Matisyahu Tonight at Sound Advice Amphitheatre

At first glance, it´s easy to consider Matisyahu as a novelty act within reggae music. The tall, slender, and heavily bearded Jewish crooner seems about as far as you can get from Jamaica, and, in appearance, he´s unlike anyone else who´s ever made a living as a reggae singer. But spend some time talking to Matisyahu about his views, and it doesn´t take long to see how genuine he really is. Although he was fasting and coddling his infant son, Matisyahu took time out to get frank with New Times.

Outtakes:I heard about a recent show you performed on a Friday night in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the sun didn´t set. Within your religion, that´s not common.

Matisyahu: It was the first time in my career that I performed on a Friday night because the Sabbath didn´t hit. That was an amazing show. The sun didn´t go down until 2 a.m., so it was cool. There was no rush.

Do you see the connection between Rastafari and the Old Testament?

I guess, but there are so many religions based on the Old Testament... and Rastafari is just one of them. But Rastafarians have a special way of taking the scripture and relating it to their own lives. That´s what the Torah is all about. All of those Bob Marley records that I was listening to, a big thing of his is returning to your culture and to your roots. And in a sense, that´s kind of what helped propel me into looking into my own religion and feeling proud of it.

Is part of a quest for you?

Well, yeah, because my parents aren´t even Hasidic. This is my journey. My initial ties were through the Lubovitch sect... I went to a Hasidic school for two years in Brooklyn. At this point, I don´t necessarily identify with it any more. I´m really religious, but the more I´m learning about other types of Jews, I don´t want to exclude myself. I felt boxed in.

What is your routine like right before you go on stage?

I try to have 15 minutes of quiet time, and I pray and meditate on God and what being Jewish means to me. But once I get that down, then I turn on Jay-Z and drink a glass of wine, and I turn into Brooklyn and I do my thing. To some it seems like a huge split, but for me, that´s always what I´ve been. I´ve always had these two sides of myself. But they´re not that different. My music is about bringing them together. Matisyahu opens for 311 on Tuesday, July 17, at Sound Advice Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury´s Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $25, and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.ticketmaster.com.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >