Matisyahu - Quotes

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Growing up, the way that I looked was very important to me. I was always trying to impress people, and when I grew my beard there was a certain freedom, a separation, getting past this the way I looked, identify myself as a spiritual seeker.

Growing up, the way that I looked was very important to me. I was always trying to impress people, and when I grew my beard there was a certain freedom, a separation, getting past this the way I looked, identify myself as a spiritual seeker.

I think there is a tendency for people to get rigid and caught up in their beliefs of what is right and wrong, and they lose sight of humanity. Being human has to come first before right or wrong. ---->>>

Some artists are bound to an image: Bob Marley has dreadlocks, Matisyahu has a beard. But that's a reminder that the whole thing is not about style. It's about music. ---->>>

Judaism is my life. Everything I do is through the lens of Torah. ---->>>

Reggae music isn't Jewish, but a lot of the ideas are.

Reggae music isn't Jewish, but a lot of the ideas are.

The idea that God's mercy is connected to whether or not I shave is ludicrous, and I need to just trust myself, and that, you know, if I'm deserving of God's mercy, I'll get it, regardless of, you know, my beard.

The idea that God's mercy is connected to whether or not I shave is ludicrous, and I need to just trust myself, and that, you know, if I'm deserving of God's mercy, I'll get it, regardless of, you know, my beard.

We're so quick to go to make things black and white, and to put things in their box. But everything is this mixture - and that's what this world is - is this blend of different things. ---->>>

With music, you're working with a producer, and you walk out of the studio six hours later with a track that's almost completely finished. There's an almost immediate payoff. ---->>>

When a person listens to a good song, and they can look out at the world and their lives and see the dark and the light, the negative and the positive, all the different elements, all come together in one holistic poem, that is a very healing and very reductive thing, and that's what my music is about.

When a person listens to a good song, and they can look out at the world and their lives and see the dark and the light, the negative and the positive, all the different elements, all come together in one holistic poem, that is a very healing and very reductive thing, and that's what my music is about.

I always knew I was different and that people had opinions about me. I guess I learned as best as I can to shield out a lot and live my life from within. ---->>>

When there's light shining on a tree, that tree takes on different meaning. If there's no light at all it just looks dead. If you look at light as godly meaning, the world comes alive in a certain way. ---->>>

The kind of music I'm trying to make is conscious, to make people think and feel and get inspired. ---->>>

I don't think you could pull one Bob Marley song that didn't have quotes from the Torah or the Old Testament. ---->>>

People aren't religious because it's easy not to be. Like anything, it's habitual, and once it's a habit it's no longer hard. ---->>>

There's something really powerful when I, for example, hear Bob Marley's 'Exodus' - we know where we're going. We know where we're from. ---->>>

When people feel a certain religion claims to have all the answers, that's what turns them off.

When people feel a certain religion claims to have all the answers, that's what turns them off.

I think that listening to music or creating music is a spiritual undertaking, so the process of creating music, you know, involves listening. It involves sensitivity, it involves humility, you know, and then also it's something which is higher than words. ---->>>

One of the first places where I started to respond to song lyrics was in reggae music. A lot of what I was responding to were references to the Old Testament. It was not that I had to adapt the lyrics to the sound. Reggae and the Old Testament are bound up together. There wasn't anything that I had to do. ---->>>

The real reason Jews don't have more Hanukkah music is that, historically, American Jewish singer-songwriters were too busy making Christmas music. 'White Christmas,' 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' 'Silver Bells' and 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)' were all written by Jews.

The real reason Jews don't have more Hanukkah music is that, historically, American Jewish singer-songwriters were too busy making Christmas music. 'White Christmas,' 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' 'Silver Bells' and 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)' were all written by Jews.

