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Background information
Birth nameMatthew Paul Miller
Also known asMatisyahu
Born (1979-06-30) June 30, 1979 (age 39)
West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Origin White Plains, New York, U.S.
Genres Reggae, Jewish rock, Jewish hip hop, alternative hip hop, alternative rock, reggae fusion, reggae rock [1]
Occupation(s)Singer, rapper, activist, actor
InstrumentsVocals, beatboxing
Years active2000–present
LabelsFallen Sparks, JDub, Epic, SBMG Records
Associated acts Avicii
Alec Benjamin
Dub Trio
Sublime with Rome
Umphrey's McGee
The Dirty Heads
Infected Mushroom
Les Claypool
Nosson Zand
The Crystal Method
Collie Buddz
Adel Tawil
Levi Robin
Kosha Dillz

Matthew Paul Miller (born June 30, 1979), [2] known by his Hebrew and stage name Matisyahu ( /ˌmɑːtɪsˈjɑːh/ ; מתּתיהו, "Gift of God"), is an American Jewish reggae singer, rapper, beatboxer, and alternative rock musician.

Reggae music genre from Jamaica

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s.The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae," effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political comment. Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as ‘Rudie Blues’, then ‘Ska’, later ‘Blue Beat’, and ‘Rock Steady’. It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.

Rapping is a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular", which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backing beat or musical accompaniment. The components of rap include "content", "flow", and "delivery". Rap differs from spoken-word poetry in that rap is usually performed in time to an instrumental track. Rap is often associated with, and is a primary ingredient of hip-hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon predate hip-hop culture. The earliest precursor to the modern rap is the West African griot tradition, in which "oral historians", or "praise-singers", would disseminate oral traditions and genealogies, or use their formidable rhetorical techniques for gossip or to "praise or critique individuals." Griot traditions connect to rap along a lineage of Black verbal reverence that goes back to ancient Egyptian practices, through James Brown interacting with the crowd and the band between songs, to Muhammad Ali's quick-witted verbal taunts and the palpitating poems of the Last Poets. Therefore, rap lyrics and music are part of the "Black rhetorical continuum", and aim to reuse elements of past traditions while expanding upon them through "creative use of language and rhetorical styles and strategies. The person credited with originating the style of "delivering rhymes over extensive music", that would become known as rap, was Anthony "DJ Hollywood" Holloway from Harlem, New York.

Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock.


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. [3] Since 2004, he has released five studio albums as well as two live albums, two remix CDs and two DVDs featuring live concerts. In addition, Matisyahu played the role of Tzadok in The Possession , a supernatural horror film directed by Ole Bornedal and co-produced by Sam Raimi. Through his career, Matisyahu has worked with Bill Laswell, reggae producers Sly & Robbie, and Kool Kojak.

Orthodox Judaism denomination of Judaism

Orthodox Judaism is a collective term for the traditionalist branches of contemporary Judaism. Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as literally revealed by God on Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted ever since. Orthodox Judaism therefore advocates a strict observance of Jewish Law, or Halakha, which is to be interpreted and determined only according to traditional methods and in adherence to the continuum of received precedent through the ages. It regards the entire halakhic system as ultimately grounded in immutable revelation, essentially beyond external and historical influence. More than any theoretical issue, obeying the dietary, purity, ethical, and other laws of Halakha is the hallmark of Orthodoxy. Other key doctrines include belief in a future resurrection of the dead, divine reward and punishment for the righteous and the sinners, the Election of Israel, and an eventual restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem under the Messiah.

Jewish music is the music and melodies of the Jewish people. There exist both traditions of religious music, as sung at the synagogue and domestic prayers, and of secular music, such as klezmer. While some elements of Jewish music may originate in biblical times, differences of rhythm and sound can be found among later Jewish communities that have been musically influenced by location. In the nineteenth century, religious reform led to composition of ecclesiastic music in the styles of classical music. At the same period, academics began to treat the topic in the light of ethnomusicology. Edward Seroussi has written, "What is known as 'Jewish music' today is thus the result of complex historical processes". A number of modern Jewish composers have been aware of and influenced by the different traditions of Jewish music.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.


