HISTORIC: Chassidic Singer Lands MAJOR Record Deal With Universal Music Group

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In terms of the international music industry, there is only one big name, Universal Music Group. In terms of Jewish Music singers, one of the freshest and hottest names, of course, is Shulem Lemmer. It is only natural then for the nation’s biggest record label, Universal Music Group, to sign a deal with Decca Gold.

Actually, it is not so natural. Indeed, it is a downright shocker – but it happened.

So how did it happen?

It all started when, Graham Parker, the president of Decca Gold, a division of the Verve Label Group at Universal Music , saw one of Shulem’s YouTube videos and was instantly hooked. He truly couldn’t believe the voice and message that was coming from this young man. He reached out to Shulem and dashed out an email.

“I didn’t think it was real. I thought it was a prank, but I figured – let me respond. Why not?” Shulem fondly recalled. “We ended up having coffee in Brooklyn a few days later, and the conversation continued. The conversations went on for some time which started talks about a record deal!”

Parker introduced Shulem’s voice to other executives at the label, and they were similarly smitten. This singer had to be signed, Parker decided. Here was a one-in-a-million voice, emanating from, of all people, a Belzer Chassid.

Shulem attended the Belzer Cheder in Borough Park and eventually the Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim.

After a few meetings, the label decided to go full throttle. Graham and Shulem had a joint vision that from Shulem’s roots as a spiritual and humble personality, his voice could bring hope and uplift to broad audiences within America and around the world. They invested heavily in their future superstar. The musical accompaniments on the new album produced by Jon Cohen include London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In fact, producer Jon Cohen, who has been a renowned producer and arranger in the Classical genre, was impacted by this project and enabled him to reflect and rediscover his own Jewish heritage. With Shulem’s assistance, Jon researched his ancestry and the two discovered that Jon is a descendant from a long line of Belzer Rebbes.

Shulem now joins a prestigious list of newly discovered artists by this label and its predecessors going back several decades including such names as Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli.

Two initial singles, the classic Jewish homage, Jerusalem of Gold and Bring Him Home from the Broadway show Les Miserables, have been released today. They will ultimately be part of the full album to be released at a later date to be announced.

What was most impressive was the sensitivity that Decca Gold/Universal displayed to Shulem’s religious background. Every detail of the contract, from song selection, to lyrics, to musical sources, were tailor made to meet Shulem’s religious sensitivities.

Despite the difficulties of arranging “kosher” preliminary promotional venues, the label was very patient and understanding dealing with something that is a bit of a historical anomaly. How exactly, does one go about promoting a fully-observant Chassidic superstar to America?

Yet, somehow, Decca Gold was up for the challenge.

BUT IS IT GOOD FOR THE JEWS?

This entire amazing turn of events, however, brings up the age-old question: “But is it good for the Jews?”

On the one hand, it gives the opportunity for the general population to get to know a highly talented yet down-to-earth Chassidic performer who is a genuine Yirei Shamayim and Talmid Chochom who attends daily shiurim.

On the other hand, some people may criticize the fact that some of the songs are secular. However, the content of the songs have been carefully screened, and each have a message that speak those of all Jewish backgrounds and all faith-based communities.

“Shulem and I were relentless in ensuring that the contract maintained the highest standard of halacha,” remarked Yochi Briskman, the singer’s manager. “We also discussed these issues with several Rabbonim.”

Shulem is refreshingly self-effacing – whether he is performing in front of thousands of his enduring fans or davening in his community shtiebel in Toms River. Yet despite his humility and unpretentious nature, experts have described his voice as a musical phenomenon. “Shulem is no mere one-hit-wonder,” adds Yochi Briskman. “The purity and sweetness of his voice is consistent across the full gamut of genres. Shulem is here to stay.”

And it could not have happened to a nicer guy.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




37 COMMENTS

  1. We wish him much Hatzlacha, and give him a bracha that he will not follow the ways of the few other singers who gained national fame…..

  2. He has the opportunity to make a major kiddush hashem. I am sure he will. He learned in the Mir Yerushalayim. Can’t get better values than that.

  3. The great Chazan Yossele Rosenblatt was very careful not to give up his Yiddishkeit to the secular world and was extremely careful where he performs and who he performed with Mr Lemmer can follow suit as well

  4. Wishing him great success He has a stunning voice and very talented , He stands to earn far greater than any Frum Singer in the past, However he will not be recognizable in a few years, The Temptations of Broadway and film Will be very hard for him to turn down and remain religious

  5. Just listened to his “abi gezunt”. If only he/we could all take that message home and live simpler lives.

    I wish him all the best, with trepidation in my heart. Please Hashem keep him safe!

    Tower66: you can daven and talk to Hashem about your fears, but please keep your negative predictions to yourself.

  6. Tower66 said:
    June 26, 2018 11:25 am at 11:25 am
    Wishing him great success He has a stunning voice and very talented , He stands to earn far greater than any Frum Singer in the past, However he will not be recognizable in a few years, The Temptations of Broadway and film Will be very hard for him to turn down and remain religious
    —————————–
    Tower 66,
    Will you be recognisable in a few years after your temptations of blogging on the internet?

  7. I who have the the privilege of knowing Reb Shulem well, am not at all surprised with the success of this unassuming young man. The feeling he puts in every song is just incredible, so inspiring and uplifting. Shulem, you are THE BEST!

  8. Joseph
    June 26, 2018 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm
    Lipa must be jealous. He went to Columbia and got nothing for it.
    ——————————-
    Joseph. Did u consult with a rov before making your loshon hora/ rechilus comment? Or is it only when it fits with your agenda?

  9. Take 2: Don’t worry about Joseph’s lashon horah about Lipa. Its nothing new. People are saying (as Trumpkopf would say) that Joseph was the mastermind behind the infamous phony letter several years ago where 372 certified gadolei hador (not including yours truly) stated it was assur to go to a Lipa concert.

  10. A REAL CHILUL HASHEM IS THIS HISTORIC???? A frum jew joining the shmutz of hollywood so sad. Whatever the news says just know that the opposite is true fake news!!!!!!

  11. emes100
    how do you define tikun olam or bonei haolam? you have to leave the 4 squared blocks of your community and spread the emes of hashem and yiddishkeit. give Chizzuk to people, dont whine and blame for what you dont know what will happen. (p.s. change your name to sheker100 or mitaleim100)

    I hope chazzan lemmer continues on his dream and brings some seforim to help him along the way! may hashem guide him to strength and success!

  12. This is a wonderful achievement by a deserving young man. Hope he learns from Mattisyahu’s pitfills in the secular music world and survives the many temptations that lurk in that world. There’s a British rock singer, I think his name is Alex Cross, who is also somehow navigating “the scene”.. Hatzlacha!

  13. Difference between Alex Clare and Lemmer is that, Alex became from after being in that world, and left go of most of it. He didn’t embrace it coming from a heimish background.

  14. There is nothing wrong with what he is doing, to earn an honest living, while doing something which 1000% mutar al pi torah!

    True, there are challenges, that is why we are here for.

  15. I Use Brains: What is Kedoshim Tihiyu?? Kadesh Aztmecha Bma She Mutar Lach. It might not be Assur, but it is full of Anti Kadosh. In fact it is the lowest industry. We don’t put ourselves into challenges. Hashem gives us enough.

  16. Bs”d As far as I know, it is stated in the Gemara that it is ossur to sing goyisher songs. Also, one is not supposed to put oneself in such a shmutz situation. Would anyone here REALLY be happy if their son made such a disc, especially someone from the chassidisher world ?