If you haven’t seen reggae-rapper Matisyahu for a while, you will probably be surprised to see his clean-shaven face and wispy blond hair atop his head, rather than sporting his former image as a yarmulke-wearing, bespectacled man with a long dark-colored beard.
In December 2011, Matisyahu posted a beardless picture of himself on Twitter, and said on his website, “No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me ... no alias.”
He moved with his family to Los Angeles, but the good vibes and positive messages still remain, he said in a Tribune interview, and he still worships God. His most recent album is 2012’s “Spark Seeker,” which was partly recorded in Tel Aviv and bears songs such as “Bal Shem Tov” “Tel Aviv’n,” and “King Crown of Judah.”
“I sing out of joy and out of pain and out of hunger,” Matisyahu said. “The most inspiring thing in my life is self-growth. I take my inspiration from what’s around me.”
Although the Hebrew titles of recent songs might seem strange to Gentiles, they shouldn’t be. “I made a more pop-friendly record,” he said. "I wanted to make a more hip-hop album, with a lot of melodies, and a lot of hooks.”
Rebelution, Collie Buddz, and Zion I are also on the bill.
When • Friday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m.
Where • The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $35 at SmithsTix