Israel Eurovision fans will no doubt remember Judah Gavra, the handsome singer with an amazing voice who competed at KDAM 2013 — the Israeli national selection. He had it all: great vocals, a strong song, and (let’s be honest) an amazing look. He was a hot favorite for the ticket to Malmö, but ultimately finished fourth. (Hello, Milki!). But fortunately for all of us fans, he’s still pursuing music, musicals and the gym, all the while living his dream in New York City. He recently caught up with Mario – our correspondent in Croatia. Here are the highlights of their chat.
Would you want to compete in Israeli selection again?
Yes. Having a chance to represent my country on such a big stage and competition is a great honor.
If you had to choose between vocal training or gym training, what would you go for?
Haha… It’s a tough decision but I believe I’d choose vocal training.
Do you have plans to bring your music to an international audience?
Yes. It’s already happening. After Eurovision in Israel I came back to New York and released a brand new English version of “We’re Beautiful”, the song which I performed during the Kdam-Eurovision. I have also recently released my second single and music video – “Stay“, co-written with Tomer Adaddi (who composed “Milim”, ESC 2010 Israeli entry), which can be seen on YouTube or downloaded on iTunes or my website JudahGavra.com. In 2014 I was invited to perform in NYC Rally on the same stage with big names such as Demi Lovato and with award winning guests such as Susan Sarandon and Michelle Visage.
You are very supportive of the LGBT movement – performing at Pride events, etc. Why is the LGBT cause so important to you?
I believe in equality and that every person should have the freedom to love whoever they choose to. In addition, the LGBT community was a big supporter of mine when I participated in Kdam-Eurovision in 2013 and I’m thankful for that.
If another country offered you the chance to represent them in ESC would you do it?
I would definitely consider it. Eurovision is an amazing stage to perform on and great exposure for any artist.
Do you watch Eurovision every year and which song did you like in 2014?
My favorite song from Eurovision 2014 is definitely “Undo” by Sanna Nielsen from Sweden.
When and how did you start to sing in musicals?
In 2006 I came to NY to be a cantor during the high Jewish holidays and I stayed 2 more weeks after to explore the city. These 2 weeks turned to 4 weeks and the 4 to 6. I then decided to audition for The American Music and Dramatic Academy and was offered a full scholarship. That’s when I started to learn about musicals and fell in love with theater. I booked my first show a week after graduation and the rest is history. When I think about it, the underlying reason I love musicals is mainly because of the music rather than the acting component alone. My life is obsessed with music!
How has your life changed since moving to New York?
My life changed tremendously. The biggest change was being away from my family. Also, doing everything and living your everyday life not in your native language was a huge difference. It forced me to become independent really quickly and to create a close circle of friends which I call my “NY family”. All this has given me a big “push” to have a successful career. Not to be lazy, but instead make it happen for myself, waking up super early in the morning for auditions and booking shows.
What are you doing in your free time besides singing and gym?
Haha, you pretty much summed it up in these 2 words! Joking aside, when I’m not singing or at the gym I enjoy cooking and drawing and I love traveling.
What is your favorite Eurovision song from Israel?
Wow, that’s a difficult question. There are so many good ones, but if I really have to choose -“Chai”- Ofra Haza (1983).
What would be your advice to someone who intends to move abroad?
Be focused on your goals and stay ambitious!
If this interview wasn’t enough to fill your daily portion of Judah, check below for some promo shots he recently shot. Enjoy!
Judah Gavra Photos
Photo credit: Ashton Do, Eddie Barrena and Jade Young