You listen to this cool new song, “Black Coffee”, it’s a chill morning (or afternoon, why not?) and you have a mug hot coffee of your own to harmonize. You enjoy the hell out of it, you drink up the indie-pop lyrics about plans going to waste, just as you drink up the bitter-sweet arabica blend. You’re feeling kickass from the uplifting guitar, the bass makes you bob your head. You hit that replay button and go to your search bar. Who exactly is behind this gorgeous track? You take another sip and then your eyes go wide, the shock is too great and you can’t contain it anymore you do a spit-take, most of it ends back in the mug whence it came, but some of it spills on your keyboard and your clothes, what a mess.
How can she sing and write like that when she’s only 15 years old? Well, that’s life for you, now clean up; here’s an interview with the incredible young talent from Toronto who blew my mind.
“Black Coffee” is a very beautiful song, both melodically and lyrically, major props. I’m curious about the process of writing it from the emotional and creative point of view, did it all come out in one go or did you piece it together from different little ideas?
Thank you so much! It was an unusual process as it was written and produced remotely. Kristian Sarro and I got on a zoom call and began to discuss song topics. We both fell on the universal feeling of being on “hold” this year. Black coffee represents opportunities that could’ve been pursued, but they were poured down the drain. We pulled from a lot of different ideas and experiences of ours and pieced them into the final song.
Is there anything to know behind your artistic name?
AVIV is my birth name. “AVIV” or “אביב” means spring in the language Hebrew. My baby naming was on the first day of spring. I used to reject how unconventional my name was. But now, I’m appreciative to be named something unique.
I read that you’re a multi-instrumentalist. Which instruments are you versed in? Do you use them all in your music?
I mainly play guitar and piano. I’ve been taking piano lessons since I was 5, and guitar is a later discovery of mine. In my music, I attempt to utilize live instruments as much as possible. These mainly include; electric guitar, live drums, and synths. I’m currently striving to learn bass, which has been my goal instrument forever.
Both as a teen and a musician, I’d imagine that these past couple of years under lockdown must have felt like an eternity. How has the experience been for you?
This year felt very bittersweet. With lockdown, time felt endless and I was presented with conflicts that confused the heck out of me. But I am also really grateful for the extra time quarantine provided. It gave me an outlet to express everything I needed to get out in my music.
Signing with a label at just 15 is both a great milestone and a big step forward. How are you feeling about this new stage? What made you take off with Photo Finish Records?
I always try to hide my 15-year-old excitement about experiences but when I signed I FREAKKKKKED OUT!!!! It has been a long time desire since I began music. It’s comforting to be surrounded by such talented people, who understand my youth and are passionate about my projects with me.
The world is your oyster and you’re taking the first few steps into that brand new world. What are your musical priorities and ambitions looking like right now?
As of now, lots lots lots of sessions to build the sound and strengthen my music. Hoping to release a lot of new music this year!!
Any other ambitions or goals that don’t necessarily involve music?
For sure! If there is one thing this crazy year taught me is the importance of surrounding yourself with considerate people who make you feel good, so that is definitely a goal of mine to keep in those ways.
What are you usually up to when you’re not making music, what else grips your attention?
Serial Killer docs and cooking.
CONNECT WITH AVIV
photos / Nick Merzetti
story / Samuel Aponte