Most of my life wasn't about knowledge from books, but experiential knowledge. ---->>>

At a certain point, I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity... to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person, I needed rules - lots of them - or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. ---->>>

My mother's sister married a man from Barbados, and my cousins were raised in Barbados. So we traveled down there, they came up every summer for camp, and I started paying attention to their music. And that was the first place I ever remember hearing reggae and liking it. ---->>>

The best part of touring is the opportunity to make the music. You get to do what you love and have the ability to go out on stage every night and create. ---->>>

When I first started reading about the kabbalists, I would hear about them being seen in strange places. It would turn out that they were doing some kind of spiritual work to elevate the sparks. In my life and career, I've had the opportunity to find myself where I could make some spiritual moves, to do some work that is spiritually important. ---->>>

When I listen to music, there's usually some aspect of that music that I like, and that's what I take and try to bring into my own music. Bringing in other musicians to collaborate with is a good way for me to test out new ways or make music that I might have not discovered on my own. ---->>>

I do what I love, thank God. I get to make music and get inspiration through Judaism. I can see why people might be surprised, because it's not been done before. It's certainly not typical. People are always trying to wrap head their around it. But it's probably simpler than everyone thinks. ---->>>

I think when you're a fan of music - at least the way I've been a fan to artists that have really touched me - you're with them for the long haul. They might do things that you don't understand or agree with, but I think I've always tried to hold my judgment and give them the space to do what they need to do. ---->>>

Music is my first love and the thing that I feel extremely connected to. I feel like I still have a long way to go within that in terms of being able to perform and write songs. But, yeah, I really hope 'The Possession' opens doors for me to do more acting, because I really enjoyed it. ---->>>

There are so many rules in Judaism, and if you get into them and you get obsessed and you have the kind of life that I have, it can make you a very unhappy person. It can make everything complicated and more stressful than it needs to be, so I kind of loosened the knots a little bit. ---->>>

When I was 17, I listened to reggae music. I loved Bob Marley. I started growing dreadlocks. It's always been my way, that the outside matches what's going on with me inside. ---->>>

I grew up pretty secular. I went to public school, and all the Jews that I knew, none of them were religious. While probably half of my friends were Jewish, they were all secular Jews. We went to Hebrew school, we knew we were Jewish, but it wasn't a major part of our existence. ---->>>

I started at home as a kid putting on shows and lip-syncing Michael Jackson for the grown-ups. Then, in musicals and plays in school. At 17, I was performing in coffee shops and in parking lots at Phish shows. At 18, I had a band that played local shows in the Northwest. ---->>>

In Judaism, there are a lot of rules - everything from which fingernail you cut first to which side you sleep on in bed, to the way you get dressed in the morning, to actual ideas, like ideas about being chosen people or ideas about female/male and how to interact with people from the opposite sex. ---->>>

The No. 1 best-selling Christmas album of all time is from Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, the Jewish smooth-jazz legend Kenny G. American Jews have always produced a lot of holiday music, just not Hanukkah music. ---->>>

When I started wearing a yarmulke, I wanted to stand out or take the form of whatever was inspiring me. But now I think there's something to not working it, to keeping it on the inside, and it just being kind of like a secret. ---->>>

When I'm meditating on an idea, I try to let the idea completely saturate me to the point where I feel like I'm covering myself in it or totally immersing myself in it, so that everywhere I'm looking, everywhere I'm going, it's through the lens of that idea. And that's sort of what I do with the music - I try to lose myself in it. ---->>>

I remember the moment when it hit me. I was walking down Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side, and it felt like I was literally walking out of a jail cell that I had been in. At that moment, I realized I could shave if I wanted. It was up to me and no one else. ---->>>

What is it to keep kosher? Is it eating kosher potato chips? Kosher is a bigger idea. I think it's about being healthy. But according to some people, it's about not eating this food because it's forbidden by the Jewish law. My view of the halachah changed a little bit. The laws are there hopefully to be a tool. ---->>>

I would say that as I've gotten older, I trust my intuition more; I allow myself more freedom both musically, creatively and my own life existentially. ---->>>

Change is an internal thing. Different things happen or transform, and music and art is a documentation of that. ---->>>

I always had a love of music, from the time I was a little kid, dressing up and singing along with Michael Jackson songs. ---->>>

I think my music has always been a mixture, depending on whom I'm working with - what band, what musicians, what producer. ---->>>

Music has always been such an amazing tool for me to access self and emotion.

