(October 6, 2022 / Israel21c) When Maroon 5 performed in Israel in May, lead singer Adam Levine brought an unknown artist on stage to sing the band’s hit “Sunday Mornings” with him at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park in front of an audience of 70,000.
He introduced her as “that street musician who didn’t know that I would come knocking on her door and have her come and play with us.”
Levine described how Coral Bismuth’s voice reached her hotel balcony overlooking Frishman Beach in Tel Aviv.
On the street below Levine’s hotel, Bismuth had been playing covers, as she has done every Saturday for the past four years. His versatile repertoire ranges from folk to R&B and soul.
Levine recalled that she “played for hours, and I couldn’t get enough of it, such a beautiful, soulful voice. And then she started playing one of our songs, ‘Sunday Morning,’ and she killed that. So I asked him to come and play.
“He filmed me and put it on his Instagram story,” Bismuth explained. “He invited me through Instagram to appear with him that night. [at the Maroon 5 concert].”
To find herself on this stage, “There are really no words to describe this moment,” she said. “It was like cutting the borders.”
She sang the opening verses of the solo “Sunday Morning”, as Levine gave her the lead before joining her.
“I felt a lot of people were inspired by my story,” Bismuth said.
“It only touched them if you believed with all your heart, with love, and made your effort; in the end, the universe pays attention to you. Something is happening. Some call it a quantum leap. For me it was a dream come true. The winds appreciated my prayers.
Bismuth’s first public appearance was at the age of 16 on the Israeli reality show “The Voice”. Yet she hadn’t even dreamed of becoming a musician until a year earlier.
It all started because there was a classical guitar at home. One day she picked it up and started playing.
“From the first moment I started scratching, I thought, ‘I’ve got this. It was easy to learn to play. Her main influences include John Mayer, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Lynch, Lianne La Havas and Beyonce.
Her father encouraged her to continue practicing, promising to get her the black acoustic guitar she had in mind.
She never studied music formally, except for private guitar and voice lessons.
The vocals came after the guitar.
“My attitude is that I learn what I need to know, but not in an institutionalized way. I tend to learn on a need-to-know basis. That’s also how I learned to write music. I still feel like I’m in the school of my life,” Bismuth said.
“I was in love with playing, then I started accompanying myself with songs, in order to hear the music.”
She uploaded videos of herself to YouTube and was discovered by the producers of “The Voice”.
“I found myself on a big stage and got a real boost with all the power and energy coming from the audience, the applause; it made me realize that I really like it.
Bismuth released his first album within two years of performing on “The Voice,” at age 18, with help from his parents.
Discover street music
At 21, she moved to Tel Aviv to develop musically. But within two months, a spontaneous invitation led her to accompany a Canadian musician friend on the streets of Italy.
“I discovered for the first time the performances of street musicians! I experienced the magic,” she beamed.
Europe was a turning point for Bismuth. At first she was working to help her friend, but at some point, she says, I finally “got it”.
“I figured out that I could leave my house, just go out on the street and do what I do at home anyway, which is play and sing, and make some money out of it, connect with people and create a kind of wheel of energy in the street.
“It really touched and moved me and I felt that somehow I was able to step out of the matrix. I didn’t have to work as a waitress or anything like that anymore. I just did my music.
After six months, Bismuth returned to Israel, “filled with this energy, ready to pour it out”.
A pioneer in Israel
Four years later, she gives three times a week three-hour street performances throughout the country “from Eilat to Tzfat”. She encourages other potential street musicians to “go play”.
That “unforgettable – one-of-a-kind night” in May on stage with Maroon 5, Bismuth felt like everything she had done up to that moment, “all those hours on the street,” was the path to be in front of 70,000 people.
“And the really cool part about that,” she says, “I was about to put out an album and I needed to get it out there. It’s like the universe heard that I needed let people know that I had an album coming out that gave me a platform of 70,000!
At his street concerts, Bismuth has a bucket of sunflowers with a sign that reads, “Sunflowers: Take and give as much as you can. If you can’t give, don’t hesitate to take.
Sunflowers are symbolic for Bismuth, who enjoys giving her audience something tangible to take home.
“Sunflowers live off the sun and turn their faces towards it. Sometimes while playing I feel like the sun is shining on the sunflowers. And sometimes, if I have a tougher day and still choose to go out and play, I feel like I’m one of the sunflowers, enjoying and empowered by the power of my audience.
She advises people to follow their hearts.
“If you believe in something, be behind it. Be fully behind. If a person gives everything for something, the universe will come to you. If this energy goes out, it will also come back to you.
This article was first published by Israel21c.