Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beginning Days of Cover Phase

Unexpectedly, I landed myself in Milan, Italy this year and I am absolutely loving the new life. I've been so inspired over the European summer season; seen many dreamy places and learnt of new cultures and ways of living.

One thing in particular that is interesting for me to see is that pop music makes it's way to all spheres of "Western culture". Being in a club in a little beach town in Tuscany feels very similar to my usual local hangouts in Cape Town, South Africa. Alongside my newly founded appreciation for the uniting effect of pop music, comes my newly sprung desire to get involved in the "cover" community.

Alas, these are the beginning days of my cover phase. Every week via the magical Internet which connects us all (except those poor citizens of countries which ban Western social media) I will be sending out a new cover of popular music.

Today, it starts with a very low-key (excuse the pun) home-made video of a little pop folk tune called Budapest. Closing my eyes, the picture I get of this song is of a humble traveler contently making his/her way through new places and experiences.

I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to post your opinions and cover requests!

Un bacione

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Grandfather's favourite

Towards the end of last year my only grandfather still living whom I so dearly love was on the verge of death. It was so sad to see him in a terribly weak and helpless position. Thanks to grace, he was granted another Christmas with his family. This little video is proof that he made it another year and at 80 years old can still put a smile on his face.

Recently, I asked him what his favourite song is. I wanted to know what melodies touched his heart so much so that still to this day he remembers it. With a sparkle in his blue Scottish eyes, he said "Loch Lomond". I asked him to share the story behind the song. This is his recollection of the song and it's history:

"I'll start from the beginning.

Granny and I (when we were over in Scotland) went to a castle in a place called Carlisle. The tour guide was an English person.  He said how cruel the English were to the Scots people because that castle actually belonged to the Scots people but the English commandeered it.

When the Scots people went to attack the English that had taken over the castle, they had a motor around the castle and they had what was called a draw bridge. They put the bridge down and allowed the Scots people to come in. There was an archway. They let them in and then they closed the gate. But then about 10 meters further on there was another gate. They lowered that. They were trapped in that and packed in. Then they showed above us there was a trap door. The English used to open it and pour hot tar on all the Scots people underneath. Of course this burnt them to death.

Those that survived, they put in a cell in the castle. The tour guide took us down there. As I say, he even said how cruel the English were to the Scots. They put them in this cell. They packed in about two hundred people in a space which could only take twenty. They couldn't even feed them because they were so congested. This one chap knew that he wouldn't come out there alive so he wrote that song Loch Lomond to his fiance. And that's where it originated. He wrote the song down and when his colleagues eventually died and of course he had died as well, they found this song that he had written".

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Blog Blessing from an ex BA Student

It's New Years eve 2013. Although I should probably be preparing for the festivities tonight, I'd like to take a few minutes to write a little blog post.

December is always a fascinating time of year for me as it forces one to think of those that are close to the heart. Unless you're drinking beer all day, your mind tends to take you through thoughts of reflection. Faces, experiences, people and words start to fill your mind. All the important moments that you experienced in the year compile like a disorganized movie.

As I begin to enter my second year out of university, I reflect differently to the past where the movie of my year would have been an enticing romantic comedy of a Stellies girl. At the moment I'm looking back at 2013 as a dramatic action film of a BA graduate - not nearly as interesting as past years.

The first year out of varsity is a very strange year - especially if you are an ex BA student. You kind of confusingly make your way through your first year out of the beautiful comfort zone of university and hope that by the end of the year you know exactly what you want to do with your life. There are so many things that you could do with your life but it now boils down to - what do you want to do?

So this is the question that I ask you on this new years eve - what do you want to do with your life? May you ponder and wonder until you can no more, may the movies in your mind come to rest, and may a great passion magically shoot to your heart and awaken a desire to do exactly that which makes you come alive.

Let that idea be like a guiding bright star and let it lead you to your destiny in years to come.

This is my blog blessing that I wish for you in the new year.

Happy 2014!!!!!



Saturday, December 7, 2013

Album Release

Rivkah Hope's debut album full of Pop Folk tunes is now available for purchase at Submit your details today to have the album delivered to your doorstep!

