Oren Lavie spent his youth in Israel. In 1997 his play Sticks and Wheels and his production of it were awarded the main prizes at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre. The production played in Tel Aviv during 1998. In that year he went to London to study theatre directing at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). After his graduation two of his plays were produced in various London theatres. They already contained several songs written and composed by him.
In 2001 Oren Lavie moved to New York where he tried to make a living by means of various jobs and where he focused on writing songs. When they had piled up he went to Berlin (2003) and started to do recordings, working as his own producer. His first album, The Opposite Side of the Sea, was completed in 2006; it was released in Europe in January and February 2007. In 2009, his stop motion style music video, “Her Morning Elegance,” achieved significant popularity on YouTube, receiving over 4 million hits.
Oren Lavie names his musical predecessors as Tom Waits, Jacques Brel, and Leonard Cohen. At the core of his melody-oriented compositions there is always the piano or the guitar with his singing, enriched by string arrangements (cello solo, quartet, chamber orchestra) and various, mainly non-electronical instruments added occasionally, giving each of the songs a unique style and color.