Interview: "red letter" - Rivka Chaim
Your single “red letter” is so unbelievably beautiful, I can’t get enough! What was your inspiration for writing this track?
Rivka: Thank you so much! My inspiration was nothing more and nothing less than my own insecurities when it comes to relationships of all kinds. I constantly overthink things and doubt the people around me when they say or act like they care about me. And it isn't anything they're doing wrong, I just let my anxiety get the best of me.
When did your love for music and theatre begin? Did you know from then it was something you wanted to pursue?
Rivka: I was raised with music, film, and theatre all my life. It was something I constantly experienced in my home with my family. It was everywhere ever since I was born, and I've always known that that was what I wanted to do with my life. I got over the "magic" of movies pretty early on and was very aware that everyone up on the screen was playing pretend, and I was always fascinated by how they did that and knew that was what I wanted to do. Songwriting is actually a very recent addition to my artistic journey, being the hobby I picked up during quarantine like most everyone else. And it soon became another passion of mine.
Who would you say are your biggest inspirations when it comes to your writing and music style?
Rivka: Anything from old classics to modern music. I was raised on bands such as Led Zeppelin and Queen, and those will always be my personal favorites. But I'm also a proud Gen Z and grew up experiencing all those iconic songs on the radio that everyone my age knows and can sing along to. And even very recent artists such as Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo have been inspirations as well. To see people my age, especially women, be so successful in their artistry is such an incredible thing to witness, and they've become voices of an entire generation.
How are you liking studying at the Tisch School at NYU?!
Rivka: It is a whirlwind. It's intense, but so rewarding. To be in an environment where I can cultivate my love for performing and keep growing as an artist is an immense privilege, and it's so gratifying to be among peers who not only share the same passions as you, but are also so incredibly supportive. Professors have a hard time controlling us when it comes to clapping and cheering after one of us performs in front of the class, and it's such an incredible feeling to feel that support as well as give it away.
Since you’re a musical theatre student, what’s your favorite production you’ve ever been in or role you’ve played?
Rivka: I was a part of many incredible productions when I was in high school. That was where I tested my grounds, pushed my limits, and grew as a performer in preparation for college auditions. Some of my favorite shows I did were "The Addams Family" because it was my very first time doing a musical, "The Medium" because it was my very first experience performing opera and was such a great process, and "The Secret Garden" which we unfortunately weren't able to perform due to the pandemic, but it was a student-led production which gave us so much creative freedom. It is also a beautiful show, and it was written by women which is a rare but incredible feat.
What can we expect next from you?! Any upcoming projects you can discuss? I’m so excited to hear more from you!!
Rivka: Right now I'm in my second year at NYU, so that keeps me pretty busy, as well as doing student films to add to my screen acting experience. But I'm also of course working on new music, so definitely keep an eye out for new songs in the future. Meanwhile, my new EP "Lost&Found" is out now on all platforms. Thank you so much!
Interviewed By Sarah Curry