Get a preview of the album at 

After months of working on this album I am most pleased to say that it is finally ready for your ears to hear! Creating music has been a dream of mine for many years and finally I can say that the dream is now a reality.

The tracks that feature on my debut album entitled Time Is Forever were written over two years and recorded within 6 months. The recording process started in February 2013 in Jo Ellis' comfy studio in a land far far away called Ladismith.

Although it was my first time recording my solo work, Jo eased me into the whole process with great insight and an amplified spirit. I spent 7 days at the studio. The dormitory where I slept was literally a room right next to the studio. So for 7 days I breathed music. We worked from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. The days were filled with creating magical sounds, the coffee was abundant and my mind was free from the corruption of the city. If I could do this for a lifetime, I most certainly would.

The first couple of days were really fun as we experimented various musical routes. I did not have an established identity as a solo artist so we could explore various sounds within reason of course.

As we approached the end of the week, I started to stress as we had left the most important song for last. Never Never Land is a love song that I wrote during my third year of studying. It meant so much to me so I wanted to make sure that the recording was a perfect representation of the emotions that I felt at the time - love, hope, freedom, longing.

When I listen to the song now I am exceedingly grateful for Jo and his musical insight. On the day of recording this song I was extremely emotional. Jo could sense my anxiety. The original song was written on a charming piano tune which has the ability to transport me right back to the emotion which I experienced when I was romantically involved. Jo could sense that I was far too attached to the song. He casually whipped out his guitar so as to distract me from the piano tune. We tried recording the song with the guitar as a lead instrument instead of the piano. Once we made this slight change, the whole mood of the day changed and we were able to complete the track in the time frame that we budgeted.

It took me 4 months before a started recording again. On 29 June 2013 I started recording a completely different sound with Charlie Hamilton in his studios in Cape Town. Charlie is probably the most enthusiastic grown man I have ever met in my life. Even his speaking voice tone is pumped with positivity. Charlie's style of producing is to go totally wild and then stabilize the sounds by throwing out the bad and keeping the good. He has years of experience in the music industry and continues to humble himself by keeping a discipline of studying music religiously.

It took us a month to work on 2 songs but it was worth it. This form of recording was completely different to the way in which I had recorded before. As Charlie is a vocal coach as well, he believes in creating powerful vocal performances in the recording process. We explored so many different main vocals and backing vocals. We really went all out in the vocal candy shop.

The version of the song Time Is Forever with its initial main vocals was very weak. Charlie worked hard at getting the production to sound as powerful as possible but it was just missing something. We couldn't put our finger on it. We then re-recorded the main vocals. It was missing that "umph". I changed the whole melody of the song to a slightly higher vocal range. It worked perfectly!

On 2 August 2013 I headed back to the Karoo to record two tracks with Jo. These songs were
completely unplanned. I had written these songs in a couple of minutes during the week. Love Be Pouring In turned out to be completely different to anything I had done before. To my surprise, it turned out to sound like an old Irish folk tune.

A lot of time and careful thought went in to the whole recording process. I am proud to say that these productions landed me #1 on the Reverb Nation pop charts for 8 consecutive weeks.

Thanks to Jo Ellis and Charlie Hamilton for making my dream come true! I am forever grateful for your patience, guidance and for sharing your insight with me throughout. Thanks to those who have been a support from beginning 'til the end ~ it means the world to me.

May the album take you on a memorable journey. 

All my love

Rivkah Hope

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

For That Bad Day

For those days when you are feeling much less fabulous than every other - Bon Iver is the cure.

Life's not easy for most of us and I blame it on capitalism. Capitalism favours a certain kind - either incredibly hard-working and intelligent people who relentlessly work their way to the top or the fortunate few who have an inheritance of great social contacts, the highest standard of education and the security of family money. Don't quote me on this - it's just how I perceive the system.

I have a love-hate relationship with the reality of capitalism. On the one hand, I hate the fact that the result of capitalism is that the minority at the top of the system live in luxury while the majority slave their lives away like little working ants. However, on the other hand I have tasted those moments of being on the receiving end of the luxurious lifestyle and boy, if I could live like a queen for a lifetime, I'd probably happily indulge. It's part of our human nature. We always want more. And besides that, it's nice to have people serve you and to not have any financial worries.

