Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc Artistfacts

  • January 7, 1979
  • Aloe Blacc was born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III in suburban Orange County, California. He chose Aloe because his style was "smooth like lotion."
  • He began his music career in his teens as an MC in an indie rap duo called Emanon. After singing on a version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," Stone's Throw Records signed Blacc as a traditional vocalist.
  • Blacc won a scholarship to the University of Southern California to study communications and linguistic psychology. "It's kind of a nerdy interest," he told The Guardian. "It helps me to continue whetting my blade as a thinker. I don't play the new app of the week on my phone, I play with words. I put them together in little puzzles and see how they make me feel and then do this projection puzzle to the rest of the world and ask how they will make other people feel."
  • After graduating from University of Southern California, Blacc took a very non-musical job analyzing data for healthcare and insurance companies while playing music on the weekends. Unlike most musicians who made it, his real job was his focus - he viewed music as a hobby, not a career. "I was not interested in being a starving artist," he said.
  • Though he's from California, Blacc's breakthrough came in Europe, where "I Need A Dollar" was added to many influential radio stations, sending the song up the charts in France, Germany, Austria and the UK. In America, few radio stations would play the song and it never charted on the Hot 100.
  • His 2010 album Good Things dealt largely with economic disparity and political strife. His father told him it was "a little bit too depressing" and suggested he create more happy songs. Blacc took his dad's advice and lightened it up for his next album, Lift Your Spirit. "I could spend all my time yelling and screaming about social issues, or I can try to instruct and inform and inspire positivity," he said on Guitar Center Sessions.

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