Meet the new sensation who's taking over Jewish music

  (photo credit: KARSENTY PHOTOS)
(photo credit: KARSENTY PHOTOS)

He sells out huge concert halls worldwide, and nearly every song he puts out becomes a hit. Meet Mordechai Shapiro, who combines the world of music with the word of Torah and is part of the top tier with the biggest stars of Jewish music, profile and interview 

Religious Jewish music does not remember such a sensation, and it's on growing bigger and more surprising. That sensation: Mordechai Shapiro. Last week he sold out the prestigious Mogador theater in central Paris. Alongside Shapiro was Avraham Fried, who has been sweeping the Jewish crowd off its feet for over 40 years and the singer "Akiva". 

Shapiro manages to bring a unique and complex combination to Jewish music fans. On the one hand, pop combined with high energy, and on the other hand, a connection with G-d and the Torah and yeshiva world.

He released his first song, "Kol Haderech," on April 13th, 2016, and ever since, he's become a hit machine. Every song of his immediately becomes a hit that relates to all ages. The proof of that is the millions of views his songs get on YouTube and the thousands of fans that fill his concerts anywhere in the world.

After Paris, he is planning a concert tour in Europe and the US, and he does not forget about Israel either. Every summer, he sells out the Jerusalem International Convention Center and shakes up the Israeli capital.

  (credit: KARSENTY PHOTOS) (credit: KARSENTY PHOTOS)

Shapiro does not rest for a moment. Until now, he has released over 60 original songs, many of which have become hits. Among his outstanding songs: Ein Od Milvado, Abba, Schar Mitzvah, Machar, B’yachad, L'chai Olamim, Kol Haderech, and Hakol Mishamaim.  

"The truth is that even now, I get excited both before and during every concert that I perform," says Shapiro, "I see it as my life's mission to make people smile, to make them happy, and to bring them closer to G-d. We live in a world full of pain, everyone has a story, and therefore I feel that G-d sent me with one goal, and that's to make people happy.

About his songs that became hits, he says: "Like I sing Hakol Mishamaim (everything's from Heaven), I truly feel that G-d is with me every day. And I thank him every day for the privilege he granted me to make men, women, and children happy."

"If you pay attention," adds Shapiro, "All of my songs directly or indirectly deal with being connected with G-d, since he is the source of our lives, and he needs to be in front of us all the time."

"How do you combine such a busy career with a family life?" We ask Shapiro, who answers: "It is really complicated. But I am privileged to have a fantastic wife who dedicates her life to the family and children, and thanks to her, I can realize my mission, and really what's mine is hers. In addition, I try to make time to sit with my children, learn with them, and talk to them. 

"Who inspired your music style?" We ask Shapiro, who immediately complements Avraham Fried and Yaakov Shweky, "Already as a child, I was a soloist for the famous Miami Boys Choir, and the biggest names in Jewish music fed me. So much of my inspiration also comes from my six siblings who all sing and my parents who both sing as well. My mother was a trained opera singer. 

The team of Ruli Ezrachi and Maoz Avdi manages Shapiro. Avdi, who deals mainly with concerts in Israel, tells us about the orthodox pop star's plans: "We have clear goals," he says, "In a way that's rare in the world of Jewish music. The crowd loves him, and he loves the crowd, and therefore, very soon, we are going to open concerts in larger venues: the Arena and Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem and Caesarea.

This article was written in cooperation with Shuva Israel