Brooklyn, NY - Chasidic Wedding Clip Goes Viral
Brooklyn, NY - A YouTube clip taken at a Chasidic wedding last month featuring wedding guests dancing enthusiastically as a shtreimel clad vocalist sings words of the Gemara to a Balkan beat continues to go viral, picking up over 35,000 hits in the last three days.
The video, taken during an October wedding held at Tiferes Mordechai in Borough Park section of Brooklyn, features Israeli singer Chaim Shlomo Mayesz singing the title track of his newly released album Bas Kol.
Wedding guests can be seen dancing exuberantly, turning cartwheels, moving in time to the music and shooting video on their cell phones as Mayesz and the chosson, his younger brother Shimmy, jump enthusiastically and wave their arms to the rhythm of the song.
Photographer Yossi Steinmetz, who was hired as the videographer for the wedding, said that he was filming wedding guests when the first notes of Bas Kol electrified the room.
“This was the first time I ever heard the song,” Steinmetz told VIN News. “I saw the vibe and how everyone started dancing.”
Having captured the incredible atmosphere in the room, Steinmetz asked his client for permission to release a video clip that would incorporate footage of the actual wedding, set to the actual Bas Kol track from the album of the same name. The video also incorporates some audio of the wedding, adding live excitement to the footage.
Steinmetz said that the energy levels were among the highest he has ever seen during his nine year career as a photographer and that he has heard the song Bas Kol sung at several weddings since the Mayesz wedding.
Bas Kol is one of eleven songs on Mayesz’s debut album which was released several weeks ago and incorporate elements of pop, rhythm and blues, and southeastern European music, with lyrics from the Gemara [Sotah (2a)] describing how a person’s mate is ordained in heaven 40 days prior to their conception.
The word “Bas” is spelled with a samech on the album’s cover, in a nod to the Belzer chosid’s unusual ability to hit very low bass notes.
“In Israel the word ‘bass’ in the musical sense is pronounced ‘bas’,” explained Sruli Broncher, producer of the album. “There were no effects used here and no computer. He really has that deep voice.”
While some of the songs on Bas Kol are of the more classical Chasidic genre, Bas Kol is one of several that have a contemporary sound and is a cover of a song by girl group Fifth Harmony titled Worth It.
While the song, which went double platinum in the United States, made the top ten charts in Australia, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Portugal and the United Kingdom, Mayesz and Brochner selected the song just days after its initial release.
“We were looking for something that had a real pop sound, not just a wannabe,” said Broncher. “We wanted something that we could use with nice words and could be done in a Chasidishe way, but not with too much edge. The song had just come out and we liked it and as we were producing it, the song went viral in the secular world.”
Mayesz had deliberately been looking to include different musical styles on his album, hoping to appeal to a diverse audience, including those who might typically be listening to secular music. Broncher noted that while some might be critical of that decision, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the song, which was posted two weeks ago currently has almost 70,000 hits on YouTube.
“We took a goyish hit, but in a Jewish way, and made it nice and sleek,” said Broncher.
“Most people really like the idea although there are always a few people who think they know better. People say he is good and not like others who make their music in a very goyish fashion. He doesn’t go on stage wearing weird clothing. He has a chasidishe look and he wants the youth to know that if they like this type of music, they don’t have to go outside the chasidishe world to listen to it.”
Broncher hopes that songs like Bas Kol will make people realize that staying true to your Chasidic roots doesn’t mean living in the dark ages.
“People hear this song and they say, ‘wow, you actually listen to good music,’” said Broncher. “They see that we are normal people and are not totally closed to the world, that we can be Chasidic and still listen to music that is very 2015.”
Bas Kol album online:
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