Moni Tivony is top of the bill at the Pride of Marbella awards. SUR
There’s no doubt that at the Pride of Marbella gala the real stars of the show will be those nominated as the unsung heroes and heroines of the local community. However top of the entertainment bill is Moni Tivony, who spoke to SUR inEnglish this week about how his love for reggae and soul turned him into the “Ginger Jamaican Jew” who won over the audience on The Voice.
–How did going on The Voice change your career?
–I have been singing for several years but being on The Voice got me to a wider audience. It is enabling me to record and, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, release my own material.
–When did you discover your voice was suited to soul and reggae?
–It goes back to my teenage years. Growing up I liked to listen to Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and, in the 90s, to R&B groups, R. Kelly, etc. They all had an effect on my style of singing and I went on to form my own little style, kind of soul-reggae. My voice always sounded that way because it was what I listened to; it was the sound I grew up having.
–What are you going to sing in Marbella on Saturday?
–There’ll definitely be some reggae in there and some soul; probably a few current numbers as well. I’ll sing covers because the audience at the Pride of Marbella awards will want to hear songs that they’re more familiar with. I could throw one or two of my own tracks in there, but I won’t be starting gigs with my own material until the end of the year.
–The Pride of Marbella awards are all about paying tribute to the unsung heroes and heroines of the community. What song would you dedicate to them?
–There is one song - personally I don’t think I could sing it unless they had a male version of it, but it’s Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’. Sometimes we all need a hero whether in an emergency situation or in our personal lives. It is a great song - I could sing it but not in the Mariah Carey key!
–Who is your hero?
–My musical heros who’ve got me through hard times are Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley for sure. Stevie Wonder is my absolute idol and it would be my dream to perform with him. Bob Marley would have been but unfortunately he’s not with us today. Maybe when I pass away we can do something together!
–How did you get on with The Voice coach Will.i.am (of the Black Eyed Peas)?
–Will.i.am was great to work with - a very quirky guy. Everything he says has a meaning, but he elaborates on things a lot.
Where did the ‘Jew-maican’ name come from?
–It goes back four or five years. I started getting a name doing the reggae stuff. People used to call me The Ginger Jamaican Jew so when I was on The Voice and doing my blind audition Will.i.am said, “So basically you’re a Jew-stafarian or a Jew-maican” and it stuck.
–Were you happy with the outcome of The Voice?
–I’m happy with everything I did. I stayed true to myself. I think I was unlucky on the night. He [Will.i.am] saw something in somebody else that he wanted to take through over me and he made his decision. I don’t begrudge it and there’s a reason for everything that happens.
–Have you been to Marbella before?
–I came to Marbella to do a wedding a few years ago but that’s all. I’m very excited to come out to perform at the awards; it’s a privilege and I’m looking forward to it. Everyone’s going to get an unreal party.
An evening of entertainment to make Marbella proud
At the Pride of Marbella Awards ceremony Moni Tivony will be supported by a host of local acts, including Rob Stevens, Dance With Freedom, Emma T., the Marbella Stage School, Phoebe and Katie Hodgeson - Adele tribute. On Saturday 21st September Funny Beach hosts the concert and awards ceremony at which guests will learn which individuals and organisations really make the people of Marbella proud. Tickets, which include a donation to Cudeca, are available at http://prideofmarbella.com/