A multi-instrumentalist who not only raps but also sings, Aloe Blacc is truly a product of his environment. Born to Panamanian parents in Orange County, California, USA, Aloe grew up immersed in the West Coast hip-hop scene and formed the group Emanon with buddy DJ Exile while still in high school.
Together they recorded a full-length LP The Waiting Room for Shaman Work in 2005. After that, Aloe went on to further his solo career – with Emanon on hiatus but not disbanded – releasing his stunning debut album Shine Through on Stones Throw Records a year later. Fusing acoustic guitar-driven folk tunes, digital R'n'B seduction suites and polyrhythmic workouts with his versatile vocal skills, he even had the cojones to pull off a Latinised rendition of John Legend's Ordinary People.
Aloe's sophomore effort Good Times saw him underline his soul credentials alongside Brooklyn production outfit Truth & Soul.
A heartfelt tribute to the timeless tunes of Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, the album yielded the modern-day classic I Need A Dollar and turned him into one of the most charismatic soul crooners of today.
Take a seat around the fireside at Red Bull Music Academy Radio: