Striking, visceral, gorgeous, enticing...
Israeli-born multi-instrumentalist and producer DOV creates alterative pop music that at once encapsulates his experience as a queer immigrant whilst enchanting his audience with such visceral sounds that you can’t help but experiment with interpretive dance as you listen which proves ever so distracting from the writing of an introduction as both necessitate the use of hands.
Having served in the Israel Defence Forces until age 21, DOV moved to New York City to pursue music. His honest perspective and the strength of his identity and story in both the lyrics and sounds of his songs take his music to a realm above that of other artists of his genre. His new EP It Feels Right is just that – queer electro-glory gorgeousness with a depth that’s not so easy to come by in this time.
In our interview, DOV talks honestly about his relationship with death, spirituality and the luck of being alive.
photo: lissy elle laricchia
Push Up Daisies: What has your relationship with death always been like, and how do you view it now?
DOV: My relationship with death has been like any other relationship – sometimes I have so many unanswered questions and fears; sometimes I accept that it’s a given, and I have no choice in this relationship. It’s similar to the one I have with myself: I have to live with it and make it as part of me as anything else.
I view this relationship like I view life itself – it’s a temporary piece of time that I’ve been given without knowing how long it will last, but the gift of knowing that it is limited allows me to choose how I’ll live in this very small space of time.
Push Up Daisies: Are you spiritual or religious? How do you think your ideals affect your perception of death?
DOV: I’m not a religious person but I’m definitely a spiritual one. I believe we're part of something – something we don't yet understand but definitely part of something. You look at the universe and how it works and it makes so much sense – you come from something and when you die you become something else. You might serve a purpose, but it also might be very random so just like winning a lottery, you got lucky to be alive, to be part of a creation cycle.
My ideals affect the way I see death in a sense that it makes me humble and grateful to be alive. It’s really hard for humans to think about or understand death since it’s the unknown. No one has ever been there and returned to share their experience, so to answer our fears and the unknown we’ve found many ways to deal with it or to try to answer that question. Some people turn to god and religion but for me the belief that I’m part of this massive universe and the gratitude I have to be alive now and to get the chance to enjoy and experience the limited time here really helps me to accept that it is what it is – a limited time when if you get lucky you can choose what to do with it.
Push Up Daisies: As a creative, how does the thought or fear of death inspire you/does it ever drive you to create more?
DOV: It pushes me to live my life as I choose! As a free person with free ideas, to fulfil my dreams and do what I love. I want to make sure I live my life to the fullest and did the best I could to fulfil my dreams and be happy.
Push Up Daisies: How would you like to be remembered?
DOV: I don't think about it much – I live my truth and share my art. I don't care much about what people think of me now and I definitely don't care what they'll think of me after I’m gone. I only answer to myself and as long as I’m proud of myself it makes me happy.
Push Up Daisies: What are you most proud of in your life?
DOV: I’m proud of the deep relationships I created along the way. I’m proud of all the close friends that became my family. I’m proud of my family who excepted me for who I am and gave me the gift of finding out who I am and to live my truth in the light. I’m also very proud of myself for living my truth and doing everything I can to be happy.
Push Up Daisies: How does the thought of death affect your everyday life?
DOV: It puts me in perspective. Whenever I’m down or unhappy with something I remind myself that I’m here now and I don’t know for how long, so instead of wasting my time being angry and unhappy I should lift myself up and be happy with what I have. Now more than ever with Covid pandemic it’s an important lesson.
Push Up Daisies: In what ways can it be healthy to contemplate death?
DOV: In many ways really – the biggest problem with so many people is that instead of dealing with demons and fears, we just ignore them. It’s a very human thing to do but it comes with big price to pay because at the end of the day you’ll have to pay your debt. Whether it is death for the individual or climate change as a race, we can’t run away from what is to come but we do have the tools and luck to be able to predict some of it, especially death. We all know it’s inevitable but still we come up with "God" and "heaven" to make us feel as if we have nothing to worry about and we'll live forever. This is one way to contemplate death but for me it’s just the understanding that while I might not live forever, I’m going become something else – I’m matter, and the universe will find another use for me. Matter never really disappears in the universe; it just becomes something else and that's what I choose to believe.
Push Up Daisies: Have you ever seen a film/art piece/read a book revolving around death that left its mark on you?
DOV: So many about the holocaust. You see the obsession with death in so many artists’ work from ancient time to now, I honestly don't even know where to start since there's so many.
Push Up Daisies: Is there something that you would be willing to die for? What would this be?
DOV: It’s not something I really think about to be honest. With all the pain and struggle to be alive I try to find my happiness in everything I do.
Push Up Daisies: What are your ideal and worst ways to die?
DOV: Oh, God! I guess the best way to die is in your sleep of course and the worst? Well, there's so many bad ways to die I honestly try not to think about it.