'Hasidic Reggae Guy' Matisyahu Stretches Sound

Hasidic reggae singer expands his sound on new CD
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 6:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Matisyahu Miller is tired of just being the “Hasidic reggae guy,” the singer tells AP. His newest CD, Light, shows a wider range of influences, including guitar rock, electronic pop, and folk. As a Hasidic Jew who sang reggae—complete with Jamaican accent—Matisyahu was a curiosity act who broke into the mainstream with the surprise hit King Without a Crown in 2005.

But after years of an act that could be mistaken for a comedy sketch, Miller felt the need to grow. "One of the things I really love about making music is being able to tap into almost like different sides of myself," he said. He’s optimistic about fans’ reaction: "I think the vast majority of people that respect what I do are willing to move with me. I think it's not so much about genres or styles of music as it is about expressing the emotion or the idea.”