EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with The Maccabeats

Songwriter Immanuel Shalev

Songwriter Immanuel Shalev

March 8, 2011 Update: The Maccabeats Purim Song

In this special Q and A, Gather the Jews interviews the Maccabeats as this week’s mitzvah maker of the week, creators of the viral Youtube hits Candlelight and Cover of “One Day”. Candlelight appeared on GTJ’s list of top new Chanukah videos.

How has becoming a YouTube sensation changed your lives?

We were totally taken by surprise that this video exploded like it did. I’m not sure any of us were ready for this, but for this week we have been extremely busy with the response to the video. We have been contacted by people all over the world telling us about the impact it has had on them and on their communities. Knowing that we have inspired people and created a sense of Jewish pride in many is an exciting and meaningful thing for us.

They flip their latkes in the air sometimes.

They flip their latkes in the air sometimes.

What do you have planned next?

We’re not sure what the next move will be. We haven’t had much time to think about it due to the unbelievably large response to this video.

What type of gigs have come as a result of your song?

We have been asked to do all different kinds of performances as a result of the video.  People from every walk of life have been contacting us to discuss the video and ask if we are available for a bar mitzvah, concert, or other type of event. [Editor’s Note: Even a wedding proposal!] It has really been an incredible reaction.

Why are you called the Maccabeats?

Let's Make an A Cappella Group!We liked the name Maccabeats because it represented Jewish and musical themes while also being quite catchy.

What is your favorite song to sing?

Probably “Candlelight” because it has been enjoyed by such a large audience.

How many members in your tribe?

We have 14 members in the group.

Where is the coolest place you sang?

The coolest place we sang was the CBS Early Show this Monday morning. Singing on national television was something we never anticipated, and having the ability to reach a nationwide audience to deliver the message of Chanukah was truly fulfilling.

Maccabeats play dreidel

Sayin ayy ohh, spin the dreidel!

If you could have any biblical character in your group, who would it be?  Why?

We would take Moshe Rabbeinu because of his singing experience in Az Yashir.

What is the best night of Chanukah and why?

All nights are equal, but I think I’d have to say I appreciate the first most because it represents the fact that the beginning of any venture sets the tone for the rest of it. This is one of the reasons we celebrate eight days even though the first day of the oil burning was not exactly miraculous because there was enough oil for one day. Starting on the right foot is an important lesson we can learn from the first day of Chanukah.

Where can we learn more about you?

You can learn more about us at our website, www.maccabeats.com and book a gig with us by sending an e-mail to info@maccabeats.com. The Maccabeats have iTunes, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter presences, and T-Shirts and CDs are available.

The Maccabeats