Ms. Bodega is an American Israeli singer, songwriter, dancer and producer – a spicy sensation that blends worlds and cultures both on and off stage.
Based out of New York City and Telaviv, Israel, she has been focusing on writing, recording and performing. There has been a buzz growing around her with performances ranging everywhere from top New York Clubs to International Festivals in various hot spots around the world such as L.A., Miami, Israel, Senegal, Italy and Amsterdam. Although raised in NYC, her background is an exotic mix of Yemenite, Safardic (Spanish) and Dutch Israeli. Daughter of a world-renowned fine artist and a musician, Ms.Bodega is definitely running rather than walking in her parents’ footsteps.
While living in Israel, then known under her birth-given name, Batsheva performed with the Latin Band Pachanga and priorly with Full Flavor Hip Hop Band. While spending her summers as a child in the Yemenite quarter of her parents native land she was able to soak up her Israeli roots. Growing up in Manhattan allowed her to naturally stand out. As one of Pachanga’s lead vocalists this trilingual performer sang and rapped at Nightclubs, Festivals and TV shows throughout the country, performing regularly at Porto Loco, Tel-Aviv’s hottest Latin nightclub. Also performing on Israeli National television at the opening celebrations for the World Cup Soccer Games. All along Batsheva trained with one of Israel’s top vocal coaches for popular music, Hedva Maler.
At the time she spent her days teaching and choreographing youth and professional adults, while performing by night. She made a name for herself as a Hip Hop and Jazz dancer and choreographer. Prior to the years living in Israel she attended UCLA where she gained much of her training in the performing arts as she majored in World Arts and Cultures specializing in African, Latin, Flamenco and Middle Eastern dance and music. She was also deeply entrenched in the Hip Hop Movement of the time and danced with a list of who’s and who’s in music videos and films.
“I never felt like I fit into one group or category of a type of people or a type of singer. I could never just ‘check one box’ on all those school forms that ask about your ethnic background. I just write ‘give me a blank page and I’ll try to explain it to you!” I consider myself a citizen of the world and such is my music. I can’t try to fit myself into somebody else’s shell. I am my own shell.”
I am part Moroccan Spanish, Turkish, Yemenite, Dutch Israeli and a native New Yorker. All of these cultures, along with a few I’ve adopted along the way, speak through and live inside me in peace. They only add to my life and make it more beautiful. My strong belief is that blending cultures –in my case through music – promotes peace, understanding, appreciation and love among all people. Music has the ability to break down boundaries and thus can be a catalyst for unity and peace.”
Over the years Ms.Bodega recorded numerous songs under the management and A&R direction of Jomo Hankerson, V.P. of Blackground Records (Universal) and Yon Styles (Black Coffee Entertainment). She has worked with major producers and major studios including, D- Moet (You can Hate Me Now, P Diddy and Nas), Rockwilder (Christina Aguillera, Jay- Z, Method Man, Redman), Mario Winanas and D-Dot of Badboy Records (Puff Daddy’s Record Label at Daddy’s House, NYC), Sleepy Brown (Outkast) Atlanta, Q.Amey and Static Major (Blackground Records)(L.A.&ATL), Joe Wilson (Beyonce, Kelly Rowlands), Omen (Ludacris, Drake) and in Israel with Hagay “Gemini” Mizrahi and Subliminal (Tact Records) writing for other artists as well as developing her unique sound in order to reach people of all sorts all over the world.
She is currently releasing her new music and came back from a Tour in Senegal where she collaborated and performed for thousands and on live national TV with the Biggest Hip Hop artists and Senegalese musicians and also produced and shot her new music video to Single “I’ll Give it to You” as well as a Documentary of her 3 week trip, ending on the Biggest TV Morining show “Yeewuleen” featuring her mission and new music video.
Her next Release is The Latin Zumba -Style Pop/Dance track called “Papi Lindo” which is already making waves and the music video is in motion with scenes shot in Senegal and Israel.
Bodega also Hosted her own Radio Show “Bodega’s BlockParty” on www.LikemyRadio.com out of Israel for 2 years and is currently Co-Hosting a Radio Show “The Zig Zag Show” with Nigerian DJ, DJ Zimo. It’s a Carribbean ,African, Hip Hop International Radio Show on Splash Radio 94.3FM NJ and Live Stream on www.MySplashRadio.com.
KwaK: Your resume is rather immersive… from singing on Israeli National television at the opening celebrations for the World Cup Soccer Games, to your work with the youth, – do you have one project that is closest to your heart?
