– My purpose for music is positive social change, says Californian singer Aloe Blacc. Something of a black music renaissance man, he considers soul, R&B, jazz, hip-hop and reggae to be his heritage and feels free to take elements from each one. Lately the accent has been on what he calls ”brand new old soul”.
Aloe, real name Egbert Dawkins, III, was born to Panamian parents, who dug James Brown, Marvin Gaye and other old school soul singers as well as reggae greats, like Bob Marley. So all that stuff seeped into Aloe’s consciousness early on. The University of Southern California graduate cites also Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oprah Winfrey as influences.
He started his own career in mid-90’s as part of alternative rap acts Emanon and later Bee, recording several albums with the former and one with the latter. His solo career contains so far one EP and two albums. His breakthru debut, Shine Through (2006) was a tasty multi-style affair, while last years Good Things focuses on his take on classic soul, with original songs, naturally. It’s single I Need A Dollar became a big hit and also the theme tune in the tv series How To Make It In America.