World-renowned Israeli singer, songwriter, and composer, David D’or, has been captivating audiences with his music for over 35 years—and, more recently, with his work as a fine artist.
Born in Holon, Israel, the future star realized his gift for music almost immediately. “I started singing when I was very young,” says D’or. “At first it was only for myself and my family, but when others began to hear me, they asked me to sing on different occasions.”
His unique four-octave vocal range has given him the versatility and flexibility to perform a myriad of different genres—all while creating a distinct sound. He’s had the honor of performing in front of dignitaries and powerful world leaders yet is still humble when it comes to the experience; he still gets excited for each performance. D’or doesn’t take anything for granted and holds close to his heart the values and beliefs instilled in him as a young boy.
The man who is known for producing “vocal magic” sat down exclusively with BELLA to talk about his music and visual art.
How did your interest in the arts begin?
Music has always been my way of expressing myself; it’s a language that everyone understands. As for my painting, that’s a different story. All my life I have had a pencil in my hand and drew on whatever piece of paper I could find. When my father [who was a carpenter] passed away, he left me his workshop and I turned it into a studio. I was attached to his work; I loved the smell of wood because it reminded me of him.
Six years ago my wife, Pazit, bought me the tools to start painting and I found myself in the studio for hours, unaware of just how long I was there. I got the sense the canvas was speaking to me, and I felt my father’s spirit all around. It’s important to me to feel that a part of him will live on through my paintings.
You’ve been quoted as saying you “never plan in advance” when referring to your painting process. Why is that?
When I started painting, I was fascinated by the ability to create something out of nothing. And while working, I discovered that sometimes it feels as if the image is able to create itself.
As an artist, I like to feel things. I can make as many plans as I want, but at the moment I am standing in front of the canvas, my feelings are directing me. Often the outcome doesn’t look at all as I had planned so that’s why I learned to let go and not plan too much in advance.
In 2013, “The Sound of Color” was published, and your current project, “Can Vas–The Movement,” has been trending. What was the inspiration behind these projects?
When I’m performing all over the world in front of audiences who do not understand the language, I’m fascinated by the fact that they’re touched at the same places in the songs, as if they understand the words. When I started painting, the experience repeated itself in a similar way. Once I decided to combine the two types of art, we produced a concert in conjunction with an exhibition called “The Sound of Color” symbolizing the connection between singing and painting–two types of art that are close to my heart.
“Can Vas—The Movement” was born out of a conversation among friends. About a year ago, I met Omer Gaash, a wonderful photographer, and we were sitting with friends and discussing art. He suggested we work together, and one of our friends suggested I paint him. But I said, “Why don’t I paint on you and Omer will photograph you while I’m in the process of working.” Half an hour later, I found myself swimming in a river of colors, using a real person as a canvas.
The outcome was amazing; it was a very powerful experience. Every movement the model made on the canvas created a totally different picture. People saw our paintings and asked if we would paint them; the experience opened them up and they shared how they felt during the process. As an artist, it was moving to hear that what we did helped themovercome many false beliefs regarding their body image.
With a range of musical styles under your belt, are there any additional ones you’d like to conquer?
I started my career as a classical singer, training at the Music Academy in Jerusalem. After wrapping up my studies, I began to write and compose my own music; I love the fusion between classic and modern styles. With the opportunities I’ve been given performing on some of the biggest stages in the world, I’ve combined classical, world, and contemporary music. My wish is to bring my music to audiences in the United States. I believe there shouldn’t be any barriers in music; this is why I love to experience various kinds of music and styles and add my own sound to it.
As a philanthropist, how do you incorporate that into your music and art?
As humans we must all help one another. I incorporate equality and love into my work across all platforms and helping those in need is a huge part of who I am. In addition to monthly benefit concerts to support disabled children, I joined an amazing humanitarian foundation in Taiwan called the Tzu Chi Foundation. I have helped raise millions of dollars through benefit concerts and donating art pieces for auction. This amazing organization helps people all over the world; their mission is to relieve the suffering and bring assistance to those in need.
At BELLA our tagline is “Beauty as Defined by You.” As an artist, how do you define beauty?
I believe that when you view the world with a loving eye, you can find beauty in almost everything. It’s a reflection of who we are internally, of our soul. When we are not comparing ourselves to others, and believe that we are all beautiful exactly the way we are, we project this belief and others will in turn feel our strength.