Matisyahu shocked the music world when he shaved his signature facial hair last year and announced there would be no more "Chassidic reggae superstar." With "Spark Seeker," his first album since the change, due July 17, the musician says the shift came during a moment of introspection.
Matisyahu was long known for his traditional beard and dress, indications of his religious faith in Hasidic Judaism. Now, he says, he's having an "inner experience" instead. But Matisyahu's not worried that fans won't accept his new look and attitude.
"People who are really fans… will be able to connect as deep if not deeper" with the new album, he says.
The upcoming release, his fourth studio set, was recorded in Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as Los Angeles and New York City. The album features production from Kool Kojak ( Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida) and contributions from musicians including Shyne, the former Diddy protege who served a number of years in prison before embracing Judaism and making his return to the music world.
Watch Matisyahu's take on his transformation and "Spark Seeker" below: