From ‘baby morphing’ to banjo

Having launched a successful technology that allows users to "predict" what their children will look like, Avi Goldfinger turns his attention to the stage.

Avi Goldfinger (with guitar) 521 (photo credit: courtesy)
Avi Goldfinger (with guitar) 521
(photo credit: courtesy)
An Israeli entrepreneur who started the Internet sensation in 2007 is now trying his hand at his true passion. Now, instead of creating baby photos, he’s making music.
Avi Goldfinger, 31, created the website that predicts what your offspring could look like if you submit a photo of you and your partner. He has now turned to the world of acoustic music, blending melodies from around the world with English and Hebrew lyrics.
With his free website, Goldfinger created the means for “terribly ugly and scary photos” of your possible future children.
By uploading one or two facial shots of you and a potential mate, celebrity or friend, Makemebabies uses a “baby morphing” technology that allows you to see whose eyes, nose and overall looks will likely appear. Genetics obviously do not work with the technology of the website, but instead of guessing who your progeny will resemble more, Makemebabies will help you see it with minutes. Now with 36 employees and a phone application, the website continues to intrigue people from around the world.
In his 20s, Goldfinger focused his efforts on entrepreneurship and put music on the back burner because “you really can’t make a living in Israel, or anywhere in the world, from music,” he says, in between a recording session in Tel Aviv. Yet music has been an important part of his life for a long time, he adds, describing what he refers to as a “marriage” to music in high school.
Playing in a high-school band, Goldfinger says that as a teenager he realized how much he loved and needed music. “Since then, I just waited for the right moment and the means to do it,” he says.
Recording his second album earlier this month, the songs, which he writes and records himself, are mostly acoustic, mixing electric rock with Spanish, Caribbean and other influences from around the world. With 14 musicians performing in the first album, the instruments he includes in his music cover the spectrum from trumpets to saxophones to the marimba and the banjo. “You get a rather eclectic musical side, but you can tell by the lyrics they are Avi’s,” he says, noting how he uses a lot of humor in his music.
Like many Israelis, Goldfinger did a good amount of traveling after his army service. After finishing five and a half years in the Israel Air Force, he traveled to many countries on many continents, including Asia, Europe, South America, North America and the Caribbean – all places that he says have greatly impacted his music.
Goldfinger says that Cambodia is one of the places that stands out the most in his traveling experiences. In sharing his music with locals, he says that while Cambodia is one of the poorest countries he has been to, he learned that it has some of the happiest people. He says he was invited in with families and saw, with a lot of beer and karaoke, that “if you drink a lot, you will be happy.”
The impact of Goldfinger’s sojourns on his music is especially evident in “Magic Fingers,” an upbeat melody with instrumentals from the Caribbean, Latin undertones and catchy English lyrics.
Goldfinger channels his love for classic artists like Frank Zappa and Leonard Cohen, and local legends like Mashina and Eifo Hayeled into his music, along with the international undertones. You can hear the range of musical influences in both the Hebrew and English songs.
Goldfinger’s lyrics are extremely personal in nature and his current project is highly affected by a former girlfriend.
The album, titled, Matnat Preda (Goodbye Gift) is about a woman who left him with the songs that he wrote.
“It’s about the process of finding new love,” he says.
The lyrics, Goldfinger says, are dominated by love and broken hearts. “They are mostly about girls and all the types of interesting situations that I find myself in,” he says, explaining that he is a poet at heart and sees creating music as a way of healing and working toward new things. Although, he says, laughing, humor is a large part of his lyrical expression – and this is evident in his song about a girl who moves to Israel with dreams of being an actress but ends up making humous her entire life.
Drawing a crowd of young people and students to local venues in Tel Aviv, his music is now available on iTunes or for download on his website To see a mix of musical influences from around the world and local Israeli flair, check out Goldfinger’s next live performance on April 21 at 10 p.m. at Tzuzaman, 25 Lilienblum Street in Tel Aviv. Tickets are NIS 30.