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Time & The Mystery: Matisyahu

Mike Magione

Milwaukee-area musician Mike Mangione's podcast, called Time & The Mystery, is described as a series of artist-to-artist conversations with musicians, actors, comedians and others about the philosophy behind what they do and how they connect with their audience.

Our monthly series with Mangione highlights some of his favorite conversations. This month, we take a look back at his chat with one of the more interesting figures in contemporary music: the orthodox Jewish hip-hop, rock and reggae musician Matisyahu.

As a Hasidic Jew, dressed in a black suit, broad brim hat, beard and glasses, and singing reggae music, Matisyahu turned a few heads when he first came onto the music scene. 

"I don't try to hide my faith...I just like the idea of thinking out of yourself and (Matisyahu) definitely exemplifies that," says Mangione. "I'm just fascinated with him as a person."

Matisyahu has sustained his career for the past decade through the quality of his music and his reverence for the craft and applying it to his faith. Matisyahu says that live music, of all the art forms, is the most interactive experience he can give to his fans. More importantly, Matisyahu values the power of music and performance to create a safe and authentic space for the audience.

"You’re taking part in it and you’re experiencing your own feelings, your own expression, and the musicians or the band’s just creating the house for you to do that in," he says.