Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I’ll Be” and what inspired the song?
So the song was actually written, at the beginning, after a fight I had with my husband (who is my best friend, and my best partner for life). I really wanted to find a way to tell him I’d do anything for him– that I want to be the whole world for him, if he’d accept my apology. After two hours of silence between us, we reconciled, and it was all settled, but luckily- the beginning of a new song had started, and I had two verses and the vocal line chorus. During the next couple of weeks working on the song, it became a true love song: I will be anything for you- from a powerful standpoint: that’s what I’ll choose to give you, if you will be mine.
How was the filming experience?
It was the first time I actually did something bigger than a couple of hours of video shooting. This was a serious production, with two amazing directors who brought a full high end production company. I enjoyed being a part of a full process – from hearing the first idea to being a part of ‘polishing’ the core, to be there throughout a couple of days of filming, to giving my point of view to editing – till the end. I wish I could give this visual presence to all of my songs.
The single comes off your new album Fire – what’s the story behind the title?
The album is called FIRE because I feel this whole album talks about this “fire” that was in me for so long, just waiting to lighten up and spread around. I like the fact that usually, when people think of fire, they think of a strong, enormous power, loud and almost blinding. Though when I think of that inner fire, it could sometimes be this quiet, ongoing, and never-going-out type fire…the one that stays whispering under the ground, and just waiting to be lightened and awakened from the silence. Sometimes, the whispering coals are much more dangerous, because you don’t know what’s there, and it could ignite in a second.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was a full year of working alongside the talented and most sensitive soul – Ori Winokur. We used to meet three to four times a week, starting with just playing the songs and polishing the lyrics and the melodies. Afterwards, we’d start thinking about how each and every song would get the right attention individually. So we attached to every song a basic instrumental group as a foundation. It moved from a harp, double bass and a glockenspiel, to another song that was based on a wind instrument quartet. We thought that each song has its own story, and that we need to gently manage to convey that with musical imagery. We had a lot of super talented musicians who arrived to the studio to give their sound and heart, and at last this whole piece by piece album turned to be an album which tells a fully focused story, and yet is also filled with a large range of instruments and different musical landscapes.
Does Israel play a role in your music?
I think the Israeli landscape plays a big role in my album. I like to travel around, because I get a lot of influences from nature, from driving along my country. 99% of my songs start on the road. When either lyrics or a melody comes into my mind, I record it, and later on sit with my guitar and give it the harmonies and the structure. Obviously Israeli music, minor keys (coming from Russian music) were things I grew up on, and I guess that’s always there, threaded within my music.
How much did the environment and green movement get to inspire the songs and lyrics in this material?
It actually wasn’t there at the beginning, but as I mentioned- nature and environment is a big part of me and my art. When we thought about the musical production, we always used images of different landscapes, and with that base, built the whole music around it. When Tal Rosenthal and Noam Sharon (directors and screen writers of the music video) gave the idea to give ‘I’ll Be’ an environmental metaphor, I felt like it couldn’t be more perfect. They managed to find one of my core values and put it inside my art in such an intelligent and sensitive way.
Were there any other books that inspired this record?
Not specifically, but almost every book I read or every (good) movie I watch goes into my music one way or another.
Any plans to hit the road?
Definitely! I already got to preform with my band (the duo Shelly & Rotem) in two festivals in Spain, and soon planning on a concert in Stuttgart, Germany. Hopefully in Winter 2017 we’ll be doing more touring.
What else is happening next in Sivan’s world?
Another creation I’m working on these days is my first child! I’m on 6th month pregnancy, and taking this kid with me all over the globe to play music . I guess he already likes it, by his crazy kicking during my concerts! Other then that- I keep on writing and already thinking of the next album. We’re also recording a live album in Germany this July. Stay tuned!