, "Mr. Rogers," recently premiered on Okay Player. Diwon also produced the Remix Retrospective album featuring various artists including Akon, Damian Marley, La Roux, and Stevie Wonder. Diwon’s forthcoming debut solo LP, "New Game" drops this fall. His first extended solo work, "New Game" features Open Mike Eagle, MC Paul Barman, Nissim, and Tim Fite. The beats are the classic Diwon mix of cerebral and party-rocking, with hard-hitting hip hop drums melting into psychedelic strings and guitar. It’s the producer as auteur as every track takes you through the emotional space of the artist, like Kanye or Godard.
His company has graced Billboard magazine and he has been featured from NPR to USA Today to name a few media outlets; A combination of sounds, Erez Safar known as Diwon has become the change that rappers, electro-beat and world music lovers have been craving. – Music International News
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