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Happy Birthday Israel: Pianist Mashes Up ‘Poker Face’ and ‘Hatikvah’

LOS ANGELES — A classically-trained pianist, composer and piano teacher from Los Angeles has created a mash-up of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, in honor of the Jewish State’s 68th birthday on Wednesday, known as “Yom Ha’atzmaut” or Israeli Independence Day.

Morris Rahbar, 34, who is of Iranian descent, told Breitbart News that he came upon the idea for the mashup while teaching a piano lesson several years ago. He said he was reviewing both songs with his student when he noticed similarities in both tunes, which led to him mashing them up. “But I never really had a reason to put this mashup out there until I saw a meme on Facebook of Lady Gaga’s visit to Israel in 2014,” he said, where she put on a show for 20,000-plus people.

Rahbar recalled, “She told the crowd, ‘you are strong, you are brave, you are confident, and I f*cking love you, Israel,’ and the link finally came together.”

He added that he wanted to wait until Israel’s Independence Day, which falls on May 11-12 this year, to put the mashup on the Internet. “I thought would be that perfect time to put it out there. I was really moved by what she said and I respect that she said it,” Rahbar told Breitbart News.

Lady Gaga is among a growing number of megastars who have resisted boycott efforts and who support the Jewish state, including Jennifer Lopez, who is planning to perform in Israel this summer.

Rahbar’s mashup is not his first. In August of 2015, he and a group of friends were at a bar in Arizona where he took to a piano at a bar and started playing Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E” and “What’s the Difference.” The video quickly went viral, and has garnered over 1.5 million views, earning him recognition in MTV News, TMZ, Time magazine and other publications.

Rahbar also did a mashup of Adele versus Lionel Richie’s “Hello”, and says he’s looking forward to creating many more unique musical renditions soon.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz 

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