Early life

Matthew Paul Miller was born on June 30, 1979, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His family eventually settled in White Plains, New York. [2] [4] [5] He was brought up a Reconstructionist Jew, [6] [7] and attended Hebrew school at Bet Am Shalom, a synagogue in White Plains. [8] [9] He spent much of his childhood learning the tenets of Judaism, [10] but by the time he was a teenager, Matisyahu began to rebel against his rigid upbringing. [11] He started taking drugs and dropped out of White Plains Senior High School. He became a self-professed "Phish-head", taking hallucinogens and following the rock band Phish on tour. [11]

West Chester, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

West Chester, is a borough and the county seat of Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 18,461 at the 2010 census.

White Plains, New York City in New York, United States

White Plains is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is the county seat and commercial hub of Westchester, an affluent suburban county just north of New York City that is home to almost one million people. White Plains is located in south-central Westchester, with its downtown 25 miles (40 km) north of Midtown Manhattan.

Reconstructionist Judaism denomination of Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern Jewish movement that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization and is based on the conceptions developed by Mordecai Kaplan (1881–1983). The movement originated as a semi-organized stream within Conservative Judaism and developed from the late 1920s to 1940s, before it seceded in 1955 and established a rabbinical college in 1967.

In autumn 1995, Matisyahu attended a two-month program at the Alexander Muss High School in Hod Hasharon, Israel. [12] [13] [14] The program offers students first-hand exploration of Jewish heritage as a way of solidifying Jewish identity. After he finished Muss, he returned to New York, where he subsequently left high school after the first day of his senior year to travel throughout the US. A stint in a rehabilitation center in upstate New York followed.[ citation needed ]

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and cease substance abuse to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse. Treatment includes medication for depression or other disorders, counseling by experts and sharing of experience with other addicts.

Miller then attended a wilderness expedition trip in Oregon for teenagers. "It was not necessarily for drug rehabilitation, but that was part of the reason I was out there," he explained to a journalist of The Jewish Daily Forward in 2008. [15] He finished high school at a wilderness program in Bend, Oregon. [16] In Oregon, he identified himself as "Matt, the Jewish rapper kid from New York." Matisyahu has contrasted this time in Oregon to his life in New York City. "I was suddenly the token Jew. This was now my search for my own identity, and part of Judaism feeling more important and relevant to me."

Oregon State of the United States of America

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Bend, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Bend is a city in, and the county seat of, Deschutes County, Oregon, United States. It is the principal city of the Bend-Redmond Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. Bend recorded a population of 76,693 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 52,029 at the 2000 census. The estimated population of the city as of 2016 is 91,122. The Bend-Redmond metro population was estimated at 165,954 as of July 1, 2013. It is the fifth largest metropolitan area in Oregon.

He returned to New York and started developing his reggae, spending hours in his room, writing and practicing his style to the accompaniment of hip-hop tapes. He recounts that at the same time, he started praying, getting himself a prayer book and prayer shawl. He learned of the Carlebach Shul synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, and he began attending religious services every Sabbath, as well as wearing a yarmulke (head covering) and tzitzit (a fringed undergarment). It was then that he met NYU's Chabad rabbi, Dov Yonah Korn. [15]

A siddur is a Jewish prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. The word siddur comes from the Hebrew root ס־ד־ר meaning "order".

Tallit fringed shawl traditionally worn by religious Jews

A tallit is a fringed garment traditionally worn by religious Jews. The tallit has special twined and knotted fringes known as tzitzit attached to its four corners. The cloth part is known as the "beged" and is usually made from wool or cotton, although silk is sometimes used for a tallit gadol.

Synagogue Jewish or Samaritan house of prayer

A synagogue, is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship.


