R&B/soul artist Aloe Blacc recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Blacc discussed his 2014 album Lift Your Spirit, his hit single "The Man" and using music as a force for positive social change.
"One of the things I thought when I was signing the contract to be on a major label was, 'There is no real reason for me to sell my music.' If I'm an artist I can create art, and that's it," said Blacc. "But if I want to sell it … there's got to be a bigger reason, and for me it's positive social change."
After entering the music business as a hip-hop artist, in 2006 Blacc issued his debut soul album, Shine Through. In addition to writing or co-writing a majority of the album's 16 tracks, Blacc also co-produced, engineered and mixed the album. He issued his sophomore album, Good Things, in 2010. The album reached No. 10 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart on the strength of the single "I Need A Dollar," which reached No. 2 on the UK singles chart. In 2013 Blacc appeared on GRAMMY-nominated dance/electronic artist Avicii's Top 5 hit "Wake Me Up," which Blacc co-wrote.
Released in March 2014, Lift Your Spirit peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the Top 10 hit "The Man." The 10-track set also features an acoustic version of "Wake Me Up" and "Love Is The Answer," which was co-written by GRAMMY winner Pharrell.
Blacc is currently in the midst of an international tour, with dates scheduled through October.