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Matisyahu

When Matisyahu emerged in 2004 with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust...Arise, his musical persona seemed a novelty to some. Here was a Hasidic Jew -- dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard -- who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica. Moreover, he punctuated his performances with stage diving. It may have seemed like a joke at first, but Matisyahu was serious about his craft, and his diverse style soon garnered Grammy nominations, gold record certifications, and a broad audience.

Matisyahu was born Matthew Miller on June 30, 1979, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Berkeley, California, which they eventually ditched for White Plains, New York. Miller initially rebelled against his traditional Jewish upbringing, considering himself a Deadhead and a hippie by his early teens. But at the age of 14, during a camping trip in Colorado, he reconciled himself to Judaism and visited Israel shortly thereafter. After returning to White Plains, he dropped out of high school and traveled the country to attend Phish concerts. Back at home again, he agreed to let his parents send him to a wilderness school in Bend, Oregon, where he became enamored of reggae and hip-hop, and began rapping at open-mike competitions. He returned to New York at 19 to attend the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, but also joined the Carlebach Shul, a synagogue where his musical interests were encouraged. Meeting a Lubavitch rabbi, he became interested in the strict Lubavitch Hasidic sect of Judaism and renamed himself Matisyahu.

Continuing to perform, Matisyahu assembled a backing band consisting of guitarist Aaron Dugan, bassist Josh Werner, and drummer Jonah David. The group recorded Shake Off the Dust...Arise, which was released by JDub Records in 2004. While touring in support of the album, Matisyahu recorded one of his February 2005 concerts and released the material as Live at Stubb's, which was issued in April courtesy of Or Music before getting picked up for national distribution by Epic Records. Epic reissued it on August 23, 2005, as Matisyahu toured around the country and prepared a second studio album with producer Bill Laswell. The final product, Youth, appeared in March 2006 and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Reggae Album. A simultaneously released dub version of the album was made available to mail-order customers.

Meanwhile, Matisyahu's backing musicians chose to release additional material on their own, adopting the name Roots Tonic for the side project. Roots Tonic Meets Bill Laswell marked the group's debut in May 2006, and by the end of the year the EP/DVD combo No Place to Be was also released. Jonah David dropped out of the band in June 2007, however, and Roots Tonic effectively disbanded, despite the enlistment of replacement drummer Skoota Warner. The entire group (sans David) turned its focus back to Matisyahu instead, and Light marked the singer's third LP upon its release in August 2009. Two years later, Live at Stubb's, Vol. 2 would appear, this time with a companion DVD release. In late 2011, the singer posted a picture with a shaved head and payes cut with the caption, "No more Chassidic reggae superstar." As such, his 2012 effort Spark Seeker was more secular pop, and was produced by Kool Kojak, who had previously worked with Kesha and Nicki Minaj. In 2014, Matisyahu released his fifth LP, Akeda. The tracks had been written while on tour and then recorded at Studio G with producer Stu Brooks. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Broken Car (Single)

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Track List: Champion (Single)

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Track List: Confidence (Single)

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Track List: Hard Way (Single)

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Track List: Miracle (Radio Single)

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Track List: One Day (Remixes)

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Track List: Sunshine (Single)

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Track List: Watch The Walls Melt Down (Single)

Comments

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love this guy!
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Speaks to me on such a deeper level.
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Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post this on 5 other songs
Look under your pillow
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Shine On You: I like this song
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A rapping Hasidic jew who can't flow and reagge is week....Sign me up
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Mist Rising: So beautiful, I love Matisyahu's music.
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olaverriam
i love sunshine&
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����
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H one day is the most touching and thoughtful song I ever heard it was really sad his dream hasn't come true yet but god will accomplish that dream one day
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One Day: I love this song. :-)
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Somebody made a comment that this guy "obviously isn't a Christian". Duh really? But he is spiritual and he is real and you can feel that in his music. I am honored that he is sharing with me and the world the talents that the CREATOR has bestowed upon him. It would be a sin if he did not. I am Catholic and I am also a Christian that would love to have such a talent such a gift. I praise the CREATOR for allowing this man we share his gift with me.
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He changed my life god bless all <3
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AWESOME
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This guy has swag
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michaelblair 6 6 0
bsworkspot, please stop...face palm...
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I can totally relate to all the lyrics. Truly unique too say the least. I'm a Jew and understand the higher being struggle... Finding the mystery in the magic my friend. L'chaim!!!
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A M AZ ing! #OneLove
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One of my favorite song artist.
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This song really specks to me it hit me on a hole nother level I wonder what this song means to him
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um great station
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andrewe95
And Ooklah the Moc
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Awesome songs


Watch the walls Melt down

����:-D
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don't you just love reggae its just so awesome :-D
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Wait wait wait. So, he's a Jewish guy who sings reggae? Well, there's the modern world for ya! Good stuff...and I'm not even a reggae fan.
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I saw Matisyahu for the first time at a reggae fest in Panama City, FL...and WOW, he is awesome!
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You spend too much time on these comments.
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Chantel. Nine my a**. On stage twice....Wha t . The.
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O Israel black people Hebrew when are we going back to Jerusalem Zion
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O Israel black people Hebrew when are we going back to Jerusalem Zion
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I have seen you in concert 4 times and you were AWESOME
I am nine and when I was three I would always say daddy turn on chop em down i would always sing along kinda like karaoke but now i always say turn on watch the walls melt down I have been up on stage at 2 of your concerts and met your sons in the tour bus we got to hang out in there to
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Saw Matisyahu at Utah reggae rise up festival and loved it great performer!
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no one cares
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keep that crap to urself Bea, this is music only
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Matisyahu made me be myself the song live like a warrior made me become myself and I started a band called Black PHEONIX and I make songs and I'm making songs and I want PPl to see god through me peace out.
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AKEDA:: The Akeda is arguably one of the most important stories in Jewish tradition. It is the root of God's promise to the Jewish people of land and of forgiveness of sin, the adumbration and the story of the chosenness of Ishmael (proper spelling and pronunciatio n is from the Hebrew name of Ysmael) Hello… that would be me… thank you :=).
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I BELIEVE IN LOVE: YES
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I always get a good message from his music. I think everyone can listen and get something good from it. Alright. PEACE, LOVE, AND HAVE FUN. b :-)
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King Without A Crown: Straight up. I think I have a thing for this guy. I have nothing else to say at this point. PEACE... b I love Matisyahu's music. He's just simply awesome. Great lyrics, great logic, and great music. And he's HOT. That never hurts anything.
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Can someone tell me when his next concert in Idaho is?! ;)
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Matisyahu has been my favorite artist for 4 years. I love him!!!
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Love this song !! HAS great message.
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Fire of Heaven/Altar of Earth: Cool. spoken like a true prophet. :-)
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time of your song..this guy is crazy i love it
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There needs to be a concert/fest event with Matisyahu, Citizen Cope and Chet Faker...
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mel777
Beautiful. Needed this. Mike Perry, made me smile.:)
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Makes me proud to be a old hippie Vietnam vet jew
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Bend, Oregon <3 matisyahu is such an inspiration
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dat b**ch zenaida Leon..(Calle d nikky cuban minaj) annoys the f**k outta me. she puts stupid comments all over pandora. b**ch think she hot or somethin.
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I Believe In Love: Great song, great lyrics, great music. YEA.
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tpetrou930
Thank you.....T.Ma u r e e
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