Born to Panamanian parents in Los Angeles in 1979, E. Nathaniel Dawkins (aka Aloe Blacc) first began playing trumpet in elementary school, and continued with the instrument throughout high school. There he also independently released Imaginary Friends, produced by DJ Exile, with whom he would go on to form the hip-hop group Emanon.
“My purpose for music is positive social change,” says Orange County, California native Aloe Blacc. “Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will.” In 2013, Aloe co-wrote and fronted Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” an international smash hit that reached the Top Five of Billboard’s Hot 100. His third album, Lift Your Spirit, will be released in the United States early this year.
Check out Aloe Blacc's track, "The Man" below.