Hello ! Can you start by introducing yourself?
Hello, my name is Reva Juventin and I have been singing since I was 17. I started to sing during a singing competition, "Le Penu d'or". I was very young at the time so it was quite a trying experience. At the same time, I met other singers which helped me to continue in this way. Then I was successively part of different groups until I found my way today in jazz. I sing in a group called "Coconut Jazz" and I think it's the style of music that goes the most with my grain of voice.
What are your musical influences?
I've been a huge fan of Mariah Carey since I was a kid! When I was 6 years old, I listened to his tapes in my walkman repeatedly until I knew them by heart! Singing Mariah Carey gave me confidence and influenced me a lot in my way of interpreting songs. Then I gradually opened up to other genres of music like jazz, pop, etc. I love everything and I love discovering new things, but my first loves are Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Do you also sing local Tahitian music?
Yes, my mom was a singer and sang a lot of Tahitian songs so she introduced me to local music. In fact there are a lot of old Tahitian melodies that sound like current jazz and that I like to take back.
Can you tell us the story of your group "Coconut Jazz"?
Basically it was a trio of musicians: a pianist, a drummer and a bass. Then they offered me to join the group in order to have a singer and it immediately worked between us! At the time I was just discovering jazz but having a soft voice, this group was a good compromise for me in which I blossomed a lot afterwards.
Do you perform on the local scene with this group?
Yes of course ! We often perform in the restaurants Le White, La Casa Bianca, La Plage and perhaps soon at the rooftop of Trois Brasseurs.
Do you manage to reconcile all this work with your professional life?
I'm trying ! I have dark circles that I made up very well today [laughs]! It's true that my evenings are a bit short. I work in human resources and after work I often have rehearsals, or I work on compositions. Music is really an integral part of my life so I try to reconcile it all as well as possible! And my weekends I spend them making music or going to the waterfalls while still listening to music!
So you compose your own songs?
Yes I compose them myself! In fact, I've always done it, but it's only today that I have the courage to take them out. It's a little difficult to take responsibility for what we write, what we sing and not know the feedback that will be behind it! It has always been a bit apprehensive for me but that's it now I think I'm ready!
I imagine your songs are a bit autobiographical on top of that?
It's autobiographical or not, but in any case it's often intense emotions that have marked me, whether through what my friends tell me, or what I have experienced. For example in one of the most recent, I wrote about Paris because I went there for the first time! I discovered France and I was amazed by this trip ... It was such a first for me and in addition I performed on the stage of the Olympia which is a chance! And that thus gave the composition "Oh Paris", whose clip will be released soon!
You released another song with a music video, right?
Yes, I released "Keyran", a composition that dates back 6 years! Basically I had written it for my godson whose song bears his name, and I had not planned to release a clip at all but the enthusiasm was such that it pushed me to do it! I produced it with Charlie Didjelirium from Blackstone Production and I was able to do the clip with Keyran! I tell myself that it will make a great memory for him when he grows up!
What did you want to share through this song?
With Keyran, I wanted to talk about childhood in general and children's dreams. It was basically a lullaby that I would have liked to sing to a child to remind him that he is a little light, that he must continue to dream and that I will always be by his side to accompany him in his life.
Do you play an instrument alongside the vocals?
I play around with the ukulele a bit! I went into it during confinement because I was bored and didn't have the chance to know how to play anything else. I thought to myself that I should be able to manage with her four grandsons! So I borrowed a work colleague's ukulele and started learning the chords by trying to sing over it! The conclusion is that I am not at all a good musician, I have to stay in the song!
Did you do music theory to be able to learn?
Not at all, I did a year of music theory but I didn't remember anything! I do more by ear, even when it comes to singing.
Did you prefer to start by learning the ukulele rather than the guitar?
Ah yes, it's impossible to play the guitar, it hurts your hands too much! I have little fairy fingers [laughs]! I tried lots of times to play it but really my fingers hurt too much! I made my little sissy and stayed on the ukulele!
And do you take singing lessons?
No, but I used to take it with Gaby Cavallo who helped me a lot to gain vocal power. He taught me the technique with a fairly lyrical basis, and it allowed me to vary in what I sang. For the rest I learned over time by experience, as for jazz for example that I discovered with the members of my group. I did some masterclasses also with Dee Dee Bridgewater who came here last year! It was impressive ! I also did one with Gabrielle Stravelli, a jazz singer from New York, who helped me with the rhythm. Jazz is very vast and technical, you can't invent yourself as a jazz singer like that! Besides, I don't claim to be a jazz singer even if I sing jazz!
For you, each artist must send a message?
Yes, I think that when you have this gift, it is not to isolate yourself but on the contrary to share it! And for me it makes perfect sense when there are messages to bring. To say them is one thing, but to sing them it really helps to reach people's hearts and to convey something positive behind. In my songs I sing a lot about love, I think it's essential, and I also try to carry messages of hope, of joy, of all that is beautiful and that brings us back to life, to freedom and to leave a mark of our existence on this earth! When I compose I try to see what it could bring to the people who will listen and read these lyrics. I firmly believe that if I sing today, it is because I have my part to do to improve this world a little.
What are your plans for the future?
I would really like to release the clips of my eight pending compositions!
Well that's what we wish you! Thank you so much !
Thanks to you Upa Upa Tahiti!