Nili Brosh’s Six-String Superpowers on Display in ‘X-Men ’97’ Theme, Dethklok, and Her Own Band

For many, the best show on television right now is the new Marvel series X-Men ’97. The cartoon, which just aired its season finale this week on Disney+, was already trending on X in a matter of hours. The original X-Men animated series first aired in the early 1990s and the new offering is a continuation. But while much of the ’97 series has remained the same, some of it has been updated. One of those updates is the show’s theme song, written by the musical group The Newton Brothers.

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Fans of the show and its theme will notice the song has been given a bump in fuzz and oomph, especially in its stirring electric-guitar riff. It features a hard-hitting style, which was performed by the Israeli-born artist Nili Brosh, a nimble six-string player who says she appreciates the magic of music as much as its power.

“I love music and the ability to create it in real time,” Brosh tells American Songwriter. “To have an instrument with which to do that is magic and that doesn’t change.”

“The Best Surprise Ever”

Brosh says she got the call for the theme back in 2022. That’s when one of The Newton Brothers’ composers tracked her down. He’d seen her play with Danny Elfman and introduced himself. He said then he might have something for her if she was interested and she enthusiastically agreed. She recorded a demo for the theme in 2023 and wasn’t sure if anything else was going to come of that.

“I didn’t know for almost a year after that it was kept,” she says. “I just wrote it off in my head as one of those [things where] I never really heard back. … And the next thing I know, it was like, ‘So how would you like your [name] credit?’ I was very surprised. It was the best surprise ever!”

When Brosh cut the demo, she was on the road. So, she ended up tracking the guitar at a friend’s small home studio. She did several passes and recorded several different tones, some more distorted than others, some with more effects. “Again,” she notes, “I didn’t know what they were going to do with it.” But when the first two episodes of the series were released earlier this year she “heard it when it came out like everybody else.”

Growing up in Israel, Brosh says, she didn’t watch the original series. She’s pretty sure the show aired where she lived but she was more of a Power Rangers fan. She’s looking forward now to diving into both the original 1990s seasons as well as the updated ones. Admittedly, that could take some time. Brosh is one of the busiest people in music. The Las Vegas-based artist just came off a European tour with her own band—an instrumental project—and she’s since been touring with Dethklok, the fictional band in the popular Adult Swim cartoon show Metalocalypse. She also recently performed with Elfman in Las Vegas, playing lead for songs including the theme for The Simpsons. She also sits in with Cirque du Soleil when possible. Somehow she makes it all work. “It’s a f—–g miracle,” she laughs.

A Running Theme

Almost by accident, Brosh has been pairing her talent with cartoons, whether for X-Men ’97 or Elfman or Dethklok. “After it all happened,” she says, “I’m looking back in hindsight, like, ‘oh wait, there’s a running theme here!’ It wasn’t something that I was necessarily after specifically or that I was trying to go for. It’s funny how one thing goes from the other. But I am not complaining, believe me. This is amazing.” On whatever she’s playing, she showcases her finger dexterity, her speed, her ear, and her love of hefty rock sounds. It’s the stuff she found herself drawn to as early as a 10-year-old. That’s when she got into artists like Nuno Bettencourt—heavy guitar with funky, melodic riffs.

Brosh began taking guitar lessons at 7 with a three-quarter-sized nylon string. Her work ethic came and went over the years but her older brother, who is also a guitar player, was often playing the instrument around the house, so she always had it in her orbit. At about 12, she realized it was her passion and she started to dig in more seriously. By early high school, she was hooked. Today, she’s one of the world’s best, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. After all, sometimes the closer you are to something, the less unique it can feel. “I don’t know if I feel the kind of freedom [people] describe,” she says. “But I do feel confident.”

Hers is a confidence born of experience—especially by playing live on stage so much. It’s not something you can really practice for, she says. You just have to do it. Your fingers have to get past the nerves that arise from an audience. But once you do, it can feel like just another day at the office in your dream job. Over her career, Brosh has also taught guitar, which is something she says she’s learned more from than she ever expected. After graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, she taught students there. “It always was really rewarding,” she says, “and something that led to a lot of growth on my end.”

Now, Brosh says, she is looking ahead to more writing and recording for herself. She has designs on her next solo album, bits of which she already started contemplating while on the road. She has some “rare home time” these days and that will give her a chance to “buckle down on it.” In so doing, she will continue manifesting both the soundtrack to her own life and to others. That’s the power of music. After all, as she says, existence (and the X-Men ’97 theme song) would be a “silent move without it.”

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Photo by Rene Rivera / Courtesy Nili Brosh

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