Noah ‘Noey’ Jacobson, 24, part owner and member of The Maccabeats, launched his solo career yesterday when he posted a medley covering Clean Bandits Rather Be and Nico & Vinz’s hit single “Am I Wrong.”
“I’ve been singing with the Maccabeats for five years,” he said. “At some point I said to myself, ‘I’m happiest when I’m on stage, when I’m engaging with an audience — why not consider pursuing music as a more serious option’”?
Jacobson’s cover is just a taste of what’s to come. “I have original music ready,” he said. His choice to release a cover as his first song was completely strategic. “I think it’s hard for the average listener to tap into original songs right away,” he said.
“I wanted to capitalize as much as possible on some people who might know me from Maccabeats, and show them, ‘Hey, come along for this ride, here’s a song you know and love.’”
In under twenty-four hours, the music video has already exceeded 1,600 hits.
This figure, impressive for any budding artist, is a bit of an adjustment for Jacobson. “It’s weird coming from Maccabeats where you’re guaranteed 100,000 views on basically anything you put out,” he admitted. “So it’s weird going back to rock bottom and trying to build up.”
“But that’s part of the fun, that challenge,” he added.
Like any good millenial trying to find his way, Jacobson asked himself why he wasn’t considering music and performing, his passion, as a serious option. And so he did.
Over the last year, the Texas native started messing around on guitar, writing some songs, and producing some of them. It was then that he realized, “Hey, this isn’t so out of reach.”
In the spring, he submitted his letter of resignation to Yeshiva University’s Office of the President, where he worked for the previous two years, got a part time job at a local Los Angeles high school to, as he says it, “pay the bills,” and moved across the country.
Now that he’s settled in LA, he plans to release music — both covers and original materials — more consistently starting, well, now.
When asked if this move has created internal rifts within the Maccabeats, Jacobson said “the Maccabeats are my brothers, and they’ve been tremendously supportive of me in this process.”
He maintains that he will still be fly out for gigs to sing with them.
Mordy Weinstein, a famed New York based Jewish a cappella singer who often arranges and sings with the Maccabeats and will be singing with them over the High Holidays, praised Jacobson’s move. He “could’ve stayed complacent in New York as part of the Maccabeats,” Weinsten said with reverence, but Jacobson “decided that he wanted to try going for what he really loves in a new place.”
In Weinstein’s words, Jacobson’s shift says that “Jews can make good music in the secular world too.”
Jacobson doesn’t know what to expect of his new endeavor, but added “I’m having fun.”
Though he’s apprehensive to hear people’s reactions to his original work, which will be released within the next month, he’s staying true to his art, so “I’m ready for people not to like it, and that’s okay.”
“I was in an orthodox all male a cappella group for God’s sake,” he exclaimed with a laugh, “I better have thick skin!”
This story "Cutest Maccabeat Goes Solo" was written by Rachel Delia Benaim.