Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1097

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BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

Feature

Aloe Blacc: Life Stories

Aloe Blacc interview @bluesnadsoul.com
Aloe Blacc interview @bluesnadsoul.com Aloe Blacc interview @bluesnadsoul.com Aloe Blacc interview @bluesnadsoul.com Aloe Blacc interview @bluesnadsoul.com

This month soul man for all seasons, Aloe Blacc, releases his eagerly anticipated 5th studio album, I was lucky enough to grab an interview with the man himself on Zoom from his home studio in Laguna Hills in California. Blacc gave me the lowdown on his deeply personal new album, "All Love Is Everything”, including song construction, a song dedicated to his wife marking their anniversary, his 'special' relationship with dance superstar Avicii and being asked to contribute to the late great's posthumously released album, “Tim”.

With this year being, shall we say, not the best, news of a brand new Aloe Blacc album was greeted with a real air of excitement and anticipation and rightly so. “All Love Is Everything" is love song heavy but it is Aloe Blacc, we love an Aloe Blacc love song - there are no passengers on this album song-wise and it's a release, I'm pleased to say, you can get totally immersed in and also find that natural ingredient Blacc seems to deliver in abundance, uplifting spirit - in my opinion, it's probably the most uplifting album you will hear this year. I wonder how important this positive message is on an Aloe Blacc release, the artist is quick to answer "it was definitely an important factor, part of what I do and what I've chosen to do as an artist is to create moments of joy happiness and light". He adds "in this media and marketplace where there's a lot of depression and darkness. A lot of violence in media from TV movies to television to shows to movies to the music we listen to so I just want my albums and my art to stand in opposition to the negative messages we may be receiving… right now, is a time when people could use some uplifting messages". Elaborating on the uplifting message he tries to relay though his music “everyone needs to find a way to be human…humanity isn't just wallowing in sorrow. Certainly, there are moments that require us to be present and recognise that there are social ills and other things happening that get us down. But, our resolve and optimism have to carry us through".

Blacc is undoubtedly one of music’s great storytellers, he explains about the importance of creating a relatable narrative but in a way that listener can follow as the song goes on "Storytelling is key. This is what I believe I learned as a hip-hop artist in my early days creating music. What I value the most in songwriting is communicating a story that is compelling, that makes the listener feel something and not always do I do it. In hip-hop sometimes, it's just couplet after couplet - that is interesting and witty and I've used that method in writing in our genre of songs but when I can put together a really touching and powerful story, that's when I feel I've done my greatest work". Since story is important, I ask if the tracks on "All Love Is Everything" work better together or individually? Blacc answers with confidence "Mainly, I look at tracks how they are perceived individually… I write them individually and then assemble later. This album is an assemblage of songs that I feel belong together to tell a story. While I was writing these songs, other songs were being created that will probably be part of another project because they don't fit the theme and the message, or they didn't fall in line with the path that I was going so it's definitely an individual song basis and then assembled later”.

The tracks on the album don't get more personal than the initial release "I Do" which was out, aptly, in time for Valentine's day this year. When things do get back to normal, I'm sure this track will be high on the list of wedding 'first dance' songs. Blacc explains the personal and very romantic story behind this track "well, this year is my 10th Anniversary, married to (singer/songwriter) Maya Jupiter.

The album "All Love Is Everything” and the single “Hold On Tight” are out now on BMG

You can read more from B&S Editor Lee Tyler's exclusive interview with soul superstar, Aloe Blacc, including more on his deeply personal new album, "All Love Is Everything”. Also, Blacc's song construction process, his 'special' relationship with dance superstar Avicii and being asked to contribute to the late great's posthumously released album, “Tim”. All in the latest issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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ESSENTIAL LINKS:

TWITTER: AloeBlacc

INSTAGRAM aloeblacc

FACEBOOK facebook/olatujaproject

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Words LEE TYLER

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