Aloe Blacc: Testing the Boundaries

Live from Germany, Singersroom had the opportunity to pick the brain of rapper, singer, and musician, Mr. Aloe Blacc. With a fusion of Jazz, Hip Hop, Soul and R&B, Aloe is creating a sound that is constantly testing the boundaries. The new release, “Good Things,” is an expression that is organic and refreshing. Feel a new vibe and listen to a new sound.

Singersroom: How have you been able to develop this Soul/Hip Hop sound?

Aloe Blacc: I started out as an emcee in the nineties making Hip Hop with DJ Exile. We have a group named EMANON and the experience helped teach me more about different styles of music because we sampled from almost everything. I started experimenting with styles about ten years [ago].

Singersroom: If you could make any artist from the past a super hero who would it be and what powers would they have?

Aloe Blacc: Bob Marley would be a superhero with the power to melt guns and other weapons with laser rays that shoot from his dreadlocks.

Singersroom: What does the power of a dollar do to creativity in music and art as a whole? Has it affected the music industry? How do you balance trying to sell records and being true to your sound and craft?

Aloe Blacc: Money helps artists make a living, but it also helps business people make more money from the products that artists create. The music industry seems to be less about music and more about industry. Some of the business folks don’t care about the quality of the art because their main focus is to make money. My goal as a musician and as a businessman is to make quality art and find a way to present the art in a way that is worthy of purchase. Unfortunately, the industry at large doesn’t always have this philosophy and companies try to force people to buy anything.

Singersroom: Your music has a red light basement party feel to it. Describe the ingredients for the perfect get together or house party?

Aloe Blacc: Lots of musicians and instruments. Good ethnic foods from around the world. Mood lighting and incense. For me, a party is all about everyone participating in making it an amazing and memorable experience. A few special treats for folks enjoy being in an altered state might help, but the music we create is my opiate of choice.

Singersroom: The American Dream is very real to those that come from other countries and it’s instilled in those children of immigrants. How has being a first-generation American of Panamanian descent shaped you socially and affected your work ethic?

Aloe Blacc: My parents were always adamant about doing really well in school and trying hard at everything that I do. I am constantly working and striving for improvement. Music is my career, so I take it very seriously and I don’t like wasting time doing things that don’t advance my career.

Singersroom: Why the switch from rapping to singing?

Aloe Blacc: Singing is my way of reaching a larger audience. Hip Hop is not always easy to present to an older audience and when I sing, I can attract people of my parent’s generation.

Singersroom: I’m going to give you a couple of words and I would like you to respond with a phrase.

Aloe Blacc:
• Panama – Donde quiero vivir, donde quiero morir.
• Brooklyn – Keeps on taking it.
• Aloe Blacc – Back on the scene so if you’re in the way then move over.
• Marvin Gaye – All respect due to the teacher.
• Willie Hutch – The Last Dragon was my favorite karate flick.
• Bobby Womack – One of the coldest brothers ever!

Singersroom: Do you lean more towards fashion or style? Why? How would you describe your style?

Aloe Blacc: I am more about style than fashion because fashion can go out of style but style never goes out of fashion. My style fits with the music that I am making or the art that I am creating at any given time. Right now, the music is soul, so I want to represent a style that fits the music.

Singersroom: Do you like rock music and if so what are your favorite rock songs?

Aloe Blacc: My favorite rock songs are Jimmy’s version of Bob’s “All Along the Watchtower,” The Guess Who “These Eyes,” Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park,” Cat Stevens’ “Where do the Children Play?”

—— By: Interview By Deyior Dunbar


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