Matisyahu performing at the Roskilde Festival in 2006 Matisyahu at Roskilde.jpg
Matisyahu performing at the Roskilde Festival in 2006

From 2001 through July 2007, Matisyahu was affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. However, as of July 17, 2007, he told the Miami New Times in an interview that he no longer "necessarily" identifies with the Lubavitch movement. In the interview he stated that "...the more I'm learning about other types of Jews, I don't want to exclude myself. I felt boxed in." [17] Additionally, in the fall of 2007, while on a family vacation spent primarily in Jerusalem's Nachlaot neighborhood, he expressed interest in another Hasidic group, that of Karlin. [18] As of November 2007 he had confirmed a preference to pray at the Karliner synagogue in Borough Park, Brooklyn where the custom is to ecstatically scream prayers; however he continued to reside in Crown Heights because of his wife's affinity for the community. [19]

Soon after his adoption of Hasidism, Matisyahu began studying Torah at Hadar Hatorah, a yeshiva for returnees to Judaism where he wrote and recorded his first album. He counts Bob Marley, Phish, [20] God Street Wine and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach among his musical inspirations and gives credit to Rabbi Simon Jacobson's book Toward a Meaningful Life for the lyrical inspiration to Youth's title track. As part of his faith, he strictly observed the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday; thus he did not perform in concert on Friday nights. An exception to this rule occurred at a 2007 concert in Fairbanks, Alaska; since the sun did not set until 12:00 a.m., performing in the late hours was not a violation of Jewish observance. [21] In 2014, he appears to have performed on at least one Friday night. [22]


Miller performed for over a year as MC Truth in Bend, Oregon. In 2004, after having signed with JDub Records, he released his first album, Shake Off the Dust...Arise . At Bonnaroo 2005, Trey Anastasio of the band Phish invited him for a guest spot on his set. [23] His next album, Live at Stubb's was produced for Or Music by Angelo Montrone. It was distributed to Or Music by Sony/RED, and later up streamed to Sony/Epic. Live at Stubb's , released in 2006, was recorded at a concert in Austin, Texas, was followed by the studio album Youth which was produced by Bill Laswell, with minor contribution by pop producers Jimmy Douglass and the Ill Factor.

In 2005 and 2006, he toured extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe; and made a number of stops in Israel, including a performance as the supporting act for Sting in June 2006. In late 2006, he released No Place to Be , a remix album featuring re-recordings and remixes of songs from all three of his earlier albums, as well as a cover of "Message in a Bottle" by The Police. The live version of the song "King Without a Crown" broke into the Modern Rock Top 10 in 2006. The accompanying video and album, Youth, produced by Bill Laswell, was released on March 7, 2006. On March 16, Youth was Billboard magazine's number-one Digital Album. In 2006, he appeared once again at Bonnaroo, this time performing a solo set. [24]

On March 1, 2006, right before the release of Youth, he informed JDub that he no longer needed its management services. He has since been represented by former Capitol Records president Gary Gersh. JDub claims the artist has three years remaining on a four-year management contract. JDub managed his act, but was not his record label. [25] Since his debut, Matisyahu has received positive reviews from both rock and reggae outlets. In 2006, he was named as Top Reggae Artist by Billboard [26] as well as being named a spokesperson for Kenneth Cole. [27] In 2006, Esquire magazine awarded Matisyahu the "Most Lovable Oddball" award in their "Esky" Music Awards, calling him "the most intriguing reggae artist in the world." [28]

At the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival, the film Unsettled , in which Matisyahu appears, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature. While attending the festival, he performed in an impromptu concert at the Park City Film Music Festival in Park City, Utah. In the summer of 2007 he joined 311 on their Summer Unity Tour. He also performed in the 2008 documentary Call + Response . [29] His third studio album, Light , was released on August 25, 2009, along with the live EP Live at Twist & Shout . From July 10–30, 2010, Matisyahu (along with The Dirty Heads) supported Sublime with Rome (the new version of the band) on their US tour. [30]

