A self taught poet/songwriter and singer, Rivka Kilmer was born in 1978, the seventh of nine children sheltered from American culture in an enclosed Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn’s Borough Park. At age sixteen she attended LIBS, a cosmetology school, and her ticket out. While spending time in Washington Square Park she was “rescued” by the artist representative for Rhythmtech Percussion, Pam Gore, who helped her gain the confidence needed to begin sharing her poetry and a cappella singing in the spoken word and comedy communities in NYC. The Surf Reality performance venue on the Lower East Side was practically her second home.
As a solo artist Rivka released a book of poetry entitled These are my Tears and a CD called Eulogy to Sadness. She also curated a poetry series called Rivka’s Poetry Circle who’s featured artists included Nuyorican poet, Cenen, and John S. Hall.
While doing theatrical make-up and body painting for The Urban Art Tribe in ’97 at Natures Friends Farm, NJ she laid eyes on Mike iLL in a sweat lodge. Legend has it that when one meets their life partner in a sweat lodge, that person is a gift from their foremothers and forefathers. It wasn’t long before they formed electro-world/hip-hop act, Mad haPPy and were on the road first as a four piece, and then as an electronic duo, regularly sharing the stage with many well known cutting edge artists including Gogol Bordello, Girl Talk, Bonde Do Role and Mike Watt. Currently, under the tutorship of James Rado (HAIR), they are developing the eleven person electronic musical theatre piece “Joys of Armageddon”.