You may remember her as Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, but Ava Gold is a renowned multi-instrumentalist, playing violin, guitar and piano on her upcoming album. Since her first violin lesson at the age of three, this young creative soul has been immersed in a musically diverse world that established her early on as a multi-faceted artist who was comfortable in any genre. She sang and acted professionally from her early teens and performed for royalty and heads of state with a jazz vocal group she helped form. She started high school at the age of 12 and graduated from the University of Miami on an opera scholarship at just 19 years of age. Shortly after, she took the stage with the Florida Grand Opera, performed at Carnegie Hall, and was discovered by the legendary Engelbert Humperdinck. Since then, she has performed with some of the music industry’s tops artists including Ne-Yo, Jason Mraz, Wyclef Jean, Gloria Estefan, Justin Bieber and All-4-One, among others.
Yvette considers herself very fortunate and is committed to giving back to the world. She is an advocate for Global Green, Voto Latino, Global Campaign for Education and is a Celebrity Champion for the Alzheimer’s Association. She is also heavily involved with Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls (LA), Empowering Girls Through Music Education and recently started her own non-profit organization called Creative Minds Care, which is dedicated to seeing a world without Alzheimer’s.
When did you first start singing?
I started singing out the womb. It’s just always been my favorite way to express myself.
What is your musical background?
I don’t know my life without music. As far back as I can remember, music has always been a big part of my life. It was always so natural for me to do, like breathing; almost 2nd nature and something I didn’t have to think about doing. I started playing violin when I was three, and I was the kid who was always singing. People would ask me to sing and I think I would do it even if they didn’t ask. I was always writing songs, playing guitar, piano or violin. I played in a youth orchestra and was in all kinds of singing groups through high school. Music was what paid for me to go to college and I graduated with my BA at 19.I’ve basically been following this love of music my whole life and it’s led me to some pretty amazing experiences so far.
I grew up listening to all kinds of music, from what was on the radio to records my mom would play at home like The Beatles, Celia Cruz, Stevie Wonder to The Isley Brothers, The Roots, Prince, Aretha, Ella, Etta, etc. Great music inspires me.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I am always drawn to anything that has an element of soul to it or that you can feel comes from the heart. I definitely go through my phases, but these days I’ve been listening to a lot of Sam Smith, Allen Stone and Hozier.
Tell us about “Havana”.
“Havana” is a song I recently released along with a video. I was inspired listening to old Cuban records and thought it would be cool to go back to the beginning and write a song about my parents’ story, coming to the States from Cuba. Listening to all the struggles they had to go through in search of a better life and in pursuit of the American Dream really moved me. I wanted to write a hopeful song about that and how even though you have to sacrifice so much, you never forget who you are or where you come from. The song can be interpreted different ways, but that was my inspiration.
How was performing at “The Fresh Beat Band” over half a million fans, that’s huge!?
It was incredible. To be given the opportunity to perform for so many kids and families and bring so much joy to so many people was truly humbling. I realized that as artists, we are just a vessel and I feel incredibly blessed that God has entrusted me with the gift of music to bring to people. It was definitely a very special chapter in my life.
Do you ever get nervous?
No, but I still get those excited butterflies in my stomach right up until the moment I have to go perform.
Do you have a favorite song? Why?
I don’t have one. I have a lot of songs I love equally and for different reasons.
Explain your sound in 3 words.
Dirty Latin Soul.
How was performing along big names like Ne-Yo, Jason Mraz, Wyclef Jean, Gloria Estefan and Justin Bieber?
Awesome. They are all such amazing artists and it was truly an honor to be able to work and perform together.
Any future collaborations?
Yes, actually, but I can’t talk about it just yet.
If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
Any loves, other than music?
I love acting and doing almost anything that’s creative.
What are the 3 things you can’t live without?
Hugs, my family and music.
What charities do you support?
I am an advocate for Global Green, Voto Latino, Global Campaign for Education and a Celebrity Champion for the Alzheimer’s Association. I also do some work with the Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls, Empowering Girls Through Music Education.
What else can we expect from you in the future?
I’m not a psychic, but definitely lots more music and maybe some more TV and movies.
Five years from now you will be…
Happy, still making music, still creating, growing and working with the people I admire.
Where we can follow you?
Best advice ever given?
“Dare to suck!”
Quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Movie: The Matrix
Actor/Actress: Meryl Streep, Leonardo di Caprio
Travel destination: Paris is always a good idea.
Book: “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho
Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard