Matisyahu in Manila – Manila Standard

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Singer-songwriter Matisyahu has been on a journey inward for more than a decade.  The journey has been private and public. The journey has, at times, been explicitly external, even while being driven by internal change. 

Now, nearly 13 years after the release of his first studio record, Matisyahu and his band have done something unmatched in his past repertoire; they have crafted that journey into a musically thematic eight-song-movement. 

The band features longtime guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio’s bassist and drummers Stu Brooks and Joe Tomino, and keyboard virtuoso BigYuki — and the journey starts with them.  

The band improvised for hours in the studio with Matisyahu watching on as an admirer without singing a single lyric.  Out of the improvisations grew melodic themes, rhythmic peaks and valleys, blissful and proto-song guitar passages, deep dub meditations and ultimately an inspired instrumental record unto itself.  

Only once the band had crafted this musical narrative, did Matisyahu begin to work on a lyrical narrative of his own — a lyrical narrative that is simultaneously informed and integrated with the music yet driven by Matisyahu’s own personal journey.  

Jewish American reggae star and alternative rock musician Matisyahu (center) with his band 

The result is Undercurrent, Matisyahu’s sixth studio album.

Matisyahu has performed with Kenny Muhammad, a Muslim beatboxer. He also recorded the song “One Day” along with Akon, who is also Muslim.

Matisyahu is featured on Trevor Hall’s single “Unity” from his self-titled album, also 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, also with Infected Mushroom on the song “One Day”, as well as during various live sets. 

Matisyahu various collaborations includes those with Moon Taxi on the song “Square Circles” off the band’s 2012 release Cabaret, with The Crystal Method on their single “Drown in the Now.” 

He is featured on The Dirty Heads’ album Cabin by the Sea on the single “Dance All Night,” and 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 was featured on “Dodging Bullets,” a single by Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz on his record What I Do All Day And Pickle.

Matisyahu is coming to Manila for the first time ever for a one-night show at SM North Edsa SKydome on Sept. 23. 

This event is brought by DMC Entertainment Production Management Philippines, Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Thrifty Car rentals in cooperation with ABS-CBN, MYX Music Channel & Cinema One. 

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