All of the projects I produce or attach myself to have a close place in my heart but the one that stands out the most is A live event series I am producing right now which is called “Bodega’s BlockParty.” What i feel makes it special is that it mirrors my mission, my music and my goals. Its an expression of my story, my music, and my love for collaborating with other musical artists around the world celebrating each others cultures towards unity and reaching a vast mixed audience. All of this while supporting charities and organizations that represent Unity and Peace as well as children and women around the world who may not have the opportunities for basic health and education in order to further themselves on many levels. The event series is meant to feature my music with a well known DJ, live musicians and dancers while me and another well known Host invite other featured artists and a Big featured International artist, each time from a different genre/country. The idea is to create a platform for cultural integration and collaborations both onstage and in the audience.
It is all about positive vibes between people of different cultures and backgrounds. The idea is also to partner up with a media company to record the shows as content and to televise it. My team and I, at “Bodega World Music, LLC” are in the process of building and fund raising for this project right now. It’s very Exciting and I can’t wait to share that stage with incredible artists and to share the space and the air waves with a high energy, supportive crowd who will come together for our joint missions.
KwaK: You have such a broad platform for your artistic expression. You’ve truly provided a palatable mix that serves so many different kinds of fans. Conversely, Has not identifying with one particular art form or background caused any stumbling blocks for you?
That’s an interesting Question. I always have said when those school forms ask you to choose one ethnicity. I won’t do that because I come from several ethnicities. And so is my music. I live my life enjoying so many different styles of music, why do I have to box myself into one style!?! And so the answer is Yes. I have had Record Labels and Production Companies interested in signing me over the years but because they didn’t know how to categorize me into one genre they gave up. But here I am. I am not giving up. This is who I am and my expression is a Blend of many influences. Some of my own ethnicity and others that i have been exposed to and have absorbed along the way. They all live inside me in Peace and so I choose to spread it as such. Whoever is ready to join our ride, we are here
KwaK: You’re such a globetrotting soul. Where are you setting down roots these days? Where’s home base?
I was born in NYC and grew up as a city girl during the school year and spent all my summers in Israel. Although I’ve lived in both places, I have recently remade my Base in NY and I Love it! I do travel a lot but there is no place in the world at the moment that inspires me and fills me up culturally and creatively as International Flavorful Edgy NYC.
KwaK: What impact do you feel your work has had on the women’s empowerment movement? Any advice for young women working towards following their dreams?
Over the years I’ve always loved being able to inspire young girls and women of all ages. As a dance instructor/choreographer I loved creating a space for young girls and women to express themselves through music and give them a social outlet where they could develop their talents especially when sometimes at school they didn’t get that. Also by being an independent strong woman, female artist and entrepreneur, I hope I set an example for young women around the world and show them “they can full fill their dreams” and allow themselves to express themselves through music and dance in an honorable way. And it is very important to let them know that Beauty comes from within first and shines outwards. You can still look Beautiful on the outside but the Truth shines from within. And Positivity Love and Light Conquers All.
KwaK: Whats next for Ms.Bodega?
1. Album Release – My Music company Bodega World Music, LLC is officially launching and with it I am releasing my single “Papi Lindo,” a Zumba style Latin song, as the first of several and the album to come. The album includes different music styles and although it pop/club based it has influences and features including Latin, Hip Hop, Jamaican Reggae/Dancehall, Nigerian, Liberian, Senegalese, Middle Eastern and more…
2. mentioned above, “Bodega’s BlockParty” live and recorded Event Series
3. Web Series – I am in the works producing a couple of web series. One which will be following my musical travel adventures and the other a series of interviews of different International artists, as done on my radio show but on video for the web.
4. I am also working towards Expanding the current Radio show “The Zig Zag Show” On Splash Radio MySpalshRadio.com that I Co-Host with Nigerian DJ “DJ Zimo” on Thursday nights 8pm-10pm 94.3FM NJ. I would like to grow our audience and have more listeners from around the world join in as I had done before with my Radio show “Bodega’s BlockParty” out of Israel on LikemyRadio.com I believe the audience who loves Afro-Pop, Carribbean and International pop is out there. They just need to know about this movement.
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Check out the music video “I’ll Give it to You” shot in Senegal, Africa:
And the Making of The video below:
“Top of The World” Music Video:
Ky-Mani and Rohan Marley Interview in Israel:
Some of her current music can be heard on Youtube by following the link below: