A young busker was playing Matisyahu’s hit “One Day” in a coffee shop in Maui, Hawaii, not knowing the reggae legend was chilling right in front of him. Matisyahu started singing along with the busker and the pair spontaneously broke into a duet, expertly playing off each others’ vocals. The clip, which you can check out below, attracted 7.5 million views on YouTube.
There was a funny moment at the end when the busker, Kekoa (AKA Clint Alama), shook hands with Matisyahu and said “you have a beautiful voice man”, clearly not recognizing that it was the star himself in front of him. Matisyahu then asked if Kekoa knew who wrote the song and then pointed at himself, prompting Alama to ask “for real?” before it finally dawned on him. Kekoa’s eyes went wide and he mentioned how different the star looked.
Matisyahu is clean-shaven in the clip and dressed casually, so perhaps Kekoa was expecting him to be sporting his trademark full beard and traditional clothing. Fans online couldn’t get enough of the clip, adding comments like “One of the best videos of the year. One of those special spontaneous moments only music can bring. Thanks for posting for us to enjoy,” and “Such a beautiful video. The smile Matisyahu has throughout and the musician’s honest reaction when he realizes it’s him.”
This was not the last time the duo would collab, as Matisyahu later invited Kekoa to join him onstage at a gig in Los Angeles. The young Hawaiian musician again sang a duet with Matisyahu on “One Day” and played ukulele. The pair have great energy and chemistry onstage, as you can see in the clip below. No doubt Kekoa could have never guessed that a small time coffee shop busking gig would lead him playing onstage in Los Angeles with Matisyahu himself.
“One Day” is by far Matisyahu’s biggest song, with the track gaining 125 million streams on Spotify. It’s his only song to break the 100 million ceiling on the platform, as well as being one of two Matisyahu songs to go Gold in the US – the other being his debut single “King Without a Crown”.
“One Day” was released in 2008 as the lead single from Matisyahu’s third album Light. It was the biggest song from the album, yet it was only made as a last-minute addition during the recording sessions. The song calls for peace and understanding and an end to violence.
Matisyahu commented on the meaning of the song to Spinner, saying “‘One Day’ is the song I’ve been wanting to make since I started my career. It is an anthem of hope with a big beat, the kind of song that makes you bob your head and open your heart at the same time.” The song has been extensively covered and remixed, most notably in 2008 by Akon and later in the same year by Infected Mushroom. If you would like to see more from Matisyahu, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel. You can also visit his official website for more information.