Aloe Blacc is about to go from the guy who sang uncredited vocals on the global smash "Wake Me Up" to the guy who's all over your TV.
Starting March 17, Aloe will kick off a stint as a guest mentor for Team Adam Levine on The Voice; he'll appear on the 18th, 24th and 25th as well. On March 24, he'll perform on ABC's Good Morning America , then on March 25, it's Live with Kelly & Michael . On April 28, he'll appear on T he Late Show with David Letterman. On top of that, Aloe will be spending May through July on tour with Bruno Mars .
All these appearances come in support of Aloe's new album, Lift Your Spirit , his third solo disc. For the singer, born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III , it answers the question, "How can you possibly follow up a hit like 'Wake Me Up?'"
"You just keep writing good songs from your heart, with messages that you think that everybody's gonna love," Aloe tells ABC News Radio. "And I feel like my album, Lift Your Spirit , is gonna do that."
Like "Wake Me Up," which was an intriguing blend of dance music and country twang, Lift Your Spirit covers a variety of genres -- from soul and pop, to retro-sounding R&B, to folk-flavored songs -- and a variety of moods. Aloe's even got some help from Mr. "Happy" himself, Pharrell Williams.
"I have a copy of 'Wake Me Up' on it -- the acoustic version -- and then after that you'll hear 'Love Is the Answer' that Pharrell produced," Aloe says of the album. "And you'll hear 'Ticking Bomb,' which is the music on the trailer for Battlefield 4 ." It also features the singer's latest hit, "I'm the Man," which nods to Elton John 's classic "Your Song" and has sold over 750,000 downloads.
"I don't think anybody should be confined to any genre," explains Aloe, who started his career as a rapper. "At this point, anybody in their media player has multiple genres. You're listening to everything. So I think artists should take a risk and be a little bit more free."
Aloe performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night from the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, and is sticking around the festival the rest of the week for additional performances. On Friday, he'll do a special gig where he'll perform songs by Grammy-winning artists who've influenced his career. The show is part of an initiative sponsored by the Recording Academy that gives young musicians the chance to win some exposure, as well as mentoring by music industry pros. Three young winners will open the show.
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