It isn’t every day that a division of Universal Music signs a record deal with a Hasidic Jew.
According to The Yeshiva World, singer Shulem Lemmer just signed with Decca Gold, a division of the Verve Label Group at Universal, for a new album produced by Jon Cohen, with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The album, which will be released in the fall, will include Lemmer’s renditions of two classic Jewish singles, “Jerusalem of Gold” and “Bring Him Home,” from Broadway show “Les Miserables.”
Lemmer, a Belz Hasid, is known for his unusual voice and flawless pitch, that allows him a wide versatility in singing. He grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, in the heart of New York’s ultra-Orthodox community, where he was exposed to cantorial music and contemporary Jewish music from an early age, and began developing his voice in boys’ choirs as a lead soloist.
He sings in Hebrew, English and Yiddish, and gained a large following online, which is what drew him to the attention of Graham Parker, a president at Decca Gold.
Lemmer came to the attention of those outside his Hasidic enclave with such favorites as his lively rendition of the popular Passover song, Chad Gad Ya.
Parker reached out to Lemmer by email, and Lemmer told The Yeshiva World that he through it was was a prank at first.
After the two met, Parker introduced Shulem’s sound to other executives at Universal and offered him a deal.