American Jewish musician Matthew Paul Miller is better know by his Hebrew name Matisyahu. His hit ‘King Without a Crown’ introduced audiences to his unique brand of music, blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, hip-hop and rock sounds. His second album, Youth, earned him a Grammy nomination. Recently released third album, Light, held the top spot on the Billboard reggae albums chart for 34 weeks. The single ‘One Day’ will be released on June 28. It inspires peace and hope, encourages humility and restores faith in humanity. Emma Hope spoke to Matisyahu about the new single, working with Akon and taking peyote in the desert with Jim Morrison…
‘One Day’ was the anthem for 2010 Winter Olympics, and a version featuring Nameless is included on the Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album. What’s the sporting connection? Do you play any sports?
It's an anthemic song. The style and the vibe of the song is one of dreams, hope, and victory. I guess that's the connection. Yes, I play some sports but it has nothing to do with the song. Growing up I played hockey, lacrosse and basketball. As of late I have been running.
How did the collaboration with Akon come about? Is he someone you have always wanted to work with?
I believe some mutual friends played him the song and he liked it. Sony was willing to shell out the cash so I figured why not, it'll probably help get it on the radio. It didn't really work.
Any other collaborations planned for the future?
Not with really famous people like that. I've been working lately with a really great producer named Kojak (Flo Rida, Ke$ha) who you've probably heard before. Also with some of the guys from the band Brazilian Girls.
If you could work with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I don't know about who I'd like to work with, but I would like to take peyote with Jim Morrison in the desert.
The new album, Light, incorporates more electronic music sounds. You also ran a remix comp with ‘One Day’. Is electro the direction you want to take your music in from now, or is it just one of the many sounds you encompass?
There is no ‘from now on’. Everything changes and evolves until it's dead, no? Being an artist is about being sensitive to how the world resonates inside you and then being able to express it. This process is an ever-changing one.
Your music, and particularly the song ‘One Day’, is very spiritual. What is more important to you – the sound of the music or the message?
The music and the message is one thing. It's wholistic. Organic.
On this tour you played just one show in the UK (London’s Borderline on June 3). Are you planning to return to Europe for more gigs anytime soon?
Yes definitely. As soon as I can do it with out loosing too much cash.
One Day will be released on June 28th. For more information visit: link