Virtuoso Matisyahu




Matisyahuis an American Jewish artist performing music in reggae, hip-hop andalternative rock. He has excelled in producing virtuosos performanceswith one of them being the music video “pure soul” which he didin collaboration with another Jewish artist, Describe. The artistcomes out clearly as virtuous on many different levels.

Oneof them is his mastery of words. He possesses a unique power ofexpression in his choice of words in his music and performances. Hischoice of words has high religious connotation that matches hischoice of dressing and appearance in his performances. As a Jew, heemploys his religious background on a wider level by appealing to allreligions and diverse people and generations. It also clear thatreligion heavily influences his personality which is evident in hisperformances full of simplicity (Matisyahu2015).The compositions organized into different genres help him reach outto a larger audience of diverse preferences in music.

Matisyahu’svirtuous music influences society positively. Franz Liszt, one of thegreatest virtuous performers, indicated that music should berevolutionary and transformative in a given society and a virtuososhould apply his powers of music persuasion to address social issuesand elicit emotions in people to drive change (Loveland, 66). This isexactly what Matisyahu seeks to achieve in his music. In the songpure soul, he the chorus is very clear on the message saying in part“Everysingle person, in this world is a gem, we need mercy, kindness totjudgment” (Matisyahu and Describe 2011). Additionally, the songwhose proceeds goes to a foundation “circle of friends” thatsupports disabled children features several disabled children in thevideo.

Matisyahuas a virtuoso performer is known for the strong messages contained inhis music, his personality and social influence. He has managed tocombine orthodox Jewish mystery and religion with modern socialissues to inspire people and drive social change. I believe thattaking this approach in creating conscious music is what makes him auniquely virtuoso performer. Additionally, he has preserved hisJewish heritage in his performance through his attire. Other thanthat, he would be a regular performer. I therefore believe that allperformers should be virtuous to achieve their goals in music andcreate a unique identity that the audience can identify with.


Loveland,Alicia. The spectacle of nineteenth-century virtuosity. CanadianUndergraduate

Journalof Musicology.Vol 3, no. 1, 64-71.

Matisyahuand Describe. PureSoul.Web. 2011. Jan 11 2015.


Matisyahu.2015. Jan 11 2015