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The Light Conversations 29 : YOAV

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

Singer/Songwriter Yoav
YOAV (Photo by Joseph Ou)

Capetonian singer-songwriter, Yoav has been writing classic electronica influenced alternative pop for four albums,several EP's and many many miles of touring around the globe.

He was first discovered by chance when a major label executive in New York heard his Cape Town demos and took Yoav under his wing and helped him cut his teeth in the competitive noughties New York City live music scene, where he developed his unique acoustic guitar style that is at times reminiscent of trance music,at times trip hop and even drum and bass.Yoav was also one of the very first artists to make use of live looping technology,but with some unique twists and stylings.

His first record ,Charmed and Strange ,was co-produced in London and Oxford by Marius De Vries (Madonna,Massive Attack, Moulin Rouge) and Ian Davenport (Band of Skulls) and was discovered by Rollo Armstrong of Faithless who signed Yoav to Island records in the UK. Before the album was even released, legendary US singer,Tori Amos heard Yoav's songs and invited him to perform with her across North America for 50 shows,where Yoav garnered standing ovations and rave reviews,that led to bookings at Coachella and Glastonbury festivals the year after. Charmed/Strange was released to critical acclaim and climbed to #16 on the UK iTunes charts after a live performance on national UK TV's prestigious Later With Jools Holland show. First single Club Thing was a hit in several countries, Canada,Germany and Russia among others.

For album 2, " A Foolproof Escape Plan" ,Yoav moved to Venice Beach Los Angeles, to work with drummer/producer,Joey Waronker (REM,Beck, Thom Yorke) on a more organic Americana influenced sound. This was also the first time Yoav's local South African audiences got to hear his sounds-first with a remix of the album's closing track, We All Are Dancing, which reached #1 on national radio. The album also won a South African Music Award for best alternative record.

Around this time, a remix of Yoav's song Beautiful Lie,was a big hit across South African radio. Beautiful Lie was also a huge hit in Portugal-the most Shazamed song of the country that year.It was a hit as far afield as Brazil and Indonesia as well.

Shortly afterwards, Yoav dueted his version of the Pixies classic ,Where is My Mind with actress Emily Browning,as the theme song for the massive Zack Snyder musical blockbuster,Sucker Punch. The original soundtrack reached #1 on the US album charts and has maintained cult popularity over the years.

Yoav returned to SA to record his third album,Blood Vine at a wine farm round the corner from where he grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. Blood Vine was nominated for another SAMA award and further world touring ensued from North America to Europe to Russia to SA over the next two years. Next Yoav recorded what would be one of his most popular songs ,Dopamine during a week in Ibiza, as part of the Dopamine EP and then in 2016/17,Yoav relocated to Ibiza to work on new music with Danish electronica producer,Lasse Mosegard. The Ibiza sessions culminated in Yoav's most creatively deep and rewarding record to date ,entitled Multiverse. Multiverse was released in late 2017 and a European tour of some months followed in 2018,after Yoav had spent a year building a new looping and effects setup that had more sonic possibilities than he had ever dreamed possible for one person with an acoustic guitar.

Yoav has toured with Underworld, Lykke Li,Katie Melua,the Ting Tings among many others.

Yoav continues to release music-earlier in 2021 a remix collaboration with Berlin electronica superstar,Rampue. Most recently Yoav set up a home recording studio and recorded his first self-produced track,called 7 Years which calls to mind music from the Andes, or a spaghetti western.

Yoav's musical wanderings have coincided with spiritual wanderings around the planet that infuse the lyrics with restless searching energy.


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