AVITAL couldn’t stop smiling, and with good reason.
The teenage Sydney singer-songwriter’s debut single, That Way, released on November 13, had landed at #1 on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart by the following morning, dominating the top spot for five days straight.
“I could not sleep the night [the song came out]. I’m not an early riser but I woke up the next morning and to see that it was number one on the singer-songwriter charts was amazing,” enthuses Avital, who graduated from Reddam House in 2018.
“When I first started writing songs I thought it’s something I could never really do, and I always underestimated myself,” she says.
But sharing something of her own with a wide audience has brought an incredible feeling of elation.
“I was hoping it would rank somewhere in the charts but to get that far was so amazing, so exciting. I couldn’t stop smiling all day … I’m honestly a bit shocked by it all.”
Here it is… My first single cover! It’s always been a dream of mine to release my own music and now its finally come…
When Avital reflects on That Way‘s meteoric rise through the charts, she ponders, “I think the song and the lyrics are something that everyone can relate to. Most people I know have been in that situation.”
The experience she refers to is of meeting someone who expresses romantic interest, but the feelings are unreciprocated.
“When you are with a guy and he is really lovely and doing everything right, but you don’t feel a certain way towards someone and you don’t know why, you are often conflicted within yourself … You may be the right fit for them but they are not the right fit for you.”
It’s a feeling at the end of the day, concludes Avital, and one the singer-songwriter soulfully vocalises in a memorable musical refrain.
“It’s a joyful experience to see how people have reacted to the song. It’s surreal for me, to see any chart spot, let alone a #1 spot, I am incredibly grateful,” she says.
Music has always been a fixture in Avital’s life, and her artistic talent was cultivated from an early age.
Born with a passion for singing, performing, acting and dancing, Avital first took to the stage at age four.
With a string of awards and acting roles to her name (she starred in TV drama A Place to Call Home as Leah Goldberg alongside household names Noni Hazlehurst and Marta Dusseldorp, and appeared in films Amanecer and Henriette), Avital had her sights set on Broadway.
But once in front of a keyboard, Avital changed her tune as the rest of the world faded into periphery.
“I loved that feeling of being in my own little world when I am at the piano and singing. Then I thought I would try writing songs and I loved it,” says Avital.
My debut single ‘That Way’ is out Friday, November 13 ????????I’d love you to get it on iTunes,???? on Spotify, or add on Apple…
Revealing her emotions in song has been an exercise in vulnerability.
“It’s scary because it’s your own material and there are times when you have nothing to write, but it’s nice being able to put all my words and feelings or experiences of other people down on a piece of paper and hope when it is out there that other people will relate to it.”
AVITAL’S talent for music can be traced down the family line.
Her grandmother, Ida Ben-Ami, travelled the world as a professional opera singer, and still to this day, continues to sing – now in an aged care home in Tel Aviv where she resides.
Last year, while visiting Israel with two close friends, Avital and her grandmother sang together, filling the room with joyous music.
“It was like a little night club for old people … There were a lot of smiles and joy in the room,” reflects Avital.
Thanks for all the love over the weekend guys ???? I needed a bit of Monday inspiration, so I found this little cover I did before COVID-19 hit. It is one of my favourite songs ???? Hope you like it… Let me know what you think ????
Posted by Avital on Monday, October 19, 2020
“Music makes people feel something, even at that age … I love seeing her so happy. We share something we both love.”
Avital’s Ukrainian heritage and her parents unfaltering sense of determination also make their mark in the singer’s musical journey.
When she was 12 years old, Avital and her mother, Victoria Teplitsky, who was born in Odessa, visited the Ukraine.
For his first two years of life, Avital’s father, Alexander Greenberg, lived in Chernivtsi – the same city where Mila Kunis was born, Avital notes proudly.
“It was a big eye-opener for me,” Avital reflects on the trip.
“My parents both came from very little and they have worked so hard … I know my dad had a similar upbringing, and they moved to give me the best life possible, and something they never had.”
Currently writing a song about her Ukrainian heritage, Avital comments, “I want to make myself proud but I also want to make my parents proud because they worked so hard to build a life for me.”
Academic pursuits were never her forte, tells Avital, who always thrived in a creative space.
“That’s what kept me going in school … What I miss about school is performing with a band, as we did for the HSC,” says Avital, whose performance last year with the Sydney Art Quartet strengthened her resolve to pursue a career in singing and songwriting.
Created by the quartet’s artistic director, James Beck, and performed at Emanuel Synagogue, Crossroads merged historic and contemporary stories into a multi-media concert exploring human rights, the Holocaust and survivor syndrome.
“I think it pushed me more to realise that this is what I want to do. I love that feeling of performing.”
Regardless of the genre, Avital feels most at home when she’s on stage with a mic in hand, and a captive audience eager to hear her dynamic, heartfelt vocals.
“Whether it’s opera, country or pop, I’ll do it just to perform,” she says.
Crossroads marked Avital’s first professional gig, and another is coming soon when Avital takes to Bondi’s Jam Gallery stage with four-piece rock band Gully Days.
“Music is something that makes me happy … I want to wake up every morning and love what I do,” she says.