With "Wake Me Up"- the 2013 mega-hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii and saw climb to No. 1 in 22 countries across the globe - Aloe Blacc proved himself a singer/songwriter with an irresistible power to capture the complexities of human emotion. Now with his third solo album, "Lift Your Spirit," Blacc's major-label full-length debut, released by XIX Recordings/Interscope Records, the rapper-turned-singer pushes further into a folk/soul/pop fusion that's both undeniably joyful and eye-opening in message.
Raised on the boundary-pushing hip-hop of acts like Public Enemy, The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, as a teenager, Blacc developed a fierce admiration for such soul musicians as Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye and folk-rock singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.
Making impactful music has been essential to Blacc since high school, when he first broke into the indie hip-hop scene. Back then, Blacc and his partner, DJ Exile, formed a duo named Emanon and quickly became a cult favorite in Los Angeles, largely due to their heavy inventiveness in working with jazz samples and breakbeat loops. Going solo in 2003, Blacc soon signed to indie label Stones Throw and transformed from rapper to singer - albeit without shedding his hip-hop spirit or sense of social consciousness. Three years after the release of his solo debut "Shine Through," Blacc began work on the record that would change his life and career: "Good Things," an album certified gold in the U.K., France, Germany and Australia, among other countries. Along with "I Need a Dollar," the platinum-selling single that was selected as the theme song to HBO's "How to Make It in America," "Good Things" included the singles "Loving You Is Killing Me" and "Green Lights." The European success of both tracks led to interest from Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment, with whom Blacc eventually landed a management deal, a move that paved the way to him signing a recording contract with Interscope Records in 2012.
With "Wake Me Up" having sold more than 2,867,000 copies in the U.S., Blacc notes that one of his greatest ambitions is to use his surging popularity to affect social change while continuing to infuse his music with a mindful positivity.
"The stories in my songs are about the common individual and all the struggles they're dealing with every day and also all the hopes and aspirations that they have. It's about reflecting all of that and at the same time getting people to sing along and feel good and just celebrate being here."