Interview: Aloe Blacc
Aloe Blacc is on a mission to inspire positivity around the globe. The Grammy-nominated artist uses his upbeat tracks to “be the light” in the world and his latest single with Mathieu Koss, “Never Growing Up”, is no exception. Celebrating it’s release, Aloe gave us a glimpse into it’s creation and the other works that he has brewing.
Aloe Blacc! How are you? Where are you right now?
Good, I’m in Los Angeles and enjoying rain and sunshine.
I’ve heard it’s pretty rainy over there at the moment – letting us down!
I know, but it’s not so bad. I like the rain so… The flowers are blooming now!
That’s the way. First up, I just want to congratulate you on your new single, “Never Growing Up”! It’s such a great summer bop. You collaborated with Mathieu Koss on this one, who’s probably known for his tune with Australian artists Angus and Julia Stone, “Big Jet Plane”.
I love Angus and Julia Stone.
They’re honestly Australian gems. What was that experience like working with Mathieu?
Mathieu is really easy to work with. He had a brilliant idea and we were able to collaborate over the Internet basically to make this come to life. He was open to all of my ideas and suggestions and I was totally open to his. And basically, true story, he had been travelling around the world and came back home to North France, so the story is really about all his travels and coming back and enjoying family.
That’s so nice! So how did you guys get linked up then if it was all through the internet?
Well, it was a mutual friend, Rudenko, who is a DJ from Russia. His publisher is a Dutch publisher and they wanted to connect me with Mathieu to do a totally different song, but in our back and forth communicating on what we really wanted to accomplish, we came up with “Never Growing Up”.
It’s a super Tropicana track – really vibrant, it feels like I should be holding a piña colada when I listen to it! It’s cracking into winter here in Australia, so thank you for extending my summer!
Exactly, might have to go up North.
Yeah exactly, I’ll just travel over! You’ve worked with quite a few reputable DJs and producers in the past such as Aviici and Tiësto – is collaborating with that sort of realm of the industry something you’re always actively seeking out?
Yeah, I really do like to make any kind of music and a lot of the dance music that has been coming my way has given me the opportunity to tell some stories that I really feel are important. Bringing bright minds of happiness and joy in a world where other artists may choose to focus on their breakups or their issues and their heartache. I just want to focus on their inspirations and their motivations.
I think that’s really important in this sort of climate as well, that we have uplifting tunes because you tune into the news, for example, and it’s all downhill and you just want a good news story – I think it’s the same on the radio. Everyone wants a good song to start their day.
And your latest studio album was Christmas Funk which you dropped last year. Aloe, I did not think I needed to hear you on a Christmas album until I did, and I am so happy that exists. What inspired that project?
So, I knew I wanted to do a Christmas album and I didn’t know when I was going to do it, but the songs just kept coming to me, the ideas just kept coming to me. The first song was “The Mrs Saved Christmas” and it was a song that was basically about Mrs Santa Claus coming to the rescue on the day when Santa becomes stuck in a chimney. It’s a fun light-hearted sort of story that my kids laughed at and they enjoyed it, so I thought other families might enjoy it.
And that’s the thing, it’s so perfect for the modern family. I think everyone can love it and it’s not an old dilapidated Christmas album that they’ve had on repeat for the past decade. New, fresh and current, which is exciting for Christmas time!
I also want to commend you on “Brooklyn In the Summer” as well – that song was one of my favourite tunes of last year and sound-tracked a lot of car rides for me. Will there be another studio album from you soon?
Yeah, there will be another studio album soon enough. I’ve got a lot of songs and I’m just trying to piece together the puzzle of what is going to make the album.
Do we have a timeline?
Not really! The joy right now is just dropping a lot of singles and collaborations. I could literally drop an album at any moment but I’d love to give the “Never Growing Up” single the chance to properly develop over the next few months and there are a few collaborations that are coming that I think will need to shine without me focusing on my personal solo project. Maybe early next year or late this year would be a great time for a solo album.
That’s going to be so good! So, a couple of collabs coming up and the possibility of a studio album this year or early next year. What does the rest of 2019 hold for you? Will we be seeing you on Australian shores again soon?
I don’t have any big plans just yet or booked, but you know my wife is from Sydney so I’m in Australia twice a year anyway. I’ll just try to end up finding something to do.
Before I let you go, I do have to ask a question that’s been playing on my mind for years. If you had this dollar in “I Need A Dollar”, what would you be spending it on? What is the one thing for a dollar that you’d need?
You know, everybody asks me that and I think the important thing I’d spend my dollar on would be the couple of organisations and charities that I support. The organisations that help children with Arts and writing music or organisations that help survivors of domestic violence. Organisations like Big Green, founded by Kimbal Musk, where we plant organic produce gardens in elementary schools. I really love those kinds of programs, so when I get the dollar, I pay it forward.
Here I was thinking you’re going to say something like the McDonald’s Loose Change Menu or something. That’s so wholesome of you, Aloe! Thank you so much for chatting to me and congrats again on “Never Growing Up”, and I look forward to catching up with you again soon.
Great, thank you!