Indie pop vocalist Sabina is nearing the release of her debut EP “I Wish”. “I Wish” was produced by Louis Lahav and serves as a self-stated loving tribute to a loved one lost (the passing of her father) and a new love gained (the birth of her son). Sabina was raised in Stuttgart, Germany but relocated to Tel Aviv, Israel and then Los Angeles, California to pursue an acting career. Sabina is described as a “driven, artistic soul” who has explored numerous creatives outlets, music being her latest fascination. Of her time working with Louis Lahav, Ori Avni, Korin Allal and Tamir Kalisky, Sabina said “I enjoyed it a lot as a female artist who was just taking her first steps in the music industry here in Israel”. Enjoy our interview with Sabina below.
Could you tell us about your musical background?
“I’ve had a love and passion for music my whole life. As a little child, I played classical piano and performed on stage in front of my community and school. Even during my acting days in Los Angeles I was using music to portray characters on stage. The turning point was when my father passed away in 2009; (that is) when music became my source of inspiration and gave me strength to see life optimistically. As I (began) writing and recording in the studios I understood that this was what I wanted to do with my life.”
What was it like growing up in Stuttgart, Germany? Could you tell us about your family’s historical background?
“It was pretty challenging growing in Stuttgart. The Jewish community was small, and my whole education was through a German Catholic school; everybody knew I came from a Jewish home. I went to a Catholic girls high school; (there were) unpleasant situations where I refused to practice the Catholic rituals, which made me felt like an outsider, different from my friends. My grandparents from my mom’s side used to teach us (about) Jewish traditions. We celebrated holidays and spent every summer vacation in Israel. I have a strong connection to Israel through my mom. My parents felt (that it was) very important to keep the Jewish values and traditions in our family especially due to the fact that (many members) of my family were persecuted in the holocaust.”
To pursue a career in acting, you moved to Tel Aviv, Israel and then to Los Angeles, California; how did your life differ between locations? What are some of your most fond memories of each place?
“In LA it was very clear that I went to pursue acting. I was only focused on my acting studies and career and as a result my personal and family lives (were pushed) aside. I was very much involved in almost every aspect of my career: networking, going to shows, going to auditions as well as (continuing to) develop my acting skills through lessons. I wanted to come back to Israel (because I felt) lonely in LA. I got to a stage where I wanted to start a family of my own and I felt (that) Israel was the right place for me.”
Could you tell us about a few of the most exciting or interesting live performances you’ve been a part of?
“I think almost every show has its magic moments, especially when I see how much my music can touch other people’s hearts. Strange people I don’t even know come to me after shows to thank me and tell me I had moved them. There are also magic moments that happens on stage: the hype before and after the show and all the excitement during the show. Being on stage is a very special experience for me; there are very few moments in life which can compare to this.”
What life experiences and events influenced the writing and recording of your upcoming debut album “I Wish”? What can you tell us about each of the featured tracks, specifically your new singles ‘I Wish’ and ‘Balonim’? How do these new songs compare to your previous releases (including ‘U Got Me’ and ‘I Can Fly’)?
“The song ‘I Wish’ is the very first original song I wrote. It was written after my father passed away and I was in a deep sorrow. I think the song reflects the strong connection I had with my father. Although I released ‘I Can Fly’ and ‘U Got Me’ prior to ‘I Wish’ they were written after I wrote ‘I Wish’. I wrote them in a period in my life when my son’s birth gave me joy and happiness that encouraged me to write.”
What has it been like working in the studio with producers Louis Lahav, Ori Avni, Korin Allal and Tamir Kalisky? Who were the instrumentalists you played with in these sessions?
“Louis Lahav, Ori Avni, Korin Allal and Tamir Kalisky are all people with great reputations in the Israeli music industry. They are all people with a great deal of experience, both personally and of course professionally, and it was a great honor working with each one of them. Each producer has influenced me in very different ways both musically and personally and I think (working with them) gave me a lot of tools as an artist. The guys whom I work with in my band are all very talented people that I have known for years. Ori and Tamir both played keys on “I Wish”; I have been working with Tamir for two years now and he and I have a strong connection. I think to develop a solid career it is crucial to find a producer who knows you and understand you well and it feels every time we meet we are like family. Tamir is very sensitive, understanding person and we both like to be committed to each project.”
What went into the making of the music video for ‘I Wish’? What was it like working with Alon Segal, Bella Malkin, and Shmuel Bar Dan?
“Because of my background, and because Berlin is currently a popular destination, we thought that shooting the video for ‘I Wish’ in Berlin would be an original and fun idea. Alon Segal, the director, and I looked at my childhood pictures and I told him about my upbringing. He seemed to fall in love with the concept. Alon is very creative and I had a great team that prepared well (for) this video.”
What hobbies and activities do you enjoy outside of music?
“I enjoy taking part in sports, as well as the beach, nature, traveling, theatre (productions), art, fashion, exhibitions, good food, and hanging out with my friends, and of course the most important thing: being with my amazing 3 year-old son.”
Aside from completing and releasing your debut record what else does 2015 hold in store for Sabina? Do you have any upcoming performances?
“Besides working on my album I’m also working to hone my musical skills. (During) my upcoming shows I am planning to play keys on some of the songs. I am always trying to explore new musical directions. I also hope to tour Europe, working with other artists, and of course to continue with live shows here in Israel.”