This morning, Aloe Blacc released the timely video for the acoustic version of the No. 1 song in more than 102 countries, “Wake Me Up,” in which the singer’s soulful voice is overlaid upon the story of a day laborer family striving for a better life and struggling to be united across borders.
As Congress turns toward the question of immigration, Blacc chose to collaborate with the immigrant rights group, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the abc* Foundation’s Healing Power of Music Initiative, director Alex Rivera, and a cast of actors who have real-life experience with the topic in order to give a human face to the immigration debate and send a message of inclusion to Washington. The starring characters are Hareth Andrade, a leader in the immigrant youth movement working to stop her own father’s deportation, Agustin Chiprez Alvarez, a Los Angeles day laborer, and Margarita Reyes who was deported with her mother as a child despite being born in the US.
“When people get to tell their own stories, art and life converge,” explains Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “With the video, Aloe’s song becomes a soundtrack for the moment and shows the world that both day laborers and dreamers are deserving of respect and inclusion.”
“We believe music has the power to not only create a bridge between people of different viewpoints, but sensitize us to understand we all share the same human needs and rights. This is the Healing Power of Music,” says Rodrigo Bravo of the abc* Foundation.
Aloe Blacc adds, “Having grown up in an immigrant family myself, I know that the stories in the video are not a fiction. It’s time that we wake up about immigration and I hope our video can help do that.”
Born in Southern California to Panamanian parents, Blacc released his first hip-hop mixtape in 1996 and was associated with the indie hip-hop scene for many years thanks to his rap duo Emanon (alongside DJ Exile) and touring with the collective Lootpack before going solo. In 2006, he signed to niche indie label Stones Throw Records and released his genre-bending, debut solo album, Shine Through, followed by 2010’s, Good Things, concocting a vintage yet current sound. Good Things, which has been certified gold in France, Germany, and the U.K., spawned the massive international platinum-selling single “I Need A Dollar,” which also became the theme to the HBO series How To Make It In America. The single went on to sell over two million copies worldwide, and Good Things over a million units globally. In 2012, Blacc was nominated for two BRIT Awards (Best International Male Solo Artist and Best International Breakthrough Act).
Source: PR Newswire