Cigarette in one hand and cup of tea in the other, Matisyahu sat down with JTA in his closet-sized dressing room during his European tour to talk about his life, his music, how he's raising his kids, and the recent changes in his religious outlook and physical appearance.
Dear Matisyahu, Tonight you performed at the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, 70 miles from my Dallas home. The distance may seem far, but in Texas proportion, it is right around the corner.
Like many artists, Matisyahu resists personal praise. Instead, the 32-year-old singer saves it for others — and his music. He described Youssoupha Sidibe, a musician he performs with, as “a very spiritual being … a very incredible musician,” and said their music was “next level” in a Tweet that linked to a recording of their recent jam.
The lyrics are from "King Without a Crown" by Matisyahu, the sensational Chasidic reggae artist whose CD, "Live at Stubbs," is already No. 3 on the Billboard reggae charts. ("King Without A Crown" stands at No. 24 on Billboard's modern rock chart.)