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Can acoustic crooner Lior pull off Bon Jovi? It shall be seen when the Israeli-born/Sydney-based singer-songwriter launches his unique Lior By Request tour this month.

Can acoustic crooner Lior pull off Bon Jovi? It shall be seen when the Israeli-born/Sydney-based singer-songwriter launches his unique Lior By Request tour this month. Rummaging through his own three-album back-catalogue as well as covering some quirky fan suggestions, Lior claims it’s less an exercise in imitation and more a reinterpretation of both his own and others’ material.

"The requests are coming in by email and I’ve been really surprised at what people want to hear from my own collection," he says. "It’s been a really diverse bunch of songs, which is nice, because it means that audiences connect broadly across all three of the albums, rather than only a couple of songs from this or that record. With covering other people, I’d really like to try and aim to give the songs my own voice – there have been a few quirkier ones, but I don’t want to go completely ridiculous! I’m doing this tour as intimate shows with a string quartet."

It should set the tone nicely for the rest of the year too, as Lior adds, with all his focus lying on overseas touring in 2011, as well as finding some new inspiration for album number four in the following year. He’s well rested up since taking a brief hiatus to recover from a "manic five years," which saw him ride out the whirlwind that came as a result of success with his first two albums.

"I feel like I’ve dabbled enough in Australia and now it’s time to step out and carve out a career in Europe," reveals Lior. "I love traveling, I love spending time in Paris, but I’m pretty interested in Germany this time, as well as a lot of Eastern Europe. I’m hoping a spark of inspiration will also help me to look at doing another album next year. I’d like to soak it all in much more this time around. When ‘Autumn Flow’ [2005] came out, all the success that came with it hit me very unexpectedly. All of a sudden I was touring all over the place, including overseas, and I was recording the second album [‘Corner Of An Endless Road’, 2008] in-between all of it – I never gave myself a period of time to just breathe. It definitely started to feel like a job. That was the biggest reason why I retreated for a bit.

I remember finding myself on tour in the U.K. and just not being excited about the shows anymore."

It was a feeling Lior had never experienced before – and he wasn’t happy about it either. Serving as an obvious signal to take some much-needed time-out and recharge his creative batteries, the singer says the last thing he wanted to do was become a touring promotional machine…

"I gave myself a break, pretty much isolated myself, and I wrote for about eight months," recalls Lior. "As opposed to the first two albums, ‘Tumbling Into The Dawn’ [2010] came out quite eclectic. The biggest change was in the role I played lyrically – that of the observer and storyteller. Actually, my identity is more one of a writer rather than a musician. I mean that in the sense that, in my opinion, musicians are master craftsmen and they’re adaptable to every situation. With me, I identify with someone who does that through unique voices within the songs. I’m more of a songwriter. Still, I don’t think it ever starts to feel effortless, or that you ever truly ‘get’ it… Because I still don’t know how I write songs – if you ask me how I do it, I still feel like I don’t know how to write one!"

Most would find it hard to believe, perhaps especially his Dutch fanbase who can’t seem to get enough of Lior. Don’t worry, it surprises him too…

"Yeah, I’ve been getting quite a bit of national radio play in Holland, in particular!" he enthuses. "This year has kicked off great, actually. I’ve just put together a compilation of my last three albums that is going out to the European market in March. The timing is right."