Aloe Blacc says it’s a musician’s duty to be “a voice for the voiceless”

‘I Need a Dollar’ artist Aloe Blacc takes after his ‘hero and mentor’ Harry Belafonte – raising awareness with music. In 2022, this artist performed at the DKMS gala, encouraging attendees to “get involved” in blood donation.

Aloe Blacc appeared as a musical guest at the 2022 DKMS gala, performing “I Need a Dollar”

Artist and activist Aloe Blacc performs at the 2022 DKMS Gala | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for DKMS

They remove cancer from the blood – one donor at a time. With over 11 million registered donors, DKMS has the largest network of stem cell donor databases in the world. For the nonprofit’s 2022 gala, Aloe Blacc appeared as a featured musical guest, performing “I Need a Dollar.”

“Because you gave a dollar, so I’ll sing for you,” Blacc told the audience.

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Aloe Blacc noted that music and activism are “always intertwined”

Some artists raise awareness with their music. According to Aloe Blacc, there is an undeniable link between music and activism.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “Music and activism are always closely linked. My hero and mentor Harry Belafonte often says that musicians and artists are the keepers of truth.

Belafonte, best known for “Jump In the Line”, created Sankofa, a social justice organization supported by artists and influencers. There is also the Belafonte Family Foundation, which focuses on social activism.

“And what we’re charged with doing is bringing humanity to light, dignity, so we can be a voice for the voiceless,” Blacc continued. “In this case, what we’re doing today, what I’m doing today, is I’m joining a huge community of people who have resources to, you know, encourage people to get involved in blood donation.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Blacc has been involved with a nonprofit. A few weeks prior, the artist performed at the Clooney Foundation’s Justice Albie Awards, sharing photos on social media.

“Gratitude,” he captioned. “I am grateful that there are people in the world who are brave enough to stand in the way of evil and protect us all. I strive to support these heroes and aspire to join them.” src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; automatic reading; clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allow full screen >

Aloe Blacc recently released ‘Free’ and ‘Future In Your Hands’

As one of the musician’s latest projects, Blacc debuted his song “Free” – accompanied by a YouTube music video advocating criminal justice reform. Since the single debuted on Spotify, it has gained over 70,000 plays.

“We all know someone; a friend, co-worker, family member, who has struggled with substance abuse. In some cases, we suffered their untimely passing,” the YouTube caption read.

“I am dedicated to bringing new solutions to the failed drug war,” the statement continued. “Prisons and jails are not the answer. What really works is compassionate rehabilitation, understanding and patience. Together we can do it.

Aloe Blacc is also one of the artists behind “Future In Your Hands”, created with Sam Feldt, David Solomon and Futuristic Polar Bears. Blacc’s originals are also influenced by his family, according to a press release.

“Becoming a father made me want to share these musical experiences,” he said.

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