New York singer-songwriter Tamar Haviv exudes positivity and hope in her music. Last year, she participated in Melissa Ethridge’s #EthridgeFoundation for the #NationalRecoveryMonth and #SuicideAwarenessMonth held in September releasing her official music video for “Come Together” from her The Come Together Project album. “This impacts everyone and I hope this song brings you a bit of light in the darkness and reassures you that #YouAreNotAlone,” says Haviv. “It’s message is to spread hope, love, and unity during this unprecedented time.”
Haviv filled us in on the songwriting process and message behind her music.
Your recent single, “Come Together,” is a message of hope, love, and unity. What was the songwriting process?
Thank you so much for having me and for truly “hearing” this song. It showed itself to me first when I was at the foot of the ocean out on Long Island. It was a moment of clarity—a deep knowing, with each wave a new chance for anything, another moment to connect with one another, to extend kindness, to come together. I probably sound like a total hippie, but so be it! This is our time, right now, our only time—we can get so crushed by and crush one another with things that truly don’t matter—it’s relationships that matter, facing things with love, being there for one another, and helping to elevate each other that really matters. And in a time like this, our daily choices and intentions hold more gravity than ever. We CAN do anything—and safely—we just have to be more intentional and creative about how we go about it.
The music video for the single is very uplifting, and it was fun to see everyone that participated. What was that process like?
Thank you! I was so impressed and inspired by people generously opening up their hearts and sharing their love/movement/joy—at a time when it might not have come easily for them. It was important to me to have every continent represented, be it by human or creature, as we have ALL been affected by this nightmare. We were on this end in NYC, struggling to help keep my father alive. Every time I opened a video, it was a gift. I feel very lucky that he, too, was able to see many of the videos as well; even while in the hospital, it brought him great joy.
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
Well, for me, when I listen to artists, the best thing that can happen is a feeling of connectedness, a sense of understanding or elation. I can often feel alone, especially these days, so feeling a sense of togetherness with a song or an artist or a voice can be a giant source of comfort—unquantifiable even. It can almost be medicinal or expansively more powerful. My favorite songs can give me a sense of bravery, remind me of my own heart, especially when I’ve lost a sense of grounding. Mostly, I want to remind people despite any fear they may have or any loneliness or desperation they may feel, they are not alone. We ARE in this together. It’s important to stay connected in whatever SAFE ways we can right now.
How did you get started in music?
You know, I don’t think I ever really got “started.” As a child, I was always making up songs. I would walk around singing or sing under my covers. I didn’t know what it was that I was doing, only that I needed to do it. In my family, opera was really the only music being played, and I knew I wasn’t doing that. I only saw my first “rock” concert when I was sixteen or seventeen, and I was like, “Wait, this is a thing?” Then I ran with it. I literally, just this past year, started taking piano lessons and am beginning to read music for the first time. Prior to that, I’ve just been winging it—but the songs have always found their way out!
Which musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?
Oh wow, this question is a beast! And I can answer it in many ways:
As a songwriter, I have been fed by the genius of Ani DiFranco, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, The Indigo Girls, Dar Williams. I can go on forever here.
As a listener/ performer, voices truly carry me and some voices that have saved me. These include Amy Ray, Dan Bern, Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright, Tracy Chapman, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings.
But seriously, this hardly tracks my inspirations — it’s just a drop!
Any advice for young female artists just getting started?
What YOU have to say is different and will be said differently than what anyone else has to say. Your experience is valid; your words and sounds and melodies and riffs matter, and we NEED them—we need YOU, now more than ever.
It’s very easy, these days especially, to compare ourselves to others on social media. It’s easy to devalue our gifts; it’s legit easier most of the time to just walk away, to choose an easier path. DON’T. If your heart needs to play, needs to write, needs to sing, then play, write, and sing. The rest will follow.
I’m already busy plotting ahead—I’m motivated to make my next music video and release some more new songs soon. I should probably take a moment to revel in this release, but I am more consumed by what’s to come. More than ever, I feel a fire behind me to keep moving forward and get more music out there. There is so much uncertainty and hopelessness in the world right now, and I want to make sure I am doing what I can to help ease things up for people in the best way I know how: through song. I am grateful for the artists that came before me and those who are coming up beside me that are doing the same. How lucky are we that music saves!