ALOE Blacc found so much inspiration in Nelson Mandela, he named his daughter after him.
The American singer and malaria activist is in South Africa to perform on the continent for the first time. He plays at the Wesley’s Dome Stage at Oppikoppi tomorrow at 7pm.
Earlier this week, he stopped for a brief visit in Cape Town where he spoke to Tonight.
Earlier this year, the folk-cross-R&B artist was called upon to be a guest mentor on the US singing talent show The Voice.
“The Voice was fun, I thought it would be more complicated. I was on as a guest coach so I got to share my experiences as a singer and give some good advice.”
On naming his baby girl Mandela, he said: “My wife and I knew we wanted to give her a name that is inspiring. We tried the names of family members. We decided that Mandela would be an appropriate name. She will grow up knowing his legacy.”
Blacc said he hopes to slow down on his travelling to spend more time with the little one-year-old.
Earlier this year, Blacc wrote the 2014 Fifa World Cup anthem The World is Ours. “My goal with any song is to make it uplifting. The World Cup is an event that involves every person on the planet. The song speaks of unity, hope and tolerance.”
For some, the first time they heard of Blacc (real name Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III) was from his lyrics and vocals on the chart-topping Avicii track Wake Me Up.
“I’d like Wake Me Up to represent nostalgia for the past, hope for tomorrow, and to inspire self-reflection. This song has shown me the important thing is the music and great lyrics.”
Examining the success of the song, we see that dance music collaborations can boost a career. Which is why Blacc indicated he might consider the genre again.
“In 2006 I had the album Shine Through which featured many types of songs, including dance.”
In spite of being a Malaria No More UK special ambassador, Blacc has not been able to visit the continent too often. This is his third visit to Africa, having last been to Ghana in 2012 for MNMUK’s mosquito net campaign.
At the top of his personal playlist at the moment are Michael Jackson’s With a Child’s Heart, DJ Rogers’s It’s Good to Be Alive and seventies soul album Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse by Eugene McDaniels.