Israeli couple conquer internet with gentle melodies

The numbers say it all: Yonina has become a beloved international sensation.

By SOPHIE ASHKINAZE-COLLENDER
August 3, 2016 03:38
2 minute read.

Yonina - Mode Ani

Yonina - Mode Ani

 
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Yoni and Nina Tokayer, creators of the Tel Aviv-based music group Yonina, are stealing hearts and sweeping the Internet with their gentle acoustic harmonies and homemade Facebook videos.

Discoverable on Facebook and YouTube via “Yonina Music,” the married couple posted their first video about five months ago with a simple beach background. Nina, then pregnant with daughter Ashira, is on the guitar while Yoni bangs away on a concrete post to the tune of “Shalom Aleichem” (Peace Be upon You). The video has garnered 33,000 views since it was posted, with 795 likes and 55 comments.

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Their most recent video, a cover of Matisyahu’s “One Day” was posted last Thursday and already has over 12 million views, 196,000 likes, 11,000 comments, and 207,000 shares.

The numbers say it all: Yonina has become a beloved international sensation.

“Each week gets better and better,” wrote admirer June Appel in the comments section of the latest video. “Really look forward to seeing you every week and listening to your beautifully melded voices – and Ashira is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful song this week.”

The Tokayers, who got married last June, have been singing together for years, but only recently decided to take their original tunes and covers to the public, which is overjoyed with their music.

“Please tell me – is there a CD from you? Greetings from Germany,” commented Facebook user Andrea Antara on a post announcing an upcoming concert.

“I only recently discovered you via Facebook and I LOVE you two,” commented another Facebook fan. “Will definitely support you – and hopefully with a full CD someday! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!” The pair already performed for a live audience in March in Jerusalem and plans to perform again this coming September in Petah Tikva, featuring songs from their upcoming album as well as crowd-favorite weekly videos.

Yonina has also received high praise and support from Nina’s father, Jonathan Medved, the American-Israeli CEO of OurCrowd.com.

“This time Yonina has gone truly viral, here on this screen shot they have over 9 million views, on other pages upwards of 5 million more... direct, authentic music, resonates...,” he wrote on his Facebook page Monday afternoon.

Tickets for their September 1 show, “Going from the Living Room,” are available online at eventim.co.il and cost NIS 60.

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