Yaakov Shweky

Meet the man behind the legendary Song, I Can Be! A true message for the world!

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DFK2019 FlashMob Artist

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About Yaakov

Yaakov Shwekey (42) was born in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem in 1977 and moved to the United States at the age of 7. After his marriage (2000) Yaakov launched his debut album, “Shomati” which led to a worldwide breakthrough with so many Hit Songs including “Rachem” which became a worldwide prayer.

In 2008, he made his debut in the Tel Aviv Opera House with the Israeli philharmonic orchestra in a special performance devoted to IDF soldiers. In 2013 he made music history in Nokia Stadium with 250 musicians on stage honoring the soldiers and special needs in uniform in Israel, in collaboration with his very own organization The Special Children’s Center.

Shwekey’s hits have become an inalienable asset of Jewish music. With tens of millions of YouTube views, streaming and cell phone use in digital music stores, his albums come one after the other in platinum within a short time.

Shwekey appears every year in the world’s largest cultural centers. He has performed at Madison Square Garden and the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Beacon in New York, the Palais de Congress and the Casino de Paris in France, the Tunale Concert Hall in Zurich and more. His motto, “You can be anything you wanna be.”

Get in touch with Yaakov!

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Q&A with Yaakov Shweky

My message to the world is that the key ingredient to making children and adults successful is having confidence in yourself. When I travel around the world, I see so many children with so much talent. Each one of us, no matter who you are, what your age or gender, has talent.

There is a beautiful story in the Talmud that is one of my favorites. A great Rabbi was in the marketplace with Elijah the Prophet having a conversation. The Rabbi asked Elijah to look around the marketplace and choose who he thought are the most elevated and doing the greatest good. Elijah’s eyes were drawn to two ordinary people who just entered the marketplace and pointed to them. The Rabbi was in shock. He ran up to them and asked what is it that they do that makes them so favored. They responded, “We don’t do anything special, we are simply comedians.” They explained that when they see someone who seems down or depressed they make a joke to bring a smile to their faces. Elijah explains the significance of what they are doing – brightening the day of another.

What I take from this story is that it’s not about the grand things we do but sometimes it’s just the “small things” that makes you who you are so that you can make the world a better place. For me, I Can Be was bringing that message to the world through song. A message that you really can be anything you want to be.

The song itself was inspired by a young girl in the Special’s Children’s Center. There was a little girl with leg braces who couldn’t walk. Each time she tried to take a step the therapist would respond positively. She would say “you can do it!” “You can do it” “You can be anything!” “You can do anything!”. Although the girl struggled, she continued to take one step after another. When someone hears positive words of encouragement, it can inspire and encourage them to go beyond their boundaries. I am firm in my belief that if you inspire confidence within a person – the sky’s the limit!

On the spiritual side, kindness for me, means that we are here to mirror the Creator. The Creator expects us to work on ourselves and mirror kindness in all we do. Another way I experience kindness is through the wonderful work of my wife, Jennine who runs an amazing facility for kids with special needs called The Special Children’s Center. Seeing the interactions between the Special Children and counselors at the center is inspiring. It’s not just the kindness the counselors bestow on the children, but rather seeing how doing so changes the counselor for the good. Because when you give kindness you receive it in return. However, we do things not because we have to or we want something in return but because we have a passion and desire to make the world a better place. Through kindness you touch upon the beauty of a human being.

If we want to have a great world, we need to start ignoring the negativity and focusing on the positive. Although negativity sells, love and kindness are really what should rule our world.

Thank G-d I am so grateful to have the talent I was given to inspire through music because I feel that music is the language of hope, love, and kindness. The language of love and kindness speaks to everyone.

I once heard a great line from a man named Harold Ebani. As he walked into the Special’s Children’s Center, he said, “I don’t see white or black. I see color, the color of compassion.” When we reach into our hearts, we shouldn’t see black or white but we should see compassion, we should see the love of our fellow man. When we see that light in ourselves, we can then see it in others.

The chorus. “I can be stronger, I can be braver, I am a hero.”

I would have to say Shlomi Shabat. He has been a friend of mine for many years. I love the song Ein Od Milevado. He inspired me as an artist to remind me that singing comes from deep within the soul. When he sings you can feel as though he is reaching down and singing from an authentic and real place. When I hear him I hear authenticy. For me, that is incredible!

I Can Be

Performed by: Yaakov Shweky

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Oooohhhhh

I am a child
And the road ahead is paved with possibility
Laughter and smiles
When I’m with you I’m soaring high and free

When you’re in my world
I believe in me
I look into your eyes and see that

I can be stronger
I can be braver
I can be, I can be anything
Anything I wanna be
Ooohh anything I wanna be

I have the power
I have the courage
I am a hero
Everything I need is inside of me
Is inside of me

Life throws me fire
And fate will test me ten million ways
Sometimes I’m tired
It’s hard to see the light of better days

But then I dare to dream
I find the hope for more
I reach for all you gave and see that

I can be stronger
I can be braver
I can be, I can be anything
Anything I wanna be
Ooow anything I wanna be

I have the power
I have the courage
I am a hero
Everything I need is inside of me
Is inside of me

Life is the people we love
And what we give to one another
Loving is giving, giving is life
Life is the people we love
And what we give to one another
Loving is giving, giving is life

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na Oooohhh
I can be stronger
I can be braver
I can be, I can be anything
Anything I wanna be
Ooohh anything I wanna be

I have the power
I have the courage
I am a hero
Everything I need is inside of me
Is inside of me

I can be stronger
I can be braver
I can be, I can be anything
Anything I wanna be
Ooohh anything I wanna be

I have the power
I have the courage
I am a hero
Everything I need is inside of me
Is inside of me

I am a Fighter
I am a dreamer
I am a hero
Everything I am…
‘Cause you believed…
‘Cause you believed in me!

COMPOSED BY
Yitzy Waldner

LYRICS BY
Sophia Franco