Although capitalism favours a certain kind, life is hard either way. Whether you're rich or poor or somewhere in between, successful or a failure, beautiful or not, it's hard.

Wherever you may find yourself in the system, for those moments when life finds you in rough place take a listen to this:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I never hit so hard in love

On the morning of Sunday 25 August, Miley Cyrus' monster of a team posted the audio of her latest track Wrecking Ball. I was just chilling at home watching the classic series 'Friends' - it was supposed to be my weekend of relaxation for my over-worked mind.

I have been working with the insightful and experienced producer and song-writer Charlie Hamilton on two tracks as of late. He suggested that I do some live covers and post them up on YouTube. I wasn't so keen on this idea as I didn't want to come across as another lame idiot saying "Hi Guys, this is my cover of xyz. If you liked the video, please follow me on every social media network available on planet Earth." No offense to those people. I don't mean that in a patronizing way at all. It's just not my style.

After uploading a cover of Katy Perry's latest hit ROAR, I immediately deleted it. I just looked so ridiculous! I told Charlie that I would rather post my own music videos than do covers. On Sunday morning I changed my mind.

Miley Cyrus' latest song Wrecking Ball completely compelled me within the first 30 seconds of hearing it. I could hear a lot of the melody was copied from Rihanna's song 'What Now' which I love. After hearing the song, I jumped off the couch, had a quick shower, phoned up my photographer Alison Els and producer Charlie and headed off to Charlie's studio.

We tried a million different backgrounds for the cover - in the studio, outside in the garden, on a couch. This is the perfectionist side of me. We tried the song acapella, with an electronic beat which Charlie whipped out in 10 seconds, and finally we settled with old-school vibes. Just me and the piano. With the moody lighting and all, it turned out to be a very intense performance. Something inside of me connects with the song.

The performance wasn't exactly perfect but it was real. I hope you enjoy my first cover.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fake Empire

Historically there have always been massive empires that have governed people - let's take the Roman Empire for example. Two thousand years ago this empire ruled most of the "discovered" world. It was a monster of an empire. Although it was powerful at the time, eventually the people revolted and the empire collapsed.

Over the centuries we have seen this time and time again. An empire's power never lasts. It got me thinking - what is the empire that rules my world today. Is it the government, the law and wealth? To a certain extent, yes. But there is another dimension to life that was never there before.

Today we live in three dimensions, I believe - reality, the unconscious realm and the online realm. "Reality" would be the old-school real experiences where we have a physical presence. The unconscious realm would be the space that we enter when we're asleep or under the influence of alcohol/drugs. The new dimension which I call the "online realm" is the life that we are involved in where we are not physically engaging but consciously present and engaging.

Although the government, the law and wealth have power, we cannot deny that the online realm has a stronghold over us as a society. Even if you choose not to partake in online activities, the world is shaped by this new presence (with online entities affecting the economy, work place, social life, etc).

Macklemore's song "Fake Empire" challenges our thinking of the online realm. He states that we're half awake in a fake empire. The music video tells how we have become obsessed with empires that don't even exist in the real world - empires that are not physical although their activities may have effects on the physical world.

It's easy for us to become completely addicted to the online world so much so that it can have negative effects on our lives - we can't even have coffee with a friend without checking our phones every 10 seconds.

Obviously it is your choice whether to use the online realm (or "fake empire" as Macklemore calls it) as a tool to better your life and your community or to become obsessed with some of the services on the Internet to the point that it is negatively affecting your life.

Whereas before our behaviour and physical performances/interactions would shape our identity and society would dictate who we are, today we can literally shape our own online presence. We tell the world who we are instead of the other way round.

The online presences that we create definitely have some effect on how people perceive us in the real world. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that we dictate the perceptions of ourselves online. I think it can work either way. One thing is for sure - the online world has an effect on us psychologically. It can build us up, break us down, alienate us, bring us together, hurt, comfort. Although the empire may be "fake" in the sense that it exists in thin air (or rather through the complex coding that runs through cables and satellites), it's implications on our thoughts and emotions are definitely very real.

