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Seen on America's Got Talent, Voce Nova, Has the World Talking About Their Multi-Genre Mash-ups!

Updated: May 11

Photo by: Alexander Rivero

Hi, can you tell me a little bit about your background? Where are you from, and how did you get started in music? N: Growing up, I always wanted to be on stage, and I would sing everywhere: in school, family gatherings, anywhere they would let me sing! In my teens, I joined the “Neighbors of Chich” youth singing group in Tel Aviv, where we performed classic covers and original musicals all over Israel and the world. These experiences made me want to pursue a higher level of singing and art, and when my high school voice teacher told me that my voice was suited for opera and classical music, I decided to go into that world, too.

G: Like Natalia, I grew up singing pop covers in kids and youth groups in Ra’anana, Israel, and first sang classical music in my high school choir when my family and I relocated to Long Island for three years. Midway through my compulsory army service, I decided that I was going to study opera in NYC after my release so I could work on my technique and become the best rock singer I could be.

Photo by: Alexander Rivero

Did you grow up in a musical home, and is anyone else in your family musically inclined?

N: My mom is a nurse, and my dad is an engineer, but they both love music, and I grew up with a lot of it at home. My grandfather taught himself to play the accordion and used to play at weddings.

G: I also grew up with music around me. My mom played accordion at a young age, but didn’t pursue it, and my dad was a guitarist in his high school band. After leaving that for decades, he started playing drums at age 50! He now plays with some amateur bands in Israel. Lastly, my brother Alon is a multi-instrumentalist who teaches music classes to kids 1-8 years old, and writes original children's songs in Hebrew in Israel.

When did your professional career begin, and how did it happen? VOCE NOVA was created in the spring of 2018, and is our way of combining Natalia’s expertise in pop music, Gilad’s fluency in rock classics. Both of our knowledge of opera and the human voice, to create something new and unique. We met in February 2018 when we were planning a house concert of opera hits at a mutual acquaintance’s home on NYC’s Upper East Side.

During our conversation, we found out that we had a similar background, having both started out singing popular music and then moving to NYC from Israel after the army to study classical singing. We also talked about our previous crossover projects - Natalia recorded a classical crossover album, and Gilad created OPROCK, a concert that combined opera and rock singing - which led to the realization that we’re similar types of artists who both like to create our own musical outlets.

After a very successful concert, where we discovered our amazing chemistry on stage and a mutual, dynamic way of connecting with an audience, we started thinking about what kind of show we could create together in order to get our style, message, and uniqueness out there.

In your opinion, what does it take to “make it” in this business? Understanding what makes you unique as an artist and leaning into it in your musical identity. Treating your music as a business and knowing how to approach it as such, from marketing, to networking, to reaching out to people in the industry, to writing contracts, and everything an entrepreneur does, because that’s a big part of what you are as a musician.

We also can’t stress enough the importance of being kind to everyone you meet and work with, being a generous colleague and collaborator, and a true team player.

Photo by: Alexander Rivero

In your opinion, what's the best and worst part of being an independent artist? The best part of being independent musicians is that we have creative control over what we put out and can experiment in ways that a big label may not be as open to. The worst part is that you have to be everything: creator, producer, agent, social media marketer, distributor, investor, etc. on top of being a great musician and performer.

Do you have a daytime job, or is music your full-time job? We both believe that it’s important for musicians and other artists to have other streams of income that help support their artistic endeavors (we all know that this business can get expensive!).

Natalia is also a holistic vocal coach, a certified mindset coach, and a hypnotherapist who teaches speakers and singers how to free their voices and reach their fullest potential.

Gilad is the founder & CEO of The Marketable Musician. He is a certified mindset & business coach and consultant, helping musicians create their most artistically-fulfilling lives of their dreams.

What do you love most about music? Music is EVERYTHING! It’s a language, an energy, a sense of identity, a tool for self-expression. It’s our home, especially when we’re on stage, and it’s a way to connect with people authentically, no matter their background, location, beliefs, or ideals.

How would you describe your music to those who have never heard it? Our music redefines the idea of classical crossover. We take the luxury of classical singing, with its musical richness and emphasis on pristine vocal production, and combine it with the excitement of rock and pop music, which brings visceral energy and a high level of entertainment, to create our original arrangements and mashups. Though the songs are familiar, this results in a unique sound that is like nothing else out there.

Do you write and produce your music? What we do is put a new twist on your favorite songs! Our show consists of one-of-a-kind arrangements and brand-new mashups that we create with our co-producer, Lisa Katz-Paz, and our music producer, Assaf Averbuch. Coming up with these ideas and working on these tracks is one of our favorite parts of the creative process.

What’s your dream? We want VOCE NOVA to perform all over the world! Whether at high-end events, big corporate functions, sports arenas and stadiums, television appearances, or collaborations with well-known artists, we’d be thrilled to bring our unique musical style to audiences everywhere.