Music has always been such an amazing tool for me to access self and emotion.

The world that I come from is the world of raves, hip-hop clubs, and rock and roll. ---->>>

I don't partake, really, of any of the typical rock-star-lifestyle things you could think of. I try to be responsible when I'm out on the road. I take it pretty seriously, what I'm doing, as something that's good for the world, and my family, and everyone. ---->>>

I enjoyed coming home to Crown Heights. There was a certain order to life there. You know, Shabbos, spending time with your family, eating and being in 'shul.' Prayers at nighttime, prayers in the morning. Everyone knows everybody; you walk your kids everywhere.

I enjoyed coming home to Crown Heights. There was a certain order to life there. You know, Shabbos, spending time with your family, eating and being in 'shul.' Prayers at nighttime, prayers in the morning. Everyone knows everybody; you walk your kids everywhere.

I get on a real serious health kick when I'm on the road, because as a singer, you can't really get sick. If you get sick, your whole instrument stops working. I've done all these different vitamin drinks. I drink coconut water, and I run. I eat food. I juice. ---->>>

I have a whole regimen to my day: my vocal warm-ups, my prayers, my meditations... I pray three times a day. I try to have a real experience praying, not just do it. I really get deep into the idea and really try to get somewhere with it, to have an in-depth understanding of the idea. ---->>>

In 2004, when I started recording my first CD, I was coming right out of yeshiva. So I had spent two years completely immersed in the Hasidic culture, disconnected completely from the secular world - movies, music, people. ---->>>

Is it possible Hanukkah doesn't inspire folksy songs? Plot lines may be a part. The Christmas story has a lot of material to work with. There's Jesus and his birth, the wise men, their gifts and tons of frankincense. ---->>>

Songs that aren't even remotely connected to Christmas are now officially canonized Christmas tunes. 'Frosty the Snowman,' 'Jingle Bells' and 'Winter Wonderland' never mention anything religious but are still notches in Christmas' belt of musical dominance. ---->>>

When I first started, everything happened at once. I became religious, my musical career took off, I got married, I had kids, and all that happened within the course of a year. I had an excitement about this newly found faith, and so I was writing about that in a very evident kind of way. ---->>>

There was a time when I was fighting with the decision as to whether or not a Hasidic man could go out and have a music career in the world and be involved in pop culture. For me, I was able to bring those two things together for quite some time. ---->>>

Every record I do is a learning process for how I want to do the next one. ---->>>

I kind of think that music in general is a sacred thing, and that's what music has kind of always been for me. ---->>>

My music is not really about one ideology. It's not about one truth. ---->>>

My music is really about people connecting with their identities, even if they aren't Jewish. ---->>>

The Jewish world is becoming fully integrated with the ideas of the normal world. They feed off each other. ---->>>

The religious lifestyle keeps you focused. It's helpful when trying to manoeuvre through the music scene. ---->>>

When I'm onstage, I'm not thinking about ideas. I'm not in my head at all. It's a more physical experience. ---->>>

I was into acting as a kid. There was a time when I was 18 that I played the boy in a production of 'Equus' in Oregon, and I thought that was going to be my life. ---->>>

I'm not an expert in instruments, beat programming, or electronics. For some people it's all about doing it themselves. But for me, it's all about find the people that can help make my vision come true. ---->>>

When I became religious, it was full-force for me. And, through the lifestyle of being out on the road with non-Jewish musicians, in non-Jewish nightclubs and going all over the world - getting out of the shtetl - opened me up to having experiences that other religious men might not have to think or worry about. ---->>>

