Singer Alpha Blondy was in Israel this week for the Zion Reggae Festival. Arutz Sheva met Blondy in Tel Aviv where talked about his deep connection with the land. "My family and I, we are so excited to be in Israel. It's a high spiritual level," he said.
Blondy was born in the Ivory Coast as Seydou Koné to a Muslim mother and Christian father. Among his popular songs are Jerusalem and Masada, in which he sings in Hebrew. He has also composed such songs as Apartheid Is Nazism, Black Men Tears and other tracks that deal with various religions and world conflict.
"There is no rational explanation that I can give you for why I love Israel," Blondy commented. "Why did I come to Israel the first time [in the 1980s]? Why did my song 'Jerusalem' become the biggest hit of my career? There is an enormous energy behind Israel on a spiritual level."
Blondy said that he is not aware of any organizations that called for him to cancel his performance. "I've been boycotted all my life. They know my spiritual stance."
As far as anti-Jewish sentiments, Blondy referred to it as an "yin and yang." He elaborated, "if people love you, it's because those that don't love you give the balance. You cannot be loved by everybody."
He also had strong words to say in opposition to terrorist attacks. "I may not agree with a brother or even like him, but I do not have the right to cover up my hatred with the name of G-d," he said. "I cannot envision in my brain how can a human being can take a bomb and put it on someone's body and put him in a bus or in plane in the name of Allah. If you have your problem with some people or with yourself, that's a personal hatred. But please do not use G-d as an alibi. G-d is not your property."
To emphasize his point, he began singing an impromptu song in French about his feelings on terrorism which can be seen in the Arutz Sheva video.
Alpha Blondy also spoke at the Jerusalem Music Conference at a special panel discussion on politics in the music world.
For an article regarding the conference click here.
For coverage of this year's Zion Reggae Festival click here.
For coverage of last year's Zion Reggae Festival including a video with Ziggy Marley click here.
For more music download the latest Israel Beat Jewish Music Podacst by clicking here.
Photos by Shlomo Taitz.