Aviva And The Flying Penguins


She wasn't always so self-assured and adventurous. It's been a tough and rewarding journey for Aviva And The Flying Penguins whose original sound is now cascading through the airwaves as her new single ‘Change’ rockets up the charts.

Aviva And The Flying Penguins brings an exquisite sensitivity to her music, creating an authentic sound that simultaneously honors and breaks the traditional rules of songwriting. It is an approach that is earning this artist out of Atlanta, GA much acclaim lately and has propelled her debut radio single ‘Change’ to the top of the charts. One critic recently went so far as to comment: ‘Aviva And The Flying Penguins's stunning folk album is liquidly nuanced of string but boldly expressed by voice - and deeply directed to the artist's personal experiences; 'Painted Truth' is a living testament to talent and authenticity of its creator.’ Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with Aviva And The Flying Penguins to learn more about this intriguing artist, her artistic inspirations and plans for the future.

LAUREN: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
AVIVA: The craziest thing that has happened to me in my music career was when I had a group of men lined up to hug and thank me after singing my songs at Burning Man - one of them being a song about healing from sexual abuse. It was a beautiful experience. All of the men, mostly in their twenties, were extremely respectful, grateful, and some moved to tears. It seemed like the hugs went on forever one after another and I am not a hugger but it felt healing to me! An onlooker said “Whoah that was amazing”

LAUREN: Your song ’Change’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
AVIVA: It’s very satisfying to have a connection to listeners through my music. My initial reaction was to celebrate. I love celebrating moments like this and amping out my love and appreciation.

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your radio single?
AVIVA: I wrote ‘Change’ as I was dealing with a deep betrayal. I felt blocked and lied to by a local promoter that was not exactly into the team work to make the dream work. It was definitely one of those songwriting experiences that brought me almost to an altered state as I felt healing through the chords and configurations. I was blessed to have a friend come over and make me a yummy vegetarian meal while listening to me pluck out the chords and be a muse of sorts popping in to share in the feeling with giggles and bliss. I am ever grateful to this experience and being with a midwife of sorts for it which is rare. It’s an amazing feeling to be nurtured while creating because often times we can get so absorbed into the process that we forget to do things like feed ourselves.

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
AVIVA: Music is a language I use to express and satisfy my human experience. It is also one way I connect to the Most High.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician?
AVIVA: Characteristically I would say I am an old sage-like soul that is finding my way to connect with my earth-rooted stability through melodies that seem to come from another dimension. I am deeply fond of world music as I believe it is a beautiful way to connect to each others’ cultures. I feel my own multi-cultural spirit and I celebrate the beauty that surrounds me.


LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
AVIVA: I feel incredibly supported by people on my team. I have toured with musicians who are dedicated, sleep on floors, chip in for gas, and do what needs to be done because they see the big picture. We exercise together, pray together, and have many similar life goals. It is humbling to see what they sacrifice to share music they believe in. I learned that artists are capable of doing whatever it takes to fulfill the mission they feel called to.

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
AVIVA: I believe my great uncle was a well known violin player in Germany.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
AVIVA: The most rewarding thing about being an artist is feeling expressed while touching the souls of the listeners. What I find most challenging about being an artist is my perfectionism and self-critical states. In general, in order to stay open, flowing, and feeling I look my issues straight in the eyes which can often mean that emotion I am healing my inner child from… let’s say shame, becomes surfaced and therefore an obstacle for moving forward on current projects. It can seem like I will never finish or find what is blocking my way. But when I work through the feeling, the waves part, and a new frontier is explored with a sense of blissful discovery.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
AVIVA: I have many role models in music. Alanis Morrisette, Tori Amos, and Heather Nova inspired me to tell my story even through the pain and trauma. Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn exemplify the soul and grace that give purpose to singing. Bill Haley and the Comets kept me dancing as a child and so I do aspire to provide beats that move feet as well. There is also a children’s musical that has truly influenced me called 'Dot and the Kangaroo'. The list truly goes on and on.

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
AVIVA: Our CD release show for Painted Truth was held at Steve’s Live Music. The stage was tight, the venue was packed and the band was jacked up! The whole community gathered together. I knew just about everyone there and felt the love. It truly felt like we were all creating a magical space together and time stopped for me. I will never forget it.

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
AVIVA: The advice I would give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance is to surround yourselves with people who support you and who you can trust. I think it is also important to stay focused on your art and allow your creativity to flow the moment it is flowing because that moment will be gone in the next moment. Also, it's important to take space and time for you and remember what inspires you most. There are many distractions and not everyone who compliments you is your friend. Try to stay humble and ask for spiritual guidance every step of the way.

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there an album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
AVIVA: We are working hard on our next album "Key Of You”. It’s a very exciting project featuring top notch musicians such as James Brown’s percussionist Spike Nealy, Emrah Kotan who works with India Arie, as well as strings by Concert Master Mao Omura with members of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra. We are recording the whole album with instruments tuned to 432hz; the vibration of love. It’s pretty epic and a true labor of love. We have released one single from the album, 'Colorado in July'.

LAUREN: I look forward to hearing your new work! Thank you for letting us get to know you better as a musician and I wish you the best of luck and continued success.