soul singer, rapper & musician – Los Angeles
Aloe Blacc got soul! In every possible way: The singer, rapper and musician not only manages to get people into his music who usually keep away from soul music, but also, he puts his heart and soul in it to carry a positive message to the world: “My purpose for music is positive social change,” says Orange County, California native Aloe Blacc. “Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will.” In line with this, his song and LP titles such as “Good Things“, “I Need A Dollar” and “You Make Me Smile“ always convey a push forward, right in the direction of social change and a better coexistence.
A 2001 graduate of the University of Southern California and former business consultant, Aloe Blacc never planned to make a career out of music. When he was laid off, he saw it as an opportunity to focus on his music and launched a new career as half of the rap duo Emanon but over the span of a decade, Aloe Blacc’s music has undergone many transformations: hip-hop, salsa, classic rock, soul music, jazz have had an impact on his music. Regardless of his sound, his desires to induce change and compassion by way of his own success affected his musical efforts ever since.
We admire Aloe Blacc’s work and therefore we are very glad that he enters in our friend’s and supporter’s list. A very warm welcome!
What is more important to you, the sense of hearing or sight? Why?
As a singer I truly value my ability to hear but what I enjoy more than singing is my ability to write lyrics. Most of what I write is inspired by what I see. Without sight, I would miss out on all of the silent subtleties of human interaction and nature. I’d have to say sight is more important to me.
You are a creative person who is home in many places. What is your vision for your personal work?
My personal work has one simple focus, which is to create happiness. I want to have joy in my life and create joyful experiences for others. I can do this through music and through the social influence I earn from fans.
Once you stated in an interview that music stands for social change. How can we understand this statement?
One if my career goals is to achieve Michael Jackson’s level philanthropic efforts. This it’s one way to make positive change. The other way is to serve as a roll model for children and adults alike. I would like to influence behavior in a way that increases the level of compassion we share with one another.
What is your tactic for making the world a better place?
I’d like to spread the belief that love is the answer to our most dire problems. With love for humanity, we will not let our neighbor starve, we will not let our seas be poisoned or our skies be polluted.
When people hear your name, the first thing that comes to mind will probably be the song “I Need A Dollar” of your first solo album “Good Things”. The second version of the corresponding video, the „Las Vegas“ version, shows you hitching a ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas where you find a dollar coin on the casino floor and win after using the coin to play a slot machine. Can we interpret this video as your personal positive message to the world?
Unfortunately, the meaning behind that video was not so deep. It was a simple concept of a lucky dollar for a guy who was down on his luck. But if we were to interpret it, I would say it definitely represents that we all have the opportunity to turn something small into something big. What will you choose? You can turn one dollar into many, or a small problem into a big problem, or a tiny smile from a stranger into a life-long friendship.
When was the last time you gave back and what did you do?
Aside from assisting numerous charitable organizations in their fund raising activities I am able to participate directly with those helped by the organizations. In Los Angeles there is an organization called Peace Over Violence that facilitates summer programs to keep kids off the streets. I participated in a songwriting class to teach the youth how to chanel their emotions into art rather than violence.
What is the most beautiful thing you ever saw?
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is my wife holding my newborn daughter for the first time. That was an amazing experience. The true meaning of existence because the most important thing in life is life itself.
Sunrise or sunset – what do you prefer?
I’m often asleep for sunrise and I love the colors of the sunset at the ocean or reflected off the mountains near my home.
What would you like to see more often?
I’d love to see more participatory and communal art and activities. I feel like people have resigned to accepting entertainment from companies on TV rather than recognizing they have the power to entertain themselves and be even more creative.
What´s your sound for IWISHUSUN?
The sound of a little child laughing.