Jiva Taranenko, a Ukrainian-Israeli composer and vocalist, together with sound producer Anna Timofey created a spiritually uplifting single.
Moody trip-hop, heartfelt ethnic music, and an infinite supply of inspiration for the lost ones make this album a must-have. Jiva composes songs in Hebrew, but you don’t need to be fluent in the language to appreciate the lyrics or the music.
Having spoken with her, we can confidently say that she is among the finest in her field.
What is your real name and official Showbiz name?
My name is Jiva Taranenko. This is my real name. That’s what it says on my passport. It’s also my official showbiz name. Nice to meet you.
How did you get into music?
I started studying music at the age of 7 in a music school, accordion class. Piano, guitar and vocals were later added.
What field or genre are you into and how would you describe it?
I am a songwriter. I write and sing my songs. They can be in completely different styles: folk, trip-hop, indie pop, darkwave… I used to call this genre the folk songs of the universe.
What was your first project, who did you work with and in what year?
I started writing my first pieces of music at the age of 7. I just heard the music inside me and wanted other people to hear it too.
At the age of 16, I realized that I could not find songs that would be 100% in tune with me, and began to write my own songs. I wrote my songs and sang them with the guitar. I performed and won competitions for the author’s song.
At the age of 25, I assembled the musical group “Constellation of Veronica’s Hair”. We successfully toured Ukraine, released singles and albums, and shot videos. A very interesting time.
After that, I moved to live in Israel. Here I returned to solo activities. I started writing new songs and experimenting with electronic sounds. All this is a great creative way, as a result of which new music is born.
Who or what inspires or motivates you? And why?
My husband Yarun Taranenko motivates me. He believes in me and my talent so much that sometimes I start to believe him.
I am inspired by my vocal teacher Anna Timofey. I can see with ease she does everything related to music. As if in a stream.
This is very inspiring. But in order to start creating, I need to be alone with myself in the room. Hear your inner sea. Then music is born.
Any models you look up to? With reason(s) why?
I don’t have an example of a model. All this creates additional noise and then it is difficult to hear yourself.
What do you look out for in this line of business?
I am not in search. I try to feel and broadcast the present. If someone likes it, that’s cool.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
Since childhood, I have been afraid of condemnation and non-constructive criticism. This is my childhood phobia. Every time before the presentation of a new song, video, or album, I have to go through resistance to show creativity to the world.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Very strongly influenced. The Internet makes it possible to listen to my music all over the world. I go to Spotify analytics and see that my music is being listened to in places far away that I didn’t even know existed.
I don’t know when I will go to concerts in Brazil and Australia, but my music is played there regularly. Through Instagram, I contact my listeners, communicate with them and exchange thoughts and experiences.
There are many people who only listen to music through YouTube. By the way, a new video just came out on my channel. The Internet will not replace live concerts, but it provides an opportunity to be heard by many.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
I can’t give advice because I still feel like a beginner. I don’t know when I will have the experience and confidence to advise something.
What is your current project about?
My new song “Behind the Window” and its video clip are dedicated to people who were forced to leave their homes, cities, country … due to the fact that Russia attacked Ukraine and destroys entire cities.
Millions of people became refugees. The scary thing is that many of them have nowhere to go back. Because their houses were destroyed. I believe that everyone has that piece of homeland inside that cannot be stolen or destroyed. And it gives strength to live to move on. This is my song.
What are your hobbies?
I have been a yoga instructor for over 13 years. I help people improve their health and quality of life. I also do powerlifting. Israeli Champion. I love creative photography. Look at my Instagram.
What do you do aside from this profession?
But all this was true before the war. Now I spend all my time volunteering. I play charity concerts. I help refugees. Everyone can do something to help. A charitable donation, rallies, help for refugees – there is always something. There is no place for wars and empires in the 21st century.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Each person is an infinite world. Listen to yourself and the music of Jiva.