It is no secret that attending Stellenbosch University (SU) opens up doors, and Rivkah Hope, a Stellenbosch University (SU) alumni, is no exception.
“My time studying at Stellenbosch was far more than just getting a degree – it was equipping me for the big world,” she says.
The singer/songwriter released her album Globetrotter earlier this year, and she is planning to take a break in South Africa from her global adventures at the end of the year.
Rivkah, a 2013 BA Humanities graduate, took part in many activities whilst at SU, including the university choir, MFM, various societies on campus, and even sports reporting.
“All these things helped me develop and gave me the skills to do what I’m doing today,” she says.
After graduating, Rivkah pursued her dream career. From the start, it was all about “the love of music, first and foremost”.
Rivkah released her first album, Time Is Forever, in South Africa in December 2013. The production of her pop folk album landed her #1 on the ReverbNation pop charts for eight consecutive weeks.
For the next two years, she travelled in the world “to explore cultures, countries and opportunities”.
Her career abroad started in New York where she worked as a songwriter and singer with hip-hop group Nice and iLL in April 2015. Their single, ‘Back To The Basics’, was released in early 2016. It was successful in the USA and South Africa.
At the end of 2015, she moved to Poland to the “majestic” city of Gdansk by the Baltic Sea.
“Poland is a great place with an unstoppable energy. Although you still see the mark of communism with their simple block-like apartment buildings, the place is quickly developing,” she says.
In north Poland, Rivkah drew inspiration from their rich culture and “true appreciation for music”.
“People were really keen and interested to hear my music and work with me. I met so many young pioneers which encouraged me to work harder and faster.”
After Poland, she performed and collaborated with producers, record labels and DJs across Europe and America. Her global adventures inspired her EP called Globetrotter.
“Globetrotter is basically a summary of my life as a nomad over the past 3 years. I’ve lived in many cities around the world which has also taken me on an emotional journey.”
At the moment, Rivkah is in Chicago for a couple of weeks finishing up some writing projects in a country where the “electric vibe” offers her the perfect conditions for writing music.
“This year will be a big year of writing for me,” she says.
She will be heading to Nashville soon for some song writing projects with Grammy award-winning producers.
She is also working as a songwriter for Eurovision contestants. The annual international song competition takes place in May this year.
“I feel fortunate to be part of the biggest song contest in the world.”
As for the rest of 2017, her new song ‘Angel in Disguise’ is coming out in May. She collaborated with Polish rapper Wac Toja.
As the title suggests, “the lyrics are deep and talk about spiritual things”, she explains.
Rivkah advises students to make the most of their time in Stellenbosch.
“Get involved and stay open minded! Studying at Stellenbosch [should be] far more than just getting a degree. It can easily just be an institution. The key is to make it your own.”
If you’d like to see Rivkah Hope live, there is a summer tour in South Africa in December to look forward to. Until then, listen to her music on Sound Cloud and follow her on social media.