When it came time to follow up 2009's "Light," Matisyahu headed to Israel. To call it an inspirational trip would be an understatement: for one, the dance track "Tel Aviv'n" was written and recorded in Tel Aviv in a single day.
"To me, Israel represents a place of light. It's where I really started to discover God and where I connected with Judaism," Matisyahu, who turned heads with his recent physical transformation, says in documentary footage from the "Spark Seeker" sessions. The album is out today, July 17. "There's a certain feeling of unity there."
The communal "Spark Seeker" process saw Matisyahu and producer KoOolkOjAk embrace outside contributors, as well. Songwriter Jack Knight (Diddy, Jennifer Lopez), who Matisyahu calls a "behind-the-scenes cat," wrote "Live Like a Warrior" with the musician in mind.
"It was kind of undeniable," Matisyahu says. "It just felt right."
The anthemic track was sparked by Knight's daughter struggling with schoolyard bullying, a feeling the musician thought a younger generation could connect with.
"I think that it resonates strong with kids," Matisyahu said, adding that he's dedicated the song to his son, Shalom.