Renowned recording artist Noa, known as Achinoam Nini in Israel, is currently at home basking in the glory of her latest creation.
And no, it's not a new album.
It's her daughter, Enéa. "It means 'her eyes' in Hebrew," says Noa, who has written a song with the same title.
"My wish for her is that she sees the world always through her own eyes, and that they be eyes of love and beauty."
Born on Aug. 12, Enéa is Noa's second child. Her son, Ayehli, is now 3. This latest birth, says Noa, was "natural, short and painful, but that's the way it goes."
"My daughter is healthy and beautiful," she says. "But I'm far from objective. And she doesn't look anything like me. In fact, she looks like something new ... not anybody's photocopy, as well she should."
Noa has had a busy year. She performed up until her eighth month, but admits, "Pregnancy is bound to slow you down at some point. I did not do much songwriting because creating life took up all my energy."
Nevertheless, having children clearly agrees with her. Noa says her last album was "deeply inspired by my first child. His arrival changed my life."
Noa considers that album, "Now," to be her best. Her latest European tour was met with great success, particularly in Spain and Italy.
"The highlights for me were a performance in the Euro-League basketball championships, broadcast to millions throughout Europe," she says. "That, and a live event performed in front of 400,000 people in Rome titled, 'We Are the Future,' organized by Quincy Jones as a follow up to 'We Are the World.'"
The event was designed to raise funds for children who are victims of war. It was also broadcast on MTV and VHI to millions of viewers worldwide.
"I did both those performances in my seventh month of pregnancy with a big belly," she states proudly.
And although her children have clearly inspired a great deal of her work, Noa says she's not too keen with the idea of them following in her footsteps.
"I hope my children will love and enjoy music," she says. "But I would not wish them a musician's life, especially not the way the world and the music business look today. They both stink," she states matter-of-factly.
"But," she adds, "if they want it badly, nothing's going to stop them, and I will always encourage them to follow their heart. I can only wish them happiness."
In the meantime, barely a month after her daughter's birth, Noa is back writing songs again.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenges of a new project, a new album and a tour with my newly expanded family," she says, adding that she plans to take her kids on the road as much as possible.
Together with Gil Dor, she is currently working on songs for a new album, with several tours planned later this year. "However, we'll mostly be writing and recording," she says. "The year 2006 will be more of a touring year."
But American fans won't have to wait till then to see Noa perform. From Nov. 25 to Dec. 8, Noa will be touring the United States. She will perform at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza's Fred Kavli Theatre on Nov. 28, presented by Temple Beth Haverim and Jewish Family of Conejo Simi and West Valley.
"I want to warmly invite all my American fans to come and see us live, to listen to the songs and really enjoy themselves," she says. "We invest our souls into the music and the lyrics, which," she is quick to point out, "are mostly in English."
"I hope [our songs] will resonate with and possibly even bring hope and light to as many people as possible."
Writing, recording, touring. It's a punishing schedule for a mother with two small children. But her response to the inevitable question of how she manages to juggle her career with motherhood is simple.
"It's the hardest thing in the world," she admits. "I do it with very little sleep and with more love than you can imagine."
The concert by Noa will be on Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m. $39-$203. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tickets can be purchased at the Civic Arts Plaza box office in person or by calling Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232. For more information about Noa, visit www.noasmusic.com.
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