In November 2009, NBC used Matisyahu's song "One Day" as background music for their advertisement of the Olympic games. This stirred up speculation that "One Day" might become the theme song for the 2010 Olympics. However, it remained only NBC's top pick, and was not announced to be the theme song. [31] On August 2, 2010, Matisyahu revealed to OC Weekly that he has been writing new songs for his next album, which was expected to be recorded within weeks of his statement. [32] On November 3, 2010, he performed his music accompanied by a single acoustic guitarist, recited poetry and answered questions at the University of Central Florida. [33] On November 26, 2010, Matisyahu released "Two", a special edition Record Store Day Black Friday 7" vinyl record, for independent record stores. He recorded a Sephardic music-influenced hip hop song "Two Child One Drop" for Sephardic Music Festival, Vol. 1, a compilation album released by Shemspeed, alongside artists such as formerly-Hasidic rapper Y-Love, Israeli hip-hop group Hadag Nahash, and psychedelic rock/Sephardic fusion group Pharaoh's Daughter. [34]

Matisyahu at Republik Music Festival 4, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 9, 2014 Matisyahu crowd surfing.jpg
Matisyahu at Republik Music Festival 4, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 9, 2014

On August 18, 2010, Matisyahu returned to Stubb's in Austin, Texas, for another live recording for Live at Stubb's, Vol. 2 . He released the album on February 1, 2011. [35] In 2011, he embarked on a concert tour. In March 2011, Matisyahu took part in clip "Pure Soul". The song is of DeScribe, Hasidic Jewish singer. On May 8, 2012, Matisyahu released a new single featuring a new version of his song "Sunshine" as one of his singles of his new album Spark Seeker, which was released on July 17, 2012, in the United States.

On June 3, 2014, Matisyahu released Akeda, which is slightly different from his previous work. Matisyahu himself described it as a "stripped back sound" and in a style as he describes as "less is more." [36] Akeda was in the iTunes Top 10 a week later, ranking at No. 6 which was the same week he began his new tour. The tour started at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, Hawaii, as part of the Repulik Music Festival 4. [37]

On August 17, 2015, the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Spain canceled Matisyahu's scheduled appearance, at the request of the BDS Movement, due to his refusing to sign a letter stating he supports a Palestinian state, and would not bring up Israeli politics on stage. [38] This led to many organizations around the world criticizing the organization of showing racism toward Jews. [39] Two days later the Spanish government condemned the decision to cancel his appearance. [40] On August 19, the festival apologized to Matisyahu and re-invited him to perform as original scheduled, following outrage around the world. [41] The organizers released a statement saying they "made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS." [42] Matisyahu performance went through peacefully with some Palestinian flags waved by the audience, [43] however Matisyahu later said the racism he experienced was worse than anything else before. [44]

On October 10, 2015, Matisyahu performed in Israel at the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem against the backdrop of escalating stabbing attacks in the city. Matisyahu stated that it is important for "American Jews like [him]self to come to Israel no matter what's happening here." [45] Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat, thanked Matisyahu and spoke before the performance and said that "Everyone who came here today and is maintaining their regular routine is a partner in fighting terror." [46] Before singing "Jerusalem (Out of Darkness Comes Light)" (his ode to the city), Matisyahu said, "Jerusalem, I’m home." [46]

In 2016, Matisyahu went on a tour of 12 US college campuses as a response to being disinvited from the Rototom Sunsplash festival in 2015. [47] [48] The tour was co-sponsored by various Hillel chapters. [49]

On November 18, 2016, Matisyahu released Release the Bound, a five-song digital EP featuring brand new music. The EP includes collaborative efforts with relative mainstay Stu Brooks as well as The Polish Ambassador and Salt Cathedral. [50]

Matisyahu released his sixth studio album, Undercurrent on May 19, 2017. [51]

Matisyahu's "One Day' was featured in the MacGillivray Freeman Film, "Dream Big" playing in IMAX theaters beginning in February, 2018. [52]