Photo by: Alexander Rivero

How do you prepare yourself mentally for public opinion (either positive or negative) when you’re preparing for a new song release? When you truly believe in what you do, and love the music that you create, you can take whatever feedback you get from an audience. If what you put out there is a true reflection of your musical identity, and you’re not just trying to fit a certain trend that is inauthentic to you as an artist, then we find that it’s much easier to accept criticism. Your music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s just the subjective nature of art, but feeling confident about what you put out there is key.

Also, coming from the world of classical singing, we are very used to hyper-criticism, so we feel like we can take any feedback we get and decide what is relevant to us and what isn’t constructive. Developing this kind of filter and thick skin is an especially useful tool for any musician.

How many singles/albums do you have out presently, and what is your favorite album/song to date? VOCE NOVA is, first and foremost, a live performance act; however, to reach more audiences in the USA and worldwide, we released six songs in the past year on all streaming platforms and YouTube. These include “Habanera vs. Smooth” (combining Carmen with Santana), “Libimao Remixed” (which we performed on America’s Got Talent), and “Ave Maria vs. Take Me To Church” (Schubert meets Hozier). Though we love everything we put out there and perform, “Ave Maria vs. Take Me To Church” is probably our current favorite.

What have people who have heard your music say about your vocal style that sets you apart from other vocalists? People who see us live and hear our music, comment on the power of our vocals, which comes from our classical training, the way our harmonies are locked in, the dynamic range we bring to our show, and our ability to turn on a dime, singing multiple genres from rock to opera. A common reaction is, “Wow! This is unique, and like nothing I have ever heard before.”

If you could speak to your fans from your heart and tell them one important thing that you want them to know about being an independent artist, what would it be? Being a musician in 2022 means that you’re not only an artist, but also your own promoter, networker, booker, social media poster, manager, publisher, distributor, agent, etc. Talent alone is no longer enough to cultivate a career, so we needed to expand our toolkit beyond simply having musical chops.

photo by: Ido Siman Tov

What advice would you give to new artists entering the changing industry? Don’t give up! Your music is important. Your artistic self is important. Believe in what you’re doing and let go of the unreasonable expectations that people put on you, as well as their concept of what your success should look like. Your success is what you decide it is. It’s what aligns with who you are and what you want in your life.

Have you ever been in any voice talent competitions? If yes, which one(s), how was that experience, and what was the outcome? We were featured on season 15 of America’s Got Talent. Having our performance taped on March 14th, 2020 meant that we didn’t have any audience members due to COVID, and a limited judging panel that didn’t get to see how a crowd of 3,000 people would have reacted to a VOCE NOVA number. Despite our early exit, being on the show less than a year after officially launching our duo was an amazing experience that opened a lot of doors for us. It also showed us just how far we can go and how our music can touch people from all over the world.

To this day, what accomplishment are you the proudest of?

We’re proud of the way we have been handling the not-so-glamorous daily life of being independent musicians. Staying persistent when faced with closed doors and gatekeepers, continuing to pursue our dreams even after rejections, reinventing ourselves as musicians and as an act, and always finding new ways to create opportunities for ourselves.

Have you ever appeared on national TV or in a film?

We are scheduled to appear on The Kelly Clarkson Show in November, and to participate as panelists in Billboard Magazine’s video Indie Artists series on their multiple platforms.

How important are setting moral boundaries to you in this industry, and do you have any that you would like to share?

One boundary that we feel is incredibly important to keep in this industry is knowing your worth as a musician. We see so many independent artists going out there and devaluing their own worth, both artistically and monetarily, and it truly pains us. Standing your ground when it comes to artistic decisions, as well as your monetary worth, is something that not only contributes to your own success and confidence, but helps the entire music community as a whole.

In this life, what do you value most?

N: Being true to myself. My priorities may change, but I allow my inner guidance to lead the way and make sure I’m devoting myself to what is important to me at that time.

G: My happiness, and also the happiness of my wife.

Tell me about your latest album/ song and what was your inspiration behind it. Is it out now, and where can people buy it?

As we were working on adding new songs to our catalog, we kept looking for exciting and unique mashups that would showcase our musical identity.

This is when Natalia came up with the idea for “Ave Maria vs. Take Me To Church,” and the whole production team loved it!

There’s something special about bringing together the sacred and the profane, classical and rock music, and blurring the lines between them to create something fresh, exciting and elevated. What makes VOCE NOVA mashups special is that we combine genres that, on paper seem very different, and create something completely unique that doesn’t sound like anything else. For us, this is our interpretation of the term classical crossover.

You can hear this song on all streaming platforms, and our YouTube channel.

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Website: Voce Nova

Photo by: Alexander Rivero

photo by: Ido Siman Tov