Matisyahu A Short Documentary
Matisyahu A Short Documentary
*Video working now*
A reminder by Rhapsody:
Luciano teams up with Jewish DJ sensation
|Observer Reporter |
Thursday, March 23, 2006
|Luciano. has earned praise for his conscious messages|
Roots singer Luciano will shortly collaborate with Hasidic DJ Matisyahu, one of the hottest acts currently on the international music scene. The track is slated to be included on Luciano's upcoming disc for VP Records.
The 'Messenjah' and 'Matis' first met in the summer of 2005 when the latter opened for Luciano on his east coast US tour. Recently, the two combined to tremendous applause on the west coast during Matisyahu's show at the Long Beach Arena. The performance attracted the attention of the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
The track has reportedly been laid by Luciano's Jah Messenjah band, with Dean Fraser at the helm, and sent to the Jewish DJ in California.
A native of the White Plains section of Brooklyn, New York, Matisyahu first became hooked on reggae music as a teenager listening to the sounds of Bob Marley. He so far has recorded two albums, a live set, Live at Stubbs, that was certified gold, and a studio follow-up, entitled Youth, that entered the Billboard 200 Albums chart at #4 its first week of release (March 6). The single, King Without A Crown, was a recent Top 40 hit.
|Matisyahu. became hooked on reggae music as a teenager|
One of the most revered reggae artistes to emerge over the last decade, Luciano has earned raves for his conscious messages and highly personal style of performing. His best-known albums include One Way Ticket, Where There is Life and Messenjah.
check out the making of Youth video:
Matisyahu - Youth - WP (White Plains) :
When Aaron Bisman met Matthew Miller about five years ago, they were music-obsessed college students in New York who had an unusual goal: to make innovative music that was proudly Jewish. Mr. Bisman, at New York University, started a nonprofit record label, JDub, and his friend at the New School, who called himself Matisyahu, worked on his reggae toasting skills.
"He was still wearing track suits," Mr. Bisman said, "and just growing out his beard."
As Matisyahu's love for hip-hop and his dedication to Orthodox Judaism grew, he hit the clubs in a black suit, hat and full beard, and with JDub behind him made one of the most unlikely rises in pop music history. He is surely the only Hasidic reggae singer to sell out 2,000-to-3,000-seat concert halls regularly around the country, and last week he released "Youth" (JDub/Or/Epic), his major label debut, which is widely expected to make it high in the Top 10 when the charts are compiled later this week.
But a few days before "Youth" was released, Mr. Bisman and his partner, Jacob Harris, received an unexpected phone call from their prize talent, telling them their management services were no longer required. "He was in Kansas," Mr. Bisman said. "He said, 'I don't know if you guys are old enough or have enough experience.' "
For Mr. Bisman, 25, and Mr. Harris, 26, it was a shock from an old friend and a potential blow to their business. They had shepherded Matisyahu through his early career, setting up gigs and handing out fliers and the like — with the added duty of defining just what a pro-Jewish act would do. "He was the embodiment of what we thought was possible," Mr. Harris said. "Proud, authentic Jewish artists."
And while JDub has not been Matisyahu's record label for two years, Mr. Bisman and Mr. Harris had remained his managers, and Matisyahu's engagements bring in a substantial part of the company's revenue.
The two men said they still have nearly three years left on a four-year management contract, and are consulting with their lawyers on how to proceed. "There has to be some sort of legal action," Mr. Bisman said in an interview at the JDub offices at the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University.
Matisyahu's lawyer, Valerie Marcus, declined to comment.
JDub has an annual budget of nearly $1 million, about half of which comes from grants and the rest from the label's revenues. It has a handful of other acts and promotes concerts around the country, but Matisyahu was central to the company's finances. "We really thought of this as an endowment to do this for a long time," Mr. Harris said.
Both men said that JDub's finances were strong enough to continue but that the loss would be painful.
"This is the music business, I guess," Mr. Bisman said.
(taken from NYTimes)
Check out who I think is Matisyahu's number 1 fan.
Matisyahu: Spiritual and Spirited
Yet while the 26-year-old artist is devoutly religious, he is not letting that stand in the way of getting his music heard. 'Who doesn`t want success?' he asks. 'There`s some artists that say they don`t, and they`re not looking for it, but I`m not one of those artists.'
Clearly his music is resonating with the public. 'King Without a Crown' moves to No. 7 this week on Billboard`s Modern Rock chart and is now starting to react at top 40. 'Live at Stubb`s' has topped Billboard`s Top Reggae Albums chart for eight weeks. It has sold 340,000 copies so far and is No. 43 on The Billboard 200.
On March 7, his new studio album, 'Youth,' comes out on JDub/Or/Epic. Sources say the initial shipment for the album, produced by Bill Laswell, Jimmy Douglass and Ill Factor, will be 400,000 units.
Is Matisyahu an artist with staying power or a novelty? Believers say he has longevity.
