George Fok
Yoav will perform with Tori Amos Thursday at the E Center.

Singer/songwriter Yoav developed his own style by mixing and experimenting with pop, ethnic, rock and rhythm and blues.

"It's been a bit of a journey for me," Yoav said by phone from a tour stop in Atlanta. "My first musical inspirations were the Beatles and Paul Simon. Later down the line I discovered hip-hop and avant-garde music. Bjork was a very big creative inspiration to me, as well as Radiohead. I also like the way the Edge from U2 approaches his music. He looks at his instrument laterally and creates walls of sound. And OutKast is interesting. They are a hip-hop band, but they are inspired by all kinds of music.

"When I started playing my own music, it wasn't a conscious effort to come up with as many different elements in my style. I was just merely putting one foot down in front of the other."

Yoav was born in Romania but also lived in Israel, Cape Town, South Africa, and London before venturing to the United States to pursue his dream making music. "In the early part of my career, I wrote nothing but romantic angsty songs," he said with a laugh. "But the experiences I've been through have changed that.

"I felt like I paid my dues on New York trying to work with a band. I could have recorded many records then, but to do so I would have had to compromise. If that would have happened, I would have made records that I would not be proud of."

Instead, Yoav decided to take matters into his own hands and began recording his album "Charmed & Strange." "I thought I was ready. Only four songs were written in the studio. The others were finished. But once I began recording them, I changed things. The songs are not the typical romantic songs that I used to write. Although they are autobiographical, they are basically my views of living in the 21st century."

Tori Amos' agent was attracted to the sometimes surreal and atmospheric styles Yoav plays, and she mentioned it to Amos, who liked what she heard. "Tori chooses her own opening acts. She tries to find people who complement her style. And fortunately, I was asked to be on the tour.

"The audience reaction is amazing to me. It hasn't hit me yet. I will probably come to terms with it once the tour is over."

If you go ...

What: Tori Amos, Yoav

Where: E Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $35

Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499