by Chris Bodenner
A reader writes:
I'm not sure if you've covered anything other than Christian music here (I may have missed some other posts), but for many Jews, especially Jews from an Orthodox background (me included), a Matisyahu concert is a much more spiritual experience than a synagogue service. And his work stands on its own as excellent reggae as well.
Matisyahu talked about his faith with the A.V. Club in 2006:
AVC: Some have talked about your video for "Youth" and your live show as being pitched to the mainstream instead of focused on the Jewish community.
M: Well, it is. I would agree with that. I never aimed for the Jewish community. I aimed for a mainstream audience, because that's the world that I come out of. I spent 23 years in a secular lifestyle, going to Phish concerts and reggae shows and hip-hop shows and listening to that style of music. My focus has really been on the mainstream people: non-Jews and Jews who aren't necessarily religious. And while there are definitely a lot of religious Jews who get something out of it, they're not my main focus.
AVC: So instead of putting reggae into Jewish popular music, you're putting your own spiritual understanding into reggae.