When I went to see certain shows when I was a kid, they changed my life. They made me tap into that place inside myself that I was unable to get to, so music is that tool, that bridge, and that's the kind of music I'm interested in making. ---->>>

Whenever I approach a record, I don't really have a science to it. I approach every record differently. First record was in a home studio. Second record was a live record. Third record was made while I was on tour. Fourth record was made over the course of, like, two years in David Kahn's basement. ---->>>

As a kid, I was really into performing. I would do choruses, I would do musicals, whatever it was. And then, as a teenager, I got into an acting class at SUNY Purchase for gifted kids, and that really turned me on to material beyond musicals, Sam Shepard, and Christopher Durang plays. ---->>>

For me, it's always this constant battle and search when I'm out on stage as to where and when do I really open myself up to the people that are there. How do I let myself feel present in the space, and how do I allow myself to get into the music and interact with the band members. ---->>>

I did some acting in college. But then everything stopped when I was a junior, in the fall of 2001, when I started becoming religious. Once I became a full-on Hasidic, I stopped everything. I stopped music. I stopped acting. ---->>>

I don't really know if I would consider myself anything in particular. I would say I'm inspired in a Hasidic way, but I certainly don't keep all the customs and rules I once did. ---->>>

I feel there's a lot of anti-Israel sentiment in the world and a lot of ignorance about what Israel is and does. But it's not for me to speak on Israel's behalf. ---->>>

I felt a real strong connection and still do with Hanukkah. So it started out by doing concerts on Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights tour, and then, yeah, let's make some Hanukkah songs. Let me make a Hanukkah song that kids can listen to, party to and get the spirituality of it, because it is not just about dreidels and having fun. ---->>>

I started out in the Chabad movement, and I started pretty closed up, with the idea of there being that 'this is it.' I bought into that fully. I really explored in depth the Chabad ideology. ---->>>

I still believe there is a lot of truth in Orthodox Judaism, but not the whole truth. Each person has his truth that he has to discover. You don't necessarily have to mold yourself to another idea of who you are. ---->>>

It was a really strange way that I came into music. Once I gave voice to it, the pit of emotions that I guess I knew was inside of me for a long time, the stream never really stopped. ---->>>

It's a holistic process for me during a show. I'm always focusing on the technical aspects of my voice. I try to make my voice do what I want. One big thing I do to improve on each show is to listen back to performances on CD while on tour. ---->>>

Literally, there is a lot of talk about sparks in the Kabbalah. It talks about when God created the world initially, there was an explosion that happened like a Big Bang but based on vessels and light. ---->>>

My life is not separate from my music, you know? It's not like a day job that I leave and go home. It's who I am as a person and how I am trying to grow, come closer to God, be a better person.

My life is not separate from my music, you know? It's not like a day job that I leave and go home. It's who I am as a person and how I am trying to grow, come closer to God, be a better person.

The place that I'm trying to come from and where I'm trying to make music from is when I feel like I'm able to somehow, like, transcend it all and just speak right to God. ---->>>

Vocal rest is awesome. It is like any kind of fast. Firstly, it is a purification of speech. It made me realize how not careful I am with the things I say. It also makes you find new ways of communication and new methods to connect with people. ---->>>

With 'Light,' I collaborated with a lot of different producers and musicians I respected, and we all wrote and worked on material which I then took to an old-school producer, David Kahne, and we put it all together. The lyrics came first - they were written before the music. ---->>>

Biography

Name: Matisyahu
Nationality: American
Born: 06-30, 1979
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Musician

Matthew Paul Miller (born June 30, 1979), known by his Hebrew and stage name Matisyahu (מתתיהו ; "Gift of God"), is a Jewish American reggae vocalist, beatboxer, and alternative rock musician. Known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop beatboxing sounds, Matisyahu's 2005 single "King Without a Crown" was a Top 40 hit in the United States (wikipedia)