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Hearts Broken Open

Shlomi Gil

When Motty Steinmetz starts to sing, you feel your heart break. It isn’t just his beautiful vocal styling or unusual range, impressive as they may be. It’s the genuine emotion behind every word. His voice holds a velvet vulnerability that reaches deep inside listeners; he conveys a sweet desperation and at times an utter brokenness that transforms simple songs into melodic prayers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How did Motty Steinmetz, the musical phenomenon whose hits “Eitz Chaim,” “V’Yiyu Rachamecha,” “V’Sei’areiv,” and more can be heard at every simchah, transition from what he describes as that “very average childhood” to starring at sold-out concerts on some of the biggest stages around the world?   In his own words, he traces the journey….   On My First Solo When I was a kid growing up in Kiryat Vizhnitz in Bnei Brak, I loved to sing — but never considered myself exceptionally talented. My first musical memory goes back to second grade, when I heard a Purim song at my cousin’s bar mitzvah that I liked. The next day at school I sang the song in class along with the rebbi. I didn’t think that my singing was anything special — but the other kids seemed to perk up when they heard me. When their bar mitzvahs rolled around, those same classmates invited me to sing solo on their special nights. I started to realize that my ordinary voice might not be so ordinary after all.     On My Musical Mentor When I was 14, my grandfather moved from Antwerp to Israel. For the next two years, I spent my days in yeshivah and my nights at my grandfather’s bedside. He was a living, breathing musical archive and he taught me his entire repertoire of old Vizhnitz melodies. The truth is that nobody sings those songs anymore — but I know them and I think that having them inside me makes a difference for the songs I do sing. 

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