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Exclusive Q&A With Music Superstar Ari Goldwag

FAST FACTS:

Name: Ari Goldwag

Name called up to the Torah: Ari Schraga Chaim ben R’ Meir

Born: April 8, 1979

Resides in: Ramat Beit Shemesh

Children: Moshe Dov, Tziporah, Tehilla, Naama, Yael & Hadassah

Parents: Ari’s parents Meryl & Murray Goldwag  own the popular store Murray’s Kosher Socks  in South Fallsburg

Yeshivas Growing Up:  HANC, Yeshiva Far Rockaway, Mir Yerushalayim

Most popular song: Am Echad

Most popular CD(s): Am Echad

Favorite Jewish Musician/Artist when growing up: Mordechai ben David

Favorite Shlomo Carlebach song: Mimkomcha (original from his 1959 album)

How many years have you been involved in the Jewish music industry? 32 – since 1988.

What inspired you to go into Jewish music?

I was born singing. Heard Miami Boys Choir sing when I was 8. My mom encouraged me to join. The rest is history.

Is music your full time parnasa? Yes.

What does Ari Goldwag do when he is not working on music?

Learns Torah, spends time with family.

What do you prefer: concerts or simchas?

Concerts. But it’s close.

Do you consider yourself first a composer or a singer?

I sang before I composed. But I suppose that I was singing before I knew any songs. So I must have been singing and composing from the beginning.

Do you play any instruments?

Keyboard & Guitar

Please tell everyone about your new CD Yesh Li Hakol.

The album consists of 15 brand new songs – Full Music Album. The music is fresh and up to date – each song has a special message and the songs range from upbeat dance music (9 fast songs!) to contemplative and heartfelt. From the song “Yesh Li Hakol” – I’ve got it all – which is about realizing that we have so many blessings – to the song Zeh Keili – about how Hashem believes in us… One by one, the songs give a powerful message that is both inspirational and entertaining.

You have a lot of special talent on this CD. Can you please tell everyone who is featured on this album?

Yes, one of the unique features of the album is that there are 5 duets – one with my son Moshe Dov, in a song he composed- “Pitzchu”. The other 4 duets introduce new talent both in singing and song composition. Amazingly, these songs really stand out as being both powerful and enjoyable to listen to with the contrast between the voices. “Beyado” is a song composed by 11 year old Yeshaya Levin, who has a beautiful soprano voice. “Ashira Lashem” is composed by a new composer, Elkana M, and it’s a duet with former Miami Boys Choir star Dovid Pearlman. Bin Goldman joins me for his composition “Gam Ki Elech”, a powerful song in English and Hebrew strengthening our emunah and awareness that Hashem is with us, guiding us through all of our challenges. Nesanel Life joins me for his upbeat and spirited song “Ah Ahalela”.

Please tell everyone about the song on the album that features Dovid Pearlman?

As I mentioned, the song is called “Ashira Lashem”, and it is the hit of the album! Dovid is about to release his own full album, and we met while he was here in Eretz Yisroel this past year learning in yeshiva. I said to him, “Why don’t we do a fun duet?” He came back to me with this great song and we agreed to work on it together. I wrote some of the lyrics and Doni Gross did the musical arrangements. Doni told me that this is one of the most exciting duets he’s ever recorded. I agree – it came out really great! IyH we will be doing a video together, as Dovid will hopefully be back in Eretz Yisroel soon…

Please tell everyone about your song- ”Find My Soul”

“Find My Soul” is a special song with a country feel. It’s about asking the question – where can I find Hashem, because by asking that question, it shows we are searching. I dedicated the song in the memory of my grandmother, Harriet bas Moshe, who recently passed away at the age of 94. She was someone who was staunch in her commitment to doing what was right. She also lived in upstate New York and had a farm. I think of her as the ‘country girl’ full of soul and spunk. She was extremely creative and musical, and she composed and wrote many songs. I see the talent that Hashem blessed me with as an inheritance from her.

Any YouTube videos in the works based on songs from the album?

So far, we’ve released the song Zeh Keili as a music video which already has over 30,000 views. IyH we will do another 3 videos. One with the title track “Yesh Li Hakol,” one with the song “Ashira Lashem,” and a third one which has yet to be determined.

Do you have any plans on coming to the States in the near future?

iyH I will be in Seattle for the Yomim Nora’im, as I have been for the past 15 years or so.

Is there anything else that you would like to mention to Jewish Vues readers?

I am extremely grateful that this album came into existence completely through the generosity of those who participated in my crowdfunding. I felt a tremendous amount of Siyata Dishmaya throughout the process. The bulk of the album took less than 6 months to produce (although some of the tracks were produced before this) – it’s the fastest I’ve ever made an album. And Baruch Hashem, the feedback has been amazing! Some people have said that it’s one of the strongest albums I’ve ever done… I leave it to the Jewish Vues readers to decide. 🙂