'Is it novelty? Of course it`s not. It`s too real to be novelty,' declares Bruce Warren, assistant GM for programming at the influential noncommercial WXPN Philadelphia, which was one of the first stations to play 'King Without a Crown.'
'It was our sense that this was the kind of musical discovery our listeners listen to public radio for,' Warren says. The song is 'very spiritual, and it touches people regardless of what their race or religion is. It reminds me of Bob Marley in that Matis has a universal message and some great grooves to match.'
' `Live at Stubb`s` has sold well since release,' says Dave Alder, senior VP at Virgin Entertainment Group. 'It was a title that emerged through our developing-artist program, Virgin Recommends, and we have seen accelerated sales trends over the past few months. Much of the success of the album has been down to positive word-of-mouth. There is certainly a strong buzz on the new album.'
Matisyahu`s debut album, 'Shake Off the Dust . . . Arise,' was released with relatively little fanfare in 2004 on JDub, a nonprofit label and event production company. When Michael Caplan, co-founder and then-president of Or Music, first heard of Matisyahu, he wrote him off as a novelty. But several months later, 'I watched a clip of him performing on the Jimmy Kimmel show, and my reaction was like most people`s: The first 30 seconds, it`s novelty, and 90 seconds in, you realize it`s real,' he says.
Caplan, who is now senior VP of A&R for Sony Music, got in touch with JDub and found out Matisyahu was playing at a Jewish high school the next day. Impressed by his live show, Caplan and his partner, Larry Miller, signed him to Or Music (now Or Media Group).
Caplan thought that the studio album did not represent where Matisyahu was artistically, so one of the label`s first moves was to have him record 'Live at Stubb`s.'
There was a strategy to taping in Texas. 'Austin was perfect because it screams `goyim,` ' Caplan says with a laugh. 'It wasn`t like taping it in Crown Heights. I wanted to show it works here too.'
Indeed, Caplan says that so far, Matisyahu is playing well to the mainstream. 'This is an informal observation, but secular Jews have more of a problem with it than [non-Jews]. In the larger world, people are yearning for spirituality. Some people are going, `Is this a Christian song?` '
The clip of Matisyahu performing on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' was also circulated on the Internet. Digital success continued when mtvu.com embraced the live video of 'King Without a Crown': The song ended 2005 as the Web site`s most downloaded video.
After 'Live at Stubb`s' sold 20,000 units, it was upstreamed from Or Music to Epic. At 35,000 units it moved from RED, Sony`s independent distribution arm, to Sony Distribution.
With Matisyahu`s jump to the majors came the difficult task of getting radio to view him as more than a gimmick. His appearance and beliefs never struck him as something that might hinder his success, however. 'I became religious, and that was a very serious thing for me, and music was always a serious thing for me, so this was just an expression of my life - the decisions I made and the music that I make,' he says. 'I was never worried about it.'
Calling every week she has worked 'King Without a Crown' a breakthrough week, Epic VP of modern rock promotion Jacqueline Saturn says the project has been an uphill climb.
'There`s been nothing easy about working this record,' she says. 'The one thing that`s been undeniable is [that] if that song gets on the air one time, the phones blow up.' To that end, the label did not have an official add date, and many times, Epic`s goal was to get just one spin and let audience reaction take over. That is exactly what happened at modern rock KNDD Seattle, where Saturn says that one spin led to 30 phone calls asking about the song.
Modern rock KROQ Los Angeles has a similar story. 'We threw it on and it got immediate phone response,' music director Lisa Worden recalls. 'Lyrically, it`s really striking a chord with people.' For several weeks, 'King Without a Crown' was KROQ`s most-played song.
Matisyahu won over Leslie Fram, PD of modern rock WNNX Atlanta, after performing live on the station`s morning show. WNNX still hesitated to add 'King Without a Crown,' but feedback and sales information, combined with the song`s uniqueness, convinced Fram and music director Jay Harren to add it. 'In a time when modern`s most-played artists are shared by other formats,' she says, 'it`s important to have one of our own.'Caplan credits RED, and especially RED VP of artist development Danny Buch, with starting the ball rolling. 'Danny just wouldn`t let it go,' Caplan says. Although the live album was initially seen as a 'steppingstone' to the new studio album, RED`s staff persisted in showing that it could be a stand-alone project.
Epic VP of marketing Scott Carter says the label is taking a grass-roots approach to setting up 'Youth.' 'Even though radio is stepping up, and our video spins will step up, we still have an online presence,' he says. 'That`s where his fans have been so far.' Carter says that about 33 percent of the tickets Matisyahu sells are bought online; his e-mail list is more than 30,000 strong. He is already confirmed to play the Coachella and Bonnaroo music festivals. Two shows at New York`s Hammerstein Ballroom (March 6-7) are sold out.
