‘I Could Have Been a Big Fish in a Small Pond, But I Decided to Swim in the Ocean’
Sometimes you are lucky enough to meet someone who puts that extra little sparkle in your life, as the very talented and animated pop recording star Judah Gavra did to me.
Originally hailing from Jerusalem, now calling New York home, he graduated from a top acting school and has been doing Broadway and Off-Broadway for the last 10 years. Impressively, he was also one of the finalists to represent Israel in the very popular Eurovision contest, where he came in third place for Israel. Currently, you can find him at The Monster Bar as a bartender when he’s not recording or performing.
Judah’s positive personality and creative songwriting ability add to his sonically awesome delivery of each and every song he sings. His is a talent to be reckoned with and to watch for in the near future!
So you are a really, really accomplished singer!
Thank you so much, I appreciate it.
How long have you been singing?
I’ve been singing since I remember myself. Remember when we used to have cassettes? I used to record myself singing with music in the background.
So is this your career now?
Yeah, of course. I don’t know if you know, but in 2013 I almost represented Israel in the Eurovision.
I knew you were either Israeli or Latin.
I say Israel is the Brazil of the Middle East.
How long have you been in the States?
I moved to New York 10 years ago, but it wasn’t all planned. I’ll tell you the story. So, you know the cliché story where you came here with only carry-on luggage and $100 in your pocket? That’s literally what I did. I came here for two weeks to perform for the high holidays in Brooklyn. I was part of a cantor choir. I had an open flight ticket for a year, and so I decided to stay for two weeks, just to explore, and to see what New York City was all about. And I stayed, and I stayed, and I stayed. I thought that if I’m staying, I might as well go to school here and do something with my life. Long story short, I went to acting school here, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and that’s it. I was in New York for two years, and I started building my life and my friends here. After I graduated, I booked my first show very, very quick, and I decided I was here to stay, and to build my career. I could be in Israel, and be a big fish in a small pond, but I decided to swim in the ocean. So I was doing lots of shows, Off-Broadway and on Broadway, and tours, mostly musicals.
I can see why.
Then in 2013 my friend, Tomer Adaddi, and I wrote a song. We decided that we could write a hit; it’s not that difficult. He is an established composer, and I would write the lyrics. We wrote it. It’s called “We’re Beautiful.” He had already represented Israel in the Eurovision three years before that.
What exactly is the Eurovision?
The Eurovision Song Contest, it’s big in Europe. It’s a huge competition. It’s the most viewed television show in the world.
So what happened next?
Then they called him three years later and asked him to submit a song. So he asked me if I’d like to submit the song we wrote, and I said, “Of course. Are you kidding me?” So we submitted the song, and the song got in. Everything happened very quick. I was in the middle of rehearing for a show in New York, but I had to go to Israel and start rehearsing. I went to Israel and was there for six to seven months competing. I got third place. I didn’t win, but if I had I would probably be performing somewhere now. After that it opened lots of doors.
So when you’re not performing or recording, how do you pay the rent?
I work at The Monster.
Are you single?
I am single, and I’m ready to mingle!
Are there any new projects that you are working on right now?
Yes. I’m working on a new cover, and I’m working on a brand-new original single.
When is that new single set to be released?
The single will come out probably in two or three months. When I usually release a new single, it comes with a video. I’m producing a good high-quality video that I’m actually proud of. It’s very difficult, and it takes forever, because I’m a perfectionist. I would not let anything out until it’s perfect. It takes me two or three months, even more sometimes.
Any last comments?
We talked about how I got into New York, my story, how I left the theatre to do music. So I have three singles out now. The first single that was in Eurovision is named “We’re Beautiful.” The second single is called “Stay,” and the third single, the most recent one, which is a ballad, is called “Falling.”
You are going to make it out there.
You never know. That’s what I learned from Eurovision. You just need to create, to be out there. If you don’t do it, nobody else will.