by Josh Goldberg and Laurie Akers
Written by Eric Bazilian
Album art by Rick Lupert
Have you ever asked yourself, “What if God was ‘One of Us’”?
My dear friend and colleague, Laurie Akers and I did, which is why we are bringing a new, Jewish twist to the 90’s rock tune “One of Us.” I first heard this tune years ago when a former collaborator of mine, Glenn Gloss (z’’l) told me about his brilliant former bandmate, Eric Bazilian. Bazilian wrote the song and it was made famous by rock singer Joan Osbourne. The song always struck me for its unfettered honesty, its tongue-in-cheek, iconoclastic nature, and its willingness to question aspects of God and faith that many of us aren’t bold enough to say out loud. Laurie and I are cantorial school classmates and Jewish musicians, and we collaborated on this project from our respective homes in Los Angeles and Chicago to bring a Jewish lens and a humanitarian imperative to the song. Judaism teaches that we are all created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. In other words, the divine spark lies within every one of us. So, we ask, how would human beings treat each other if we truly believed that we were all one with God, and God was “One of Us”? For us, the musical answer to this was to infuse the words of “Shema” as a counterpoint to the chorus, which deals with a personal struggle of faith in God. The accompanying music video takes a head-on look at the growing issue of homelessness in the U.S. I was drawn to this topic not only because of the lyrics of the song, but also because the growing crisis of homelessness in my city of Los Angeles has become more dire than ever. It’s impossible to drive more than a few blocks without seeing men, women, and children living on the street. And during a pandemic, that means they are more exposed and more in danger than ever. Directed by Andres Casanova, the video makes a powerful social statement and aims to raise awareness and funds to dismantle homelessness in America via the National Alliance to End Homelessness. We would be honored if you would share the video with your friends and family, and make a contribution to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. We chose this organization to direct funds because they seek to get to the root of the issue, rather than just putting a bandage on the symptoms. Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue which requires a holistic solution. As of today the song is available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play, etc, and the music video is on YouTube and Facebook.
Kosher Style Records is an independent music production company and record label based in Los Angeles, CA. Its mission is to develop the next generation of contemporary Jewish music. Learn more at www.kosherstylerecords.com.