Aloe Blacc on Having an Anonymous Hit With 'Wake Me Up!': 'I Like the Discovery'
Aloe Blacc may not get a lot of credit for his biggest song, but don't fret about it -- after all, he isn't.
The California singer-songwriter isn't a household name across the world just yet, but his voice is currently making the run-around globally. Blacc is the vocalist on "Wake Me Up!," the worldwide smash by Avicii that's hit No. 1 in dozens of countries.
In an interview with Billboard's Keith Caulfield at Sunday's American Music Awards, Blacc revealed that even though the track doesn't officially include him as a featured performer like many electronic music singles, he isn't craving the extra attention, instead hoping it becomes a pleasant surprise for some people down the road.
"It's one of those things where it's bittersweet for the fans' sake; I want my fans to know that I'm doing something new," Blacc told Billboard Sunday night (Nov. 24). "But I like the discovery. When I was a young kid, I loved the song called 'Somebody's Watching Me' [by Rockwell], and I had no idea until much later that my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, was singing on the chorus. So you never know; sometimes these things happen, and you get Michael McDonald singing a chorus you didn't realize was Michael McDonald.
"Now you got Aloe Blacc singing a song that eventually you'll learn is Aloe Blacc."
Blacc is credited as a co-writer on the song, having come up with the lyrics on an airplane. "I was thinking to myself, 'My life is a dream. Wake me up when it's over,'" he explained. "When I walked into the session with Mike Einziger on guitar and Avicii, Mike was playing his guitar chords and these words... the way I sang them just felt right. We ended up recording it that night and I drove home listening to this acoustic version that Avicii eventually made into a fantastic hit. It's a wonderful experience."
Recently, the Californian released that acoustic version on the five-song "Wake Me Up EP," which dropped last month and hit No. 7 on the Heatseekers Albums chart. Soon, he said, a new full-length -- his third -- is coming, featuring production from a few heavy hitters.
"It's called 'Lift Your Spirit,'" he said, "and on I've got production by Pharrell Williams, the Rock Mafia, DJ Khalil -- and we're working on making a fantastic album that blends together a lot of different styles of music -- in sort of the same way we blended dance music and country on 'Wake Me Up!'"
"Wake Me Up!" currently sits at its peak position of No. 4 on the Hot 100.