Riff Cohen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Riff Cohen
Reef Cohen second.jpg
Background information
Born (1984-03-23) March 23, 1984 (age 37)
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
GenresRaï, Mizrahi music, rock, Gnawa music
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, actress
Years active2008–present
LabelsAZ Records
Associated actsA-WA, Cheikha Rabia

Riff Cohen (Hebrew: ריף כהן‎; born on March 23, 1984) is an Israeli singer-songwriter, actress, and musician who performs songs in Hebrew, French and Arabic.[1]


Riff Cohen was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, to a Tunisian-Jewish father and an Algerian-French-Jewish mother. She grew up in the Ramat Aviv Gimmel neighborhood. Her father's family is from the Tunisian island of Djerba, and her maternal family is from Tlemcen, Algeria, although her mother was raised in Nice, France.[2] She has two children. After finishing her high school studies she started to focus on her own career; She studied musicology at Tel Aviv University and performed as a singer in a musical ensemble. In 2008 she moved to Paris after winning an artistic scholarship.[3]


In 2012 she released her single "A Paris", whose video on YouTube has received over 4 million visits. The single is part of an album of the same name, which Cohen herself produced and launched later, and includes 14 tracks, four of which are in Hebrew, one in Nubian and the rest in French.[4]

In September 2012, she performed as the opening act for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm with You World Tour in Tel Aviv, Israel.[5] In October of the same year, she signed to AZ Records, a brand of Universal Music. That same year, appeared in the French-Canadian-Israeli film A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, directed by Thierry Binisti and based on a novel by Valérie Zenatti.

In 2013, Cohen received the "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" award from The Israel Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers of Musical Works (ACUM).[6]

In 2014, she collaborated with the psychedelic rock band Moodoïd for its album Le Monde Möö. In 2016, she collaborated with The Borochov Brothers for the Jerusalem Piyyut Festival.[7]

Music style and influences[edit]

Cohen defines her music as a mix of Middle Eastern Urban Rock, North-African folk and Raï,[8] considered representative of the Tzarfokai culture, a slang term in Hebrew used to refer to the Francophone Jews from the Maghreb. Her music has been influenced by amazigh music, gnaoua and raï, especially the Algerian singer Cheikha Rabia.[2] Her songs are in Hebrew, French, or Arabic, with her mother Patricia writing the lyrics in French.[9]



  • À Paris (2013)
  • A La Menthe (2015)


  • A Paris (2012)
  • Six Heures (2012)
  • J'aime (2012)
  • Que du bonheur (2014)
  • Dans Mon Quartier (2015)
  • Hélas (2015)
  • Marrakech (2015)
  • Tomber De Haut (2019)
  • Dis Moi (2019)
  • Boi agale lach (2019)
  • Quelle heure est-il (prod. Tamir Muskat) (2020)
  • Malach (2020)
  • Elecha (2020)


  • Yeladim (2008)
  • The Golden Pomegranate (2010) - Miriam the Granddaughter (as Reef Cohen)
  • A Bottle in the Gaza Sea (2011) - Efrat
  • Vivement dimanche (2012) - Self (Episode: "Enrico Macias 4")
  • Bayit. Pizmon. (2018) - Self (Episode 1.4)


Award Category Recipient Result
2013 Israel Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers of Musical Works Awards Breakthrough Artist Award Won[6]
2012 MTV Europe Music Award Best Israeli Act Nominated[10]


  1. ^ BRINN, DAVID (13 August 2012). "J'aime Paris". Jerusalem Post.
  2. ^ a b Entre Paris Et Tel Aviv. Haaretz (in French)
  3. ^ "Dirty pop". Haaretz. Retrieved 24 March 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Riff Cohen. Caramba.com
  5. ^ KARPAS, GIL (20 September 2012). "Red-hot Riff". Jerusalem Post.
  6. ^ a b ACUM honors Israel's finest. Jerusalem Post
  7. ^ The Borochovs and Riff Cohen
  8. ^ Rencontre de la chanteuse Riff COHEN (in French)
  9. ^ A Tel-Aviv, le rock se puise dans le chaudron. Le Monde (in French)
  10. ^ "RIFF COHEN". MTV EMA. Retrieved 24 March 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]