Matisyahu, July 2007, Mansfield, Massachusetts; on tour with 311 Matisyahu 2007.JPG
Matisyahu, July 2007, Mansfield, Massachusetts; on tour with 311

Matisyahu has performed with Kenny Muhammad, a Muslim beatboxer. He also recorded the song "One Day" along with Akon, who is also Muslim. [53] Matisyahu is featured on Trevor Hall's single "Unity" from his self-titled album. Matisyahu is also featured on "Roots in Stereo" and "Strength of My Life" from P.O.D.'s album Testify. Matisyahu collaborated with Shyne on the song "Buffalo Soldier" from his 2012 release, Spark Seeker .

Matisyahu collaborated with J. Ralph on the song "Crossroads feat. J. Ralph" from his 2012 release, Spark Seeker . Matisyahu collaborated with Infected Mushroom on the song "One Day", as well as during various live sets. Matisyahu collaborated with Moon Taxi on the song "Square Circles" off the band's 2012 release Cabaret. He has also collaborated with The Crystal Method in their single "Drown in the Now." He is featured on The Dirty Heads's album Cabin by the Sea on the single "Dance All Night". Matisyahu also collaborated with Boston-based rapper Nosson Zand on his 2013 release, "Believers." Matisyahu is featured on the 19-track compilation album, Songs for a Healthier America , a collaborative project by the Partnership for a Healthier America, whose honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama, and Hip Hop Public Health. His song "U R What You Eat" also features Travis Barker, Ariana Grande, and Salad Bar. In 2014, Matisyahu was featured on Cisco Adler's song "Hypnotize," which was included on his Coastin album. In 2015, Matisyahu collaborated with Avicii in his album "Stories", where he sang alongside Wyclef Jean in "Can't Catch Me," and in 2016 he featured on "Dodging Bullets," a single by Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz on his record What I Do All Day And Pickle.


Musical style

Matisyahu performance in 2005 Matisyahu at a concert.jpg
Matisyahu performance in 2005

Matisyahu fuses the contemporary styles of reggae, rap, beatboxing, and hip-hop in general, with the more traditional vocal disciplines of jazz's scat singing and Judaism's hazzan style of songful prayer. The New York Times ' Kelefa Sanneh wrote that "His sound owes a lot to early dancehall reggae stars like Barrington Levy and Eek-a-Mouse." [54]

The Chicago Tribune's Kevin Pang described a Matisyahu performance as "soul-shaking brand of dancehall reggae, a show that captures both the jam band vibe of Phish and the ska-punk of Sublime." [55] Coming from his Jewish beliefs and compounding his use of the hazzan style, Matisyahu's lyrics are mostly English with more than occasional use of Hebrew and Yiddish.

In 2006, Matisyahu stated that "All of my songs are influenced and inspired by the teachings that inspire me. I want my music to have meaning, to be able to touch people and make them think. Chassidus teaches that music is 'the quill of the soul.' Music taps into a very deep place and speaks to us in a way that regular words can't." [56]

In 2009, he said about his recently released album Light , "I think the vast majority of people that respect what I do are willing to move with me. I think it's not so much about genres or styles of music as it is about expressing the emotion or the idea. ... Whatever allows you to do that, whatever style, as long as it's authentic."

Personal life


Matisyahu met NYU film student Tahlia (née Silverman) when she interviewed him for a documentary about men and women not touching each other. They were set up by Rabbi Dov Yonah Korn, NYU's Chabad chaplain, [57] and they married in August 2004. [58] Together they have sons Laivy (2005), Shalom, [59] and Menachem Mendel (2011). [60]

In 2014, Matisyahu confirmed that he had divorced his wife approximately two years before, but they remain on good terms and were sharing parenting responsibilities. [61]

