by / July 21st, 2011 /

Top Story: Interview with Aloe Blacc

Back for its third successive outing, Arthur’s Day 2011 will take place on Thursday 22nd September 2011 kicking off at 17.59pm. Scissor Sisters, Stereophonics, Ash, Paloma Faith, Calvin Harris and Aloe Blacc (pictured with Paloma by Abe Tarrush) are amongst the international acts already confirmed for the night. Amongst the home grown acts confirmed are Ryan Sheridan, Royseven, Cashier No.9, Bressie and The Kanyu Tree. The event is a nice book-end to the summer festivals, and always features surprise acts playing in very random locations as well as their main headline gig. In past years Tom Jones has played The Brazen Head, Kelis has played in Dakota and Imelda May in Bruxelles. It is branching out across Ireland this year, with acts playing in Cork, Belfast, Limerick as well as Dublin. Tickets go on sale from Ticketmaster on August 4th, check www.Guinness.com for more details on the event.

We got a few minutes with Aloe Blacc at the launch:

Welcome to Dublin, is this your first time here?

Thank you, no, I have been to Dublin before, actually a few times. My first time here was as a hip-hop artist, a few years ago. I can’t remember where I played, back then I wasn’t paying much attention. On the road you sometimes get on the bus, or get on the plane and wake up in a new city. I won’t forget where I played this time for Arthur’s Day. They say I’m going to play in a little quaint pub, celebrating Arthur’s Day, bringing the music to the fans.

So you are on the festival circuit at the moment. Any highlights so far?

Highlights so far have been Montreux Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, and a few others here and there but those would be the top two.

You looked like you were having a lot of fun at stage at Glastonbury..
Yeah it’s a lot of fun, it really is, to have so many people know my music, the excitement to come and see me. At a festival you’ve choices, other tents and other stages you can go to. To see so many people at my stage while I’m on is an honour. It really is.

While you have been on the festival circuit have you seen any other acts that you have never seen before that have inspired or struck you?

There was group in Finland that I saw called Ojos de Brujo, a Spanish group, they were really good. The day before yesterday I was in Turkey, there were a group called Angus and Julia Stone, a brother and sister folk group. Everyone once in a while I see something that is really, really decent.

Do you find it inspires your music?

Yeah, I’m always inspired by listening to other artists, and a lot of time inspired by watching films and just absorbing reality, absorbing life, listening to people’s stories and watching life unfold.

‘I Need A Dollar’ has been a huge hit over here, are you surprised at how much it has take off?

Yeah, ‘I Need A Dollar’, the topic, is about giving somebody a chance. There are a couple of things communicated. The music of course is jubilant in a way so kids love the music, and don’t even understand the lyrics but, adults can really relate to it. Performing it for Arthur’s Day Celebration is good, as the Arthur Guinness Fund using the money and giving it to people who need a chance. Social entrepreneurs who are trying to do something good for the world, and I like that idea, it is the concept of ‘I Need A Dollar’.

How did you meet your band?

I met the band, all in Los Angeles. Started with the drummer, he introduced me to the guitar player, who introduced me to the bass player and so it’s a conglomerate of musicians who all went to music school in Los Angeles. The name of the band is the Grand Scheme and for me the Grand Scheme is my master plan of using music to create positive social change and this is the way I do it. I sing songs to make people happy and perform for events that are doing positive things for people around the world.

Any plans for the rest of the year?

The rest of the year is dedicated to continuing to spread the music throughout the world. I’m going to hit Australia, South America, hopefully I will be in the continent of Africa, South Africa for sure, Asia, Japan and maybe Indonesia.