Stamford Hill singer says Hackney people helped him on creative path
- Credit: Courtesy of Menachem Weinstein
Born and bred in Stamford Hill’s Jewish community, a musician tells his journey from the streets of Hackney to the suburbs of Florida in his new song.
Menachem Weinstein grew up in an orthodox Chasidic family but as a teenager he says he began to “stray from the religious path”.
Orthodox Judaism or Hasidism is a branch of Judaism governed by a strict adherence to the Talmud's interpretation of the Torah, the religion's written law.
He told the Gazette: “I was kicked out of the local Jewish school and spent my early teens and young adulthood on the streets of Hackney getting up to no good, doing drugs and rebelling against my religion and my community.”
But, the musician and singer says “many special people” living in Hackney helped and guided him towards a path of creativity and productivity, “opening up a doorway for [Menachem] to see his religion and community in a new light”.
“I began working with the local youth in Stamford Hill who were on a similar journey that I had just been on, running programs, a clubhouse and events for them,” he said.
Menachem would later move to Florida in the USA in 2016 where he founded a video production company and began writing and recording music.
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His new song speaks of his journey across continents and the people who have shaped him along the way.
Menachem’s message to young people in Hackney is: “Don’t stop dreaming.
“We only get one shot at this life and sometimes our surroundings can make us believe that we don't have a chance to achieve something great, that only people who are more privileged, more educated or more wealthy can chase their dreams and create a legacy.
“The real truth is that each one of us, no matter where we are from has the incredible power to change the world around for the better, if that is through art, music, inventions or whatever form of expression and talents you may have, so pick up a spade and shovel your path to greatness."
Listen to Menachem’s song Highway on YouTube at https://youtu.be/va-yEXnzLj8