Matisyahu has also fathered a child named Sasha Lillian, who was born while he was on tour with Adel Tawil in Germany. Former girlfriend Toma Danley gave birth to their daughter on April 2, 2014 in Portland, Oregon where the newborn was diagnosed with a rare heart defect. Sasha underwent open-heart surgery in May 2015, and another in January 2017. She has reportedly recovered well. Sasha has lived with Danley since her birth. Matisyahu and Toma met in 1997 while he was attending a wilderness program for drug and alcohol recovery in Bend, Oregon. [62]

Origin of his name

Matisyahu is an Ashkenazic Hebrew pronunciation of a Biblical Hebrew name (מתתיהו – Mattithyahu; Israeli Hebrew pronunciation: Matityahu); Greek: Mattathias/ Matthaios, meaning "Gift of God"), the name of the 2nd-century BC Jewish leader of the Maccabees' revolt.

In an interview in Kosher Spirit Magazine (a publication by OK Kosher Certification), Matisyahu explained the origin of his use of the name as follows: while he, like most Jewish boys, received a Hebrew name at his brit milah (circumcision ceremony), when he was eight days old, Miller's family lost track of the names given. In Hebrew school, it was assumed to be Matisyahu because of the connection between Matthew and Matisyahu. The original certificate of bris was later located and Miller discovered that the actual name given at the bris was the Yiddish name "Feivish Hershel". He was advised by his rabbis to continue using the Hebrew name that he had grown up with. [63]


On December 13, 2011, Matisyahu posted a beardless picture of himself on Twitter, explaining on his website: [64]

No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is alias.

When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey: to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality—not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of 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.

Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry...
you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.

In June 2012, Matisyahu appeared in an online video to promote his new single "Sunshine" with his hair bleached and apparently without a yarmulke , [65] causing a big stir within the Jewish blogosphere. [66] [67]


Matisyahu is a vegan [68] and a board member of the Jewish vegan organization, the Shamayim V'Aretz Institute. [69]

Touring members

Dub Trio
Roots Tonic


Studio albums


See also

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Yosef Karduner Hasidic singer

Yosef Karduner is an Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer. His biggest hit, Shir LaMaalot, appeared on his debut album, Road Marks (2000).

Zusha is an American Hasidic folk/soul band from Manhattan, New York. They formed in 2013 with lead singer Shlomo Gaisin, guitarist Zachariah Goldschmiedt, and drummer Elisha Mlotek. The band, named after Zusha of Hanipol, combines traditional Hasidic niggunim with secular styles like jazz, folk, and reggae. Their self-titled debut EP, released on October 28, 2014, reached No. 9 on Billboard's World Albums chart, while their debut full-length album, Kavana (2016), reached No. 2.

Hamakor was an Israeli Jewish rock band from Mevo Modi'im. They were formed in 2006 by lead singer Nachman Solomon and released two albums, The Source (2007) and World On Its Side (2010).

Jewish rock is a form of contemporary Jewish religious music that is influenced by various forms of secular rock music. Pioneered by artists like Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and the Diaspora Yeshiva Band, the genre gained popularity in the 1990s and 2000s with bands like Soulfarm, Blue Fringe, and Moshav Band that appealed to teens and college students, while artists like Matisyahu enjoyed mainstream crossover success.

Jewish hip hop is a genre of hip hop music with thematic, stylistic, or cultural ties to Judaism and its musical traditions.

Rinat Gutman is an Israeli Orthodox Jewish rapper, singer, and songwriter. One of the first religious female rappers in Israel, she has also performed in the United States, England, and India, and has appeared with artists like Y-Love, Kosha Dillz, and Roi Levi of Shotei Hanevuah.

Yaakov Levi Robin is an American Hasidic folk singer based in Huntington Beach, California. He first gained attention as an opening act for Matisyahu, and released his self-titled debut EP in 2014.

Yehuda Solomon is an Israeli-American singer, songwriter, and hazzan. He is the lead singer and co-founder of the band Moshav, which heavily influenced Jewish rock in the late '90s. He is the son of Diaspora Yeshiva Band member Ben Zion Solomon, while his siblings include Noah Solomon of Soulfarm.


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