Every empire under the sun has had a rise and a fall. If we had to measure the online empire in accordance with history, we could say that it is bound to collapse eventually. But then again, it's how you see it. Is the Internet really an empire or is it merely a catalyst, a mode of transport?

Food for thought.

- Rivkah Hope

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not Even The King

When I was 12 years old I got a hold of the sheet music of Alicia Keys "If I ain't got you". I sat for about two days learning the piano part of the song. I never played piano before so I had to work out every note in relation to it's note on the violin which is my first instrument.

I fell in love with the lyrics of the song which state that all the materialistic things that we want don't really matter. All she wants is that one special person. That one person is more important to her than any other thing.

Alicia carries this message through her current song "Not Even A King". Once again, she says that not all the gold in the world matters to her. She describes a beautiful relationship of trust. Not even a king would be able to afford this. There is no exchange of money but rather an exhange of hearts.

In a time where the music industry is bombarded with so many attention seekers and rubbish, Alicia Keys shines through like a ray of fresh morning light. She's truthful and honest. Her words are pure and her music sweet.

- Rivkah Hope

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kat Dahlia - Gangsta

Kat DahliaIn a time where millions of families are struggling financially, Kat Dahlia captures her story in her latest track "Gangsta".

The situation which she describes is the reality for so many people where every day is a financial and emotional struggle. Dahlia's growling vocal tone agressively and desperately paints a picture which opposes the idea that Gangstas live a glamorous life of control, autority and money. This song suggests that those that claim to be 'all that' because they're a gangster doesn't impress her at all.

If this song is about her own life, it seems that Dahlia is consciously opposing the norm. The norm where women look up to gangsters, falling for the bad boy - "Never trust a man cos they're all hungry". I think this is what naturally sets her apart as a young woman. She's determined to make something of what she has. She wants to make it for herself without the help of a man.

This song demands respect because it comes from such a real place of struggle.

- Rivkah Hope

Friday, July 5, 2013

We Can't Stop

I'm part of an interesting generation - we are completely and outrageously wild. When we need to work, we work. But when its time to party, there ain't no holding back.

I speak to my grandparents about the good old black and white days where showing a bit of legs was far too provocative and the highlight of the week was Dorothy's monthly house party. When I ask "Tell me about your wildest times in your youth", Granny's highlights aren't so enticing. Its seems for women the goal of those times was to get married. No disrespect to that goal.

These days women have so many more opportunities than before. We no longer rely on men for financial stablilty and we certainly don't see marrying as the ultimate goal in life.

We work hard and we party hard.

Miley Cyrus' new music video for the song "We Can't Stop" is a bit overboard and may be unacceptably shocking to the faint hearted but I think the video does a very good job of capturing our generation. Not necessarily the imagery but definitely the lyrics and feel of the song.

Just to make it clear, I don't particularly like this music video but it does paint a pretty good picture of the attitude of my generation. Also, I don't necessarily think we're better off than Granny's generation.  If anything, we're probably more messed up. Who knows. Take this article as a "social finding" and not a personal attitude/stance.

- Rivkah Hope

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Daughters of Jerusalem

I have a natural inclination to anything related to Israel.

I used to be drawn to certain "religious" music but haven't found something that hits to the heart in quite a while.

There is no denying that this song "Daughters of Jeruselum" is truly beautiful. When you listen to the song for the second and third time, you truly start hearing the words. In such a gentle way, Shane expresses his sentiment of being love sick.

 Its quite sweet how this song-writer address the ladies as "daughters of Jerusalem". I'm not sure why he calls on the ladies to help him find a saviour but I find it surprisingly beautiful.

Even if you can't relate in a spiritual way, I'm sure it will apply to someone you love.

- Rivkah Hope

Monday, June 17, 2013

Look What They've Done To My Song

I was never a fan of Miley Cyrus' music until she started a little project called "Backyard Sessions". These acoustic sessions showed another side of Miley - just her, a mic and her band in her back yard. Not to mention the intense song she's singing.

She's so raw in this video. At first, I thought she wrote this song but then later realized that its been around for quite some time.

Check out Melanie Safka's performance of the song back in the day.

The lyrics of this song are so profound.

