We finally managed to have him at our studio, and I was very excited to host superstar singer Benny Friedman on his way out of Israel after he held few concerts here.

Benny came to us on a very important day for Chabad and world Jewry, "Gimel Tamuz," the anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn.

As his colorful and beautiful video clips were playing in the background, we decided to open our conversation by dedicating a moment to this important day. Since Benny is part of a very well-known Chabad family, I thought I could use some inspiration from the singer.

Benny's father is a renowned inspirational speaker and YouTube star, Rabbi Manis Friedman, and Benny's uncle is world-famous singer Avraham Fried.

After having a little "l'chaim" we delved right into it - the "Real Talk" part of the interview where I right away admitted to Benny that when he had come out with his first songs I was very skeptical whether he would make it as a successful singer, since his claim to fame was the heavy name he carried as a Friedman!

Benny, though, proved me wrong by eventually becoming one of the big singers we have now touring the world and inspiring crowds with his great music. He also surprised me with his honesty and very clear and level-headed mind, and with how he had no expectations and was well-prepared in case he wouldn't make it as a singer. Benny is well aware of the name he carries and was never even remotely thinking of being one day compared to his uncle Avraham Fried, yet he knew deep inside since he was a child that music was his real passion and he was going to give it all he could before giving up if it wouldn't work out.

I thought it to be a great lesson for those newcomers and wannabe-singers in this new generation of influencers and self-made stars who think that becoming famous and coming out with a great song is easy.

When you hear about Benny's slow rise to success you understand that it involves a combination of hard work and keeping a low profile and never really thinking that "you made it" but believing in constant work to better yourself and bring new ideas to crowds all over the world.

I was curious to know what a Friedman family meeting might be like, with a father like Manis and an uncle like Avraham. Benny confirmed my thoughts that it can be very intense with lots of singing and talking till the wee hours of the night. Benny comes from a family of fourteen children, and with a twinkle in his eyes, he told me how amazing it is to have lots of siblings even if he has no idea how his parents managed it.

Benny views his music as a shlichus (outreach) tool, intending to draw Jews closer to Judaism. Friedman came to national attention with the release of his first solo album, Tammu, produced by Avi Newmark along with technical producer Sruly Meyer in 2009. Afterward, he began touring in concert and singing at Jewish weddings. He was a guest vocalist on the 2011 album Nagila V'Nismicha, singing with the Nagila Orchestra.

From then on he came out with a new album almost every two years. In December 2013 he sang the national anthem of the US at the first Jewish Heritage Night at a Brooklyn Nets game.
Benny shares with us his dream of maybe performing one day with Bob Dylan, but still keeps himself nicely grounded thanks to his wife and children, who keep him busy and even started giving him some critique points on his music.

Benny is married and lives with his family in Crown Heights.

Thank you Benny for stopping by - it was great!