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In the years since Aloe Blacc’s last album, Lift Your Spirit, the global superstar spent time working on an even dearer project: his family. All Love Everything (Delux), his latest album, is the singer-songwriter’s first collection of material written as a father, a journey that expanded Blacc’s already heartfelt artistic palette. “Becoming a father made me want to share those experiences in music,” he says, admitting it’s a challenge to translate such a powerful thing into lyrics and melody. But the listeners who have followed Blacc over the course of his career know that his facility with language and sound is deep -- if anyone was up to the task, it’s him.
Raised by Panamanian immigrants in Southern California, Blacc grew up around the sounds of salsa, merengue, and cumbia. He initially developed his own taste by throwing himself into hip-hop before trying out his soulful voice to other ends. Across three albums, his sound evolved and grew, finding a pocket that reflects the long and beautiful history of American soul with timeless, descriptive songwriting that speaks to the broad range of human experience, from platonic love to love for humanity, from politics to aspiration. Versatile and compassionate, his songwriting is classic in a way that makes categorization irrelevant; indeed, Blacc’s lyrics have been paired with dance music and country -- always to stirring effect. Aloe Blacc isn’t defined by genre.
“Rather than a genre, my music follows a theme I call A.I.M.: affirmation, inspiration, and motivation,” he explains. Beloved hits like “I Need a Dollar,” “The Man,” and “Wake Me Up,” with Avicii, may not fall under the same musical umbrella, but they’re united by how they make the listener feel. That’s Blacc’s wheelhouse, the place where he excels. “After so many opportunities to talk about my music and not feel comfortable saying, ‘I’m a pop artist’ or ‘I’m a folk artist,’ I had this realization. My songwriting genre is thematic.”
Aloe Blacc’s most recent releases include a collaboration with singer/songwriter ZZ Ward, “Tin Cups” followed by “Free”, which was also written and produced by Blacc for the CNN political commentator Van Jones’ documentary ‘The First Step’, on his criminal justice reform journey to pass the First Step Act, which led to the release of thousands of citizens who have paid their debt to society.
On the 24th of February, Aloe Blacc unveiled a commemorative single, entitled "We Will Meet Again," in a gesture of solidarity with Ukraine, marking the first anniversary of Russia's aggressive incursion into the nation. The release was accompanied by a music video featuring Ukrainian virtual reality artist, Anna Zhilyaeva. Blacc was compelled to compose this emotionally charged song after bearing witness to heartrending news footage of families seeking refuge amidst the chaos of war.
Aloe Blacc is presently writing his next solo album and is expected to drop his first single in June 2023.