Meet the man - Aloe Blacc

By admin
27 August 2014

Aloe Blacc was in town, so we caught up with the man behind the big hits.

His real name is Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III but he goes by something a little catchier. We chatted to the American singer, songwriter, rapper, businessman, musician and now actor behind the hits The Man and Wake Me Up.

Aloe Blacc PHOTO: Corrie Hansen

Why ‘Aloe Blacc’?

I started as a hip-hop artist back in the mid-90s, and I called myself ‘Aloe’ because I felt that my rhyming style was smooth as aloe.

On why he named his daughter (1) ‘Mandela’

The legacy of Nelson Mandela, and the struggles he and Winnie went through to create better relationships between the people here in South Africa and around the world.

What does Mandela’s legacy mean to you?

It means compassion, it means humanity, and it means love. I use my music for positive social change and if I can create messages to help people to become better people and better citizens, then I’m going to continue to do as much as I can with my music.

I hope that my daughter follows in my humanitarian footsteps more so than my music footsteps.

What languages do you speak?

I only speak English and Spanish

Tell us about some of your favourite artists

There are several that I listen to, mostly from the early 70s. I enjoy Eugene McDaniels and D.J. Rogers.

Where does your magnificent voice come from?

I don’t know. I started my music career as a hip-hop artist, and I began experimenting as a singer, so now that I’m singing it’s mainly experimentation. I’m not sure.

Which artists would you like to collaborate with?

I appreciate a lot of the classic soul artists, so a producer like Quincy Jones would be great, but also Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Al Green.

Your favourite song to perform live is?

I have a song called Can You Do This, which is from my new album ‘Lift Your Spirit’ (2013) and it’s a really fun song because I’m able to get a lot of crowd participation. People get up and they dance and sing along.

Aloe Blacc has a foot in the acting door, starring in Get on Up, the biographical drama of James Brown’s life. He plays Nafloyd Scott, a member of the Famous Flames.

What did you find most challenging about acting?

Acting is a much different skillset from music. What I found most challenging was not projecting. As a singer I have to project, and give my energy to the audience. In acting, you have to reserve your energy and allow the audience to come to you.

PHOTO: Corrie Hansen PHOTO: Corrie Hansen

FUN FACTS

Last thing you Googled – the world ‘undulate’

The wallpaper on your cellphone – a picture of my daughter

Most played song on your media player – It’s Good to be Alive­ by DJ Rogers

Three things you can’t live without –

1. Music

2. Family

3. Good food

Which superpower would you choose? To grow food in abundance. I find that to be the most important resource in the world.

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