Interview with Yoav

Just as elusive as it is to get your hands on a copy of his debut album, so is Yoav. It seems that South Africa has yet to uncover its own local talent. Despite the fact that he has been taking over world one sensation at a time. From Cape Town to NewYork and detours along the way, life on the road brings him back home (if only for a little while). Lena Ski chills out with Yoav at Wembley Square to find out all about the music.

Firstly, big thanks to Catherine Grefell for her Live to the power of 5 show featuring Yoav. One of those rare moments where I wish I was in studio / driving with the rooftop down along the beachfront… Immediately I started investigating the mystery… but could not lock anything done. It had a lot to do with Catherine’s pronunciation. It sounded like she was pronouncing Yoav as Jove. I promise, I haven’t lost the plot (even a few dedicated samusic loving friends told me that’s what they heard to0). Finally after an extensive search (PS Imogen Heap needs to update her website) I finally figured I had it all wrong. That’s ok though. I finally tracked him down and set up an interview at the chic, chilled,lounge about,hangout spot, Sinns.

Born in Israel, growing up in South Africa (Cape Town) and whisked away to New York sounds like an extremely lucky break. He just finished HighSchool and was jamming about when a scout picked him up and flew him away. That was back in 2004. He’s been back a couple of times since then, but never really had the opportunity to stay long enough to get hometown advantage. This time around he’s breezing through the roads of Camps Bay before the music tugs him back onto the road. Talk about the Bohemian lifestyle. Perhaps more so a Maverick. (with a splash of rockstar)…

After all it always helps being a bit of a rebel:Unconformed. Individual. Playing by your own set of rules.

I never went in to music hoping to become a rockstar, but I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to get the most out of the experience. I partied hard. Went to all the cool parties. Got drunk. Did all those crazy things… But for me it was ultimately the music. Most bands aim for fame and all the byproducts that come from being in a band. They treat that as the end goal. I couldn’t do that. My end goal is just to make music and perfect it. That’s what I am here for. Right now, I’m just happy to be playing, travelling, and sharing my music.

Clearly there is a lot more to the story then meets the eye. Including the repercussions of fame, lost love, socialising, and trying to lead a normal life in the background. Not to mention all those loved up groupies. Yoav recollects a trip to Russia . It was a sold out gig, he was the  headlining act, and there where loads of young screaming fans acting out like they were in a Beatles concert. Been a non-muso myself, I can’t even imagine how wild that kind of experience must feel, especially on the receiving end. I can only imagine the chaos, the energy, the nerves, and the intensity.

It must be a Club Thing. (The music video explains all matters of sins and tribulations)…

Life on the road never claimed to be easy. Add the challenges of music making and you have a load to take in. Yoav admits that the music comes it. It’s the words, the right words, that prove to be just that like bit trickier. Luckily, unlike most muso’s I know, Yoav grew up in a world of music. Wait for it, his parents actually wanted him to be a classical musician (and now I’m beating myself for never asking what it is that they do…).

At least that part of it was easier, no fighting about college applications, no wars over becoming a doctor, accountant, or the other things parents tend to spring on unassuming youngins. Still he had to sneak of our piano lessons with his old beat up acoustic guitar, and teach himself all the tricks of the trade. His folks weren’t to impressed to learn of his new passion in life. Classical would pay the bills.(apparently?). But ever since he started touring, his folks have come around to the idea. Sometimes he even takes his mum to his shows (awwwww, and yes missy’s he’s single too).

“There’s no such thing as a part time musician. You never know when the music is going to kick in and take over. You might be tempted to pick up a guitar and strum and it might end up being your biggest chart topping hit. You never know what adventure will inspire you. Maybe its a train ride via Transylvania. Maybe it’s life on the road. It’s a 25 hour kind of deal. “

Having played shows from the US to Russia and all those interesting and somewhat unusual places in between, Yoav’s built an amazing fan base. I mean + 20 000 fans from around the world cannot be wrong, and all he has is one album and a string of live shows to prove it.

The second album is a work of art. Maybe I should rewrite that to read labour of love. (I’m loving Yellowbright smile and his chart topper We all are dancing). His management pointed out that he should be working on his second album while wrapping up the first, but like most muso’s the concept seems incomprehensible …. Now Yoav is working making plans to wrap up album no 3. That’s if he can fit it in. He sounds incredibly busy. I’ll let you decide that by checking out his upcoming shows (groupies apply here)


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