Considering that at the end of 2004 Matisyahu was doing a regional Hanukkah tour, he has enjoyed the past year. 'I didn`t know what to expect,' he says of his success. 'I`ve always been a lover of music, and I`ve always wanted to be able to perform and make music. When it`s just an idea or a dream, you`re not aware of the details of the process, what goes into it.'
And there continues to be a fine line to tread between pushing the music and observing his beliefs. Because of his religion _ Matisyahu belongs to the Chabad-Lubavitch branch of Hasidism _ he cannot touch women or sing romantic love songs, which means his days of audience diving may be over _ unless there is advanced planning.
When he made the first low-budget video for 'King Without a Crown,' he asked his rabbi if he could jump into the crowd, Caplan recalls. 'The rabbi said, `Sure.` He tries not to jump on a woman. His wife says, `I don`t think you can do it.` The rabbi comes back and says, `What? There`s women in the crowd? No, you can`t do that.` ' So, Caplan adds, for the 'Youth' video, the audience that Matisyahu jumps into is all male: 'His religion is the most important thing to him.'
© 2006 VNU eMedia. All Rights Reserved(taken from monstersandcritics, thanks to Chaim)
In the last post I talked about how Matisyahu's live performance of "Youth" was not soo good (it was bad realy). I said it is only true the only one song (youth), and now as if to make my point comes another live performance, this time on Jummy Kimmel, and this time Matisyahu was doing "King Without A Crown" and "Jerusalem", both were pretty good, here see for your self:
Matisyahu sang "Youth" on NBC's Conan O'Brien on the 7th of march 2006.
Matisyahu does not sport the flashy duds and jewelry of your everyday pop superstar. Instead of gold chains around his neck, he sports a long beard and simple horn-rimmed glasses. Instead of the latest styles by chic hip-hop fashion lines, he prefers the streimel and wool bekeshe, the hat and long tailored coat that are common to his Hasidic Jewish faith.
In the mainstream reggae world of Daddy Yankee and Sean Paul, Matisyahu (born Matthew Miller) clearly is an oddity. Dig a little deeper, though, and faith-filled discipline in his lyrics is like classic reggae through and through.
Take reggae patriarch Bob Marley: His devotion to the Rastafarian religious movement permeated his rhythmic chants. Fast-forward 30 years and Matisyahu's approach on his debut album Shake Off the Dust... Arise and the new Youth, released yesterday, is not all that different in spirit. Rather than Rastafarianism, his music celebrates his faith, Hasidic Judaism.
"I think Marley's adherence to his beliefs is part of the reason why I was attracted to him and this music," says Matisyahu, 26. He'll perform a sold-out show at Warehouse Live this Sunday.
"I sort of have this holistic image of him in my mind. He woke up in the morning, cooked breakfast for everyone and talked with his family and made music.
"Religion was very much a part of all of that."
Still, a Hasidic reggae star? Credit music fans for keeping open-minded about Matisyahu.
Two years ago Shake off the Dust... Arise was considered little more than a novelty release on the small New York label J-Dub. Last year's concert recording Live At Stubb's and a buzzy South by Southwest Music Conference appearance officially launched the cult of Matisyahu.
Recorded at the small amphitheater behind Stubb's Bar-B-Q in downtown Austin, Live at Stubb's sold more than 500,000 copies and peaked at No. 32 on Billboard's pop chart. Highlight song King Without a Crown also made a splash on forward-thinking rock and college stations; the track reached No. 7 on U.S. modern rock chart.
Those numbers are more in line with the hip-hop-tinged reggaetón or dancehall forms of reggae that have become popular recently. Traditional reggae, even by established international reggae stars, rarely breaks out beyond the world music charts.
Other artists are looking to capture his vibe. Rock-rap group P.O.D recently recruited Matisyahu to lend vocals to several songs on its latest album Testify.
But the effect on Matisyahu's day-to-day has been minimal.
"My lifestyle is different, but I think philosophically the Hasidic core is not very confining," says Matisyahu who, along with his wife and their son belong to the Lubavitch Hasidic Community in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. "I pray three times a day, I eat kosher, I don't do drugs and I don't hang out with women after shows.
"But this is already a part of who I am. I don't even think about it. I think Hasidic culture and Judaism is cool."(taken from chron.com)
MATISYAHU'S YOUTH HAS ARRIVED!
A new era requires a new voice, one that speaks the truth, speaks it from the heart, and has the magic to appeal to the masses. If you haven’t heard of Matisyahu, it’s time that you did.
You have one day and 16 hours to listen to the intire youth album online for free.
Today I registered to SIRIUS Satellite Radio (free trial), I was listening to one of their pop channels, the channel is called "SIRIUS Hits 1" (The songs at the top of the charts and the latest pop hits). And what do I hear? Yes, you guessed it, Matisyahu's "King without a crown". I'm not sure if Matisyahu is really "pop" but nevermind. I keep listening hoping to hear new songs from "Youth".
It turns out that archive.org has many audio files of Matisyahu live.
Now, I must say, I've seen much better performances of Matisyahu....