Rami Even-Esh was just a kid from Los Angeles who spent many summers in Israel with his grandparents long before he became Kosha Dillz. Before he comes to Minneapolis to take part in the Twin Cities’ Israel at 70 program, TC Jewfolk caught up with Kosha Dillz to talk music, Judaism and more.
What makes your music Jewish?
I think by identifying myself with Kosha in my stage name, that makes my music Jewish through the name. It is sort of the same thing as saying Kosha this or Kosha that. I have spiritual stuff in I have references to my struggles and success and regrets and faults. I have joy and comedy. I have Hebrew words in it. I use Yiddish. It is all Jewish in that case.
How did you end up becoming a Jewish musician? Was it always your goal to be a musician?
I didn’t like being Jewish. My first name was Kosher Dill. It was more so a sexual reference and a business reference than a Jewish one. I later got made fun of so I changed it to KD FLOW. When I got out of jail for the last time, I wanted to release music on my label Matzah for Yo Mouf records and be Kosha Dillz. I wanted to remind myself that when I get lost and go up and down, I am still a Jew and if I put that out there, I will always be part of Jewish life. it has worked. I tricked myself into loving who I am.
What has been the most challenging experience in your musical career?
Not getting support for being Jewish from all Jewish people. I thought everyone would love that, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes people think its a gimmick. Being genuine is always true, but you need time to let people connect that with you as an artist. It is either through song or through time spent with the individual. Since not everyone has the time to give you, I am spending time finding the song I need to write to make everyone fall in love with me, and eventually, listen to things they might not hear from other people, regarding Israel and Jews in general.
What does Israel mean for you?
It is where my entire family is from, so I myself am Israeli-American. My entire family was killed in the Holocaust on my grandfather’s side (from my mom) and my father’s dad too. It is a homeland for the Jews because we don’t have other places to go. We aren’t perfect but we enjoy trying, try our best, and always try to get better. That is a country I am proud of being a citizen of. I eventually wanna call it home. Sooner than later. And on a side note from all that, the food is really good 🙂