A well-known pioneer of the American reggae movement and creator of the hit 2005 Top 40 single “King Without a Crown”, Matisyahu has stayed relevant for the last 20 years when others have long been forgotten—evolving the changing times and trends, yet never straying too far from his roots.
Conscious, spiritual lyrics blended with his unique style of reggae, dub, rock, and beatboxing has ensured not just Matisyahu’s survival, but iconic status as one of the most notable American reggae artists in history. Beyond being a musician, he is a father of six and instills in his children the importance of creativity and guides them as they begin to create music of their own.
Like father, like son: his children are making music, too. The father of six encourages musical creation from their home studio, and his children, especially his three older boys, have run with the notion–producing and making their own music with the guidance of their father.
“I have six kids, but I have three boys that are all into music now. At the house, it’s like everyone is in their room with their little studio and workshopping their songs and little bro asking big bro to help them record this part and helping each other with each other’s music. [They’re] writing, being creative, and it’s awesome to see as a father … When they get home from school, that’s when they go into the studio and they’ll be up till 12, 1 o’clock in the morning working on their music. It’s unbelievable. It’s a dream come true.”
He continues, “It’s inspiring, wow. Each of them is different and they’re all in different stages. My oldest son is literally out on tour with me, so I’m coaching him on stage like ‘stop pacing so much, you don’t have to cut the mic’. Father things like helping him figure out how to get on stage, how to maintain his off time so he’s staying out of trouble, and when he’s not on stage, what to do with all that off time. Balancing all of that.
Balancing seems to be Matisyahu’s god-given strength—between writing, touring, parenting, and staying wildly relevant to the scene he’s helped mold and shape for the better.
Story by Allie Adams
Interview by Adoo