Singing husband and wife win over millions of viewers with homemade duet videos
Something about Yoni and Nina Tokayer makes people go “aww.”
The way they look at one another and their infant, who appears on her mother’s lap in many of their homemade music videos, is enough to melt hearts.
And that’s even before they open their mouths. The harmonious duets by Yonina – an amalgam of their first names – are often accompanied by Nina or Yoni on acoustic guitar, or Yoni on keyboards, violin, Greek bağlama or cajon drum.
The couple explains that they originally recorded in their kitchen and uploaded it to Facebook before heading out to a concert. Soon they began receiving messages from friends that the video’s sound was not working.
“So when we got there, we redid it in the car,” Yoni says. “We didn’t even realize there was a whole car karaoke thing.”
Most of the tunes are Hebrew treatments of popular prayers and pop tunes from Israeli artists such as Eviatar Banai and Idan Raichel.
Despite the couple’s religious Zionist headgear – a scarf for her, a skullcap for him – they have fans in Egypt, Dubai, Pakistan, Brazil and Finland. One fan posted a picture of three Tibetan monks watching a Yonina clip on a tablet.
“We have a crazy following in the Philippines; it’s our third biggest [fan base] besides Israel and the US,” says Nina...It’s pretty intense, like a fulltime job,” says Nina. “We’re trying to juggle it all. Thank God for Shabbat, an island of quiet in our lives.”