Look what they've done to my song, Ma
Look what they've done to my song
Well it's the only thing I could do half right
And it's turning out all wrong, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

Look what they've done to my brain, Ma
Look what they've done to my brain
Well they picked it like a chicken bone
And I think I'm half insane, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

I wish I could find a good book to live in
Wish I could find a good book
Well, if I could find a real good book
I'd never have to come out and look at
What they've done to my song

But maybe it'll all be all right, Ma
Maybe it'll all be OK
Well, if the people are buying tears
I'll be rich some day, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Love You Daddy

{It seems we always pay less attention to fathers' day than mothers' day. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it's because a lot of people have "father issues" in some way or another. I really don't know.}

I spent a significant amount of time prior to this day dedicated to fathers researching ideas for a gift. What gift suffices to say "thanks Dad for providing for me my whole life"? The reality is, you can't repay him for years of care, love and a poo load of money.

A couple of years ago on Fathers' Day, I heard this song on the radio. I always thought Jackson 5 sang this song but only today have I realised that it was in fact Ricardo & Friends that sings this legendary song.. in 1987 - apparantly.

I can't help but feel like an 80s chorus girl when this song plays.

- Rivkah Hope

Another Fathers' day favourite is "Daughters" by John Mayer. He perfectly describes the circle of life. How can a young man be so insightful?!

- Rivkah Hope

Friday, June 7, 2013

Oh Oh Oh Ooooooooooooooooooooo!

Never Shout Never - an American Indie Pop band. Well, actually just one amazing man by the name of Christofer Drew Ingle.

He rocks out his live performances with minimal tools. A guitar, a crazy-ass hat, a rad band, a mad crowd and a whole lot of passion form the basic elements of his performances.

He's like that guy that you would meet on a spontanious trip to some exotic Island that would totally shake up your world. You can't help but love him. He's the life of the party!

Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The raindrops start to fall and winter swings our way down here in South Africa. As the city is ever-buzzing on this wet grey day, I'm treating my ears to a little piece of heaven.

If you're not in love with someone you will fall in love with his gently inviting voice after listening to the ultimate love singer of all time Nat King Cole.

"L-O-V-E" is a personal favourite but "Unforgettable" is currently on my mind.

It makes me feel like I'm stepping into old Hollywood where absolutely anything is possible.

I could meditate on his voice for eternity.

How timeless he is.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And then I met Bella

I have no idea how I landed myself on this lovely lady's video of her first audition of the Australian X Factor 2012.

Her audition of the song "Skinny Love" was perfectly magical. I became slightly obsessed and checked out more of her performances on the X Factor.

Since the X Factor she has been signed by Sony and is coming on the music scene with some good content. I am very keen to hear some of her own songs in the future. I don't think this girl is going to die out very soon.

The combination of her voice, her look and her character is undoubtedly captivating.

Her single "Set Me On Fire" is out and you can download it on iTunes.

- Rivkah Hope

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ladies I respect

First on the list is classical Lana del Rey. The composition of her music is absolutely insane. Such an easy singer with a mystical feel. I love how she puts her experiences to words.

The lady who took me through my teenage days - Avril Lavigne. Outspoken. Outrageous. Every girl can relate. You think she'll change but she never does.

I fell in love with Fantasia in her performance at the American Idols 2013 Finale. A soul woman! This lady sings right from the gut.

Ain't no messing around with this lady. Nicki Minaj does what she wants when she wants. Attitude for days. She's a brilliant rapper. Don't argue with me on this.

Always seems to lift you up when you're down. Graceful and beautiful. An insane vocal range. Love Beyoncé.

- Rivkah Hope

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Never Never Land

We each have a Never Never Land of our own - a place where we can escape from "reality". Whether it be a spiritual place of happiness and peace, substance addiction, a lover, or some form of ritualistic behaviour. We need a form of escape because we are not one dimensional creatures.

Never Never Land - Rivkah Hope
The idea of Never Never Land has been growing on me for quite some time. The Disney movie Peter Pan holds so many hidden messages which slowly start coming to light as I progress through the "stages" of life.

