Matisyahu made his latest album, Undercurrent, "differently than any way I've ever recorded before." Fortunately, he had cameras rolling to show us how.
The genre-blending singer and rapper created a three-part "Making Of Undercurrent" video series, the first two of which are premiering below. They track the writing and recording of the set, which came out during May, via studio footage and commentary by Matisyahu and the musicians who performed on the album.
"This particular (album) we made kind of in a reverse order from how a typical record is made -- I guess that's the main reason I thought it was kind of special," Matisyahu tells Billboard. Rather than conventional songwriting, he and his band -- longtime guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio members Stu "Bassie" Brooks and Joe Tomino and keyboardist Big Yuki -- recorded an instrumental album comprised of improvisations played together as a band, mostly during or after touring. "I had a vision for the sound first, before any songs were written," Matisyahu explains. "Only after the entire record (of instrumentals) was finished did I start thinking about the vocals. I listened for about a day or two and put myself in a room, and then over the course of four or five days I wrote all the vocals and melodies over (the songs) and recorded them at the same time. That really is the reverse process from what you'd normally do."