Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kol Isha

     Once upon a time Matisyahu was a hasidic reggae singer. Now he is "just" a Jewish reggae singer. The world of secular music can be very difficult for a frum performer to retain frumkeit.
      What happens if you are a woman with a gifted voice and you would like to sing professinally?
Bulletproof Stockings which is now just Perle is trying to figure out what that path might be . She has a band with two other women and has formed a group that will only perform for  female audiences.
It must be difficult for Perle to perform for a women only audience. When you hear her sing you realize that someone with such a voice should be singing in the secular music scene. She is that good. However she is dedicated to only performing in front of women. This is also difficult because her songs do not exactly evoke bais yaakov. The JCC Manhattan where Perle performed their first gig was the more appropriate venue . There was a diverse group of young and old, religious and less religious . In fact more younger women than older women were there .
      Though it may be difficult for Perle to find a large audience for her brand of kol isha concerts when she does she will be better off than Matisyahu . Though there is always temptation, performing at a JCC way more wholesome than the typical secular music scene. Bulletproof Stockings had performed at the Bitter End a few years ago, but being a kol isha event makes it a bit more sheltered as well. In a way being a woman singer who observes the laws of kol isha really is a blessing. It prevents a frum woman from getting into some very unkosher situations where kol isha is only the tip of the iceberg.
      I give Perle a  lot of credit for trying to carve out a space for herself. She is trying to use her talent and stay within a level of religious observance. Its not perfect but she is making the effort. It takes a lot of guts, I wish her well.

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