Youth - Matisyahu

J Dub Records)

We don’t always live by the traditions we were born into. Sometimes, we adopt new ones and sometime, we mix and match. When White Plains, New York native, Matthew Millar became an observant follower of the Jewish faith, he adopted the name Matisyahu, the Hebrew equivalent of the name, Matthew. From that point forward he embarked on musical and spiritual odyssey. Back in the day, he was, by his own admission, a bit of a hippie. So he took to the road, following jam band, Phish to try and find himself … and guess what? All the people on the road were hippies too. Two things would happen which eventually defined who he is today; the music of Bob Marley and Judaism. Through these two, seemingly unrelated things he’s found focus for his life and a music for his message. He chose to express himself through the reggae and hip hop vibes he had picked up on New York’s streets. The latest medium for his message is an album called, ‘Youth’, produced by global music legend, Bill Laswell. Not only is it one of the most exciting global releases of the year, it’s one of the best reggae albums in a long while. Matisyahu hopes to improve the world by sharing his music, without letting ego interfere in that communication. He concedes, “I don’t think I’ve fully gotten there, but that’s the goal.” He was once asked by late night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, if he would perform on a Friday night for a million dollars. The answer was a soft but emphatic, “No”.