Matisyahu – who has made waves in the EDM scene due to his upcoming collab entitled “Can’t Catch Me” with Wyclef Jean and Avicii, expected on the latter’s sophomore album, Stories – has hit headlines across the world due to being cast out of his role as performer at Spanish festival, the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival. The festival organizers apparently pressured the notoriously peaceful Jewish-reggae artist to divulge his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and denied his performance when Matisyahu insisted on remaining neutral. His reasoning speaks wonders to the nature of reggae music, as does his new song with Avicii. Check out the track below and Matisyahu’s beautiful statement posted on his Facebook page below the jump.
“The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS movement. They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people. I support peace and compassion for all people. My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music. Music has the power to transcend the intellect, ideas, and politics, and it can unite people in the process. The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like clear pressure to agree with the BDS political agenda. Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements. Were any of the other artists scheduled to perform asked to make political statements in order to perform? No artist deserves to be put in such a situation simply to perform his or her art. Regardless of race, creed, country, cultural background, etc, my goal is to play music for all people. As musicians that is what we seek. – Blessed Love, Matis”