Never Never Land - Rivkah HopePeter Pan doesn't want to grow up (like many of us) so he tries to prolong the process by going to a place where time pauses and he doesn't age. Wendy is about to grow up and is confronted with the responsibilites that she'll have to take on. But alas, Peter Pan invites her to dodge the harsh reality ahead of her and escape to a world where time is paused.

I don't think there's anything wrong with us escaping into a different world - to experience pockets of fantasy and wonder where all the worries disappear.

But it gets more complicated when you realise that even Never Never Land has dangers of its own. Peter Pan has to take on the evil Hook and the hungry croc. Wendy also realises that mermaids aren't as charming as she may have thought.

When we enter into our own Never Never Lands, we experience the same thing. There are dangers and disappointments. But even so, our Never Never Lands are much more appealing than reality. Secretly, we hold on tight to our experiences in Never Never Land as we enter back into reality.

My Never Never Land in the song I wrote is a place where two lovers enter where nothing else in the world matters. Time stops. There are no worries. The world is a beautiful place.

- Rivkah Hope

Friday, May 17, 2013

For When I am with You

February 2010.

Rivkah Hope and Eurice van ZylMy first impression of Eurice van Zyl was not a good one. I was trying to concentrate in the crowded sociology class. Unlike most of the 400 odd students in the class, I was genuinely interested in the topic of discussion. In the fourth row, an annoying person caught my attention. I swear this guy was ADD. He kept laughing and carrying on. I was so angry with this disruptive guy, I hated him from the start.

But I changed my mind later on in the year when I myself was becoming quite disruptive in the Xhosa lecture purely because the lectures were so boring. This guy that I always thought was majorly annoying, could be my partner in crime in this particular lecture. We landed up joking our way through class, purposefully steering our lecturers away from anything related to Xhosa and flirting with anyone who landed themselves next to us. Regardless of our self-entertaining class activities, we passed the subject.

Eurice told me about his band and all the gigs that they were playing at but nothing really became of it until 2012. Within those two years I started writing my own songs. Eurice invited me to play at some of his band's gigs and invited me to record with him playing violin parts. Later, he roped me in on singing in one of his songs at Jo Ellis' studio in the Karoo. This is what came out of the studio:

What an insanely beautiful song. Straight from the soul. "For when I am With You"

Click here to check out this song on Facebook.

Eurice van Zyl. An amazing man, positively mad, great song -writer/singer, full of ideas, all over the place. But it takes mad people to change the world.

- Rivkah Hope

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Soul searching

Rivkah HopeIts time to get back to song-writing. And its frikken hard. When life gets busy and you're always on the move, its hard to get back to that emotional state where songs flow from your heart to a sound.

My wallet is empty, my mind is full and my heart is dry. This is what happens when you invest your life and your time into turning your diary to life as Alicia Keys would put it.

But its time to build a bridge and get over myself. So I begin to think back on times gone by. Them good old days when we were honey children of the fields. Then the thoughts are numbed and feeling kicks in. I get lost in the piano keys and a melody finds me.

Yes. A song.

- Rivkah Hope

Monday, May 13, 2013


Good Monday morning to you!

Rivkah HopeSince I've been receiving really good feedback from Soundcloud, I've been taking some time to explore the talent on Soundcloud.

Upon my quest I found a very big chunk of average to below average music. There seems to be a lot of music out there in the void which is really not musical at all - by this I mean there's no feeling.

But then, with tired eyes and an unsatisfied heart, it hit me in the face. Insane music. Indie folk is where they place themselves. But I'd like to call it... a drifting stroll through time and space.

Click here to take a listen and allow your heart to float.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Fullsteam on Soundcloud!!


My tracks are finally up on Soundcloud and I'm running full steam with them.

I did not realise how many music lovers use Soundcloud to support each others' music.

I'm loving the music collaborations and am definitely open to working with musicians all over the world via Soundcloud. Afterall, the world is flat again ;)

If you have any RNB tracks and you're looking for vocals, send them my way and I'll try fill in those melodies.

Much love

Rivkah xx

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You got me video

Hey Music Lovers

Below is my video post on Youtube for You Got Me. As you can see, the video is just audio. I'd like to start working on some motion pictures for the video soon. If you would like to help speed up the process by donating to the video costs, please drop me an email

Love to you!