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News Every Day |

Aloe Blacc reveals big music comeback with Toby Gad four years after last album – and surprise new direction

SMOOTH soul man Aloe Blacc is finally putting out new music four years on from his feelgood last album.

The I Need a Dollar hitmaker, 45, has teamed up with Hollywood actress Keke Palmer and songwriter Toby Gad for a reimagined version of 2014 track Little Do You Know.

Processed with VSCO with dog1 preset
Keke Palmer, Toby Gad and Aloe Blacc have released a single together
Aloe is recording music inspired by charitable organisations[/caption]

The viral hit, which went stratospheric years after its initial release thanks to social media platform TikTok, is part of a new stripped back collection of Toby’s greatest works.

Aloe’s warm, passionate croon perfectly complements Keke’s powerful delivery for an epic push and pull of a duet underpinned by Toby’s gorgeous piano notes.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun from his home studio in LA, Toby explained how the track initially flopped on its release when it was put out by US X Factor winners Alex and Sierra in 2014.

He said: “We all forgot about the song and then at some point two years ago my daughter started singing this song and my wife was like ‘you know this is daddy’s song?’ And my daughter was like ‘no way, this is a TikTok song’.

“Little did I know it’s a huge TikTok song. It’s now one of my biggest earners. It’s got 700million Spotify streams. Just by itself it blew up on TikTok. It’s one of these complete TikTok phenomenons.

“I’m now at a point where I’m re-recording my greatest hits with new artists on a project called Piano Diaries.

“Aloe is an amazing singer. Of course I was a massive fan of Wake Me Up with Avicii, it’s one of my all time favourite songs. The lyrics make you think for days. So Aloe’s always on my mind. I’ve always wanted to do something great with him, so this song I felt was the perfect collaboration we could do.”

The emphasis really is on the songwriting with moving lyrics, sang beautifully by Aloe and Keke, backed up by an emotive piano line.

On what he wanted to bring to the table, Aloe said: “It’s a really amazingly tender lyric and my goal was to pay tribute to the message, to the feeling and offer Toby the best parts of my voice. As a producer, he’s always there guiding every melody, every nuance. I wanted to make it sound like it was an urgent request for everlasting love.”

The release is the perfect gateway to his next solo works which will be inspired by his philanthropic work.

“I’m always creating,” he said. “This single is a special treat. It’s a nice opportunity to collaborate with friends and deliver something to the world that says ‘hello, I’m still around’.

“The other projects I’ll be putting out, I like to really marry the different parts of who I am together in my art and I do a lot of philanthropic and activist work so I’m writing songs inspired by non profit organisations, putting together an album that will amplify the work of these organisations.

“The first single I put out is called Never Let You Down and it is in collaboration with Big Brother and Sisters of America.”

It’s one of these complete TikTok phenomenons

Toby Gad

The national organisation is a youth mentoring project that pairs children from as young as five through to adulthood with volunteers that can provide them with guidance and support.

Little Do You Know is certainly more familiar to Aloe’s fanbase than a mysterious release that suddenly emerged on Spotify last month titled Goodbye and credited to Aloe and Engelmorte.

The dark, brooding track has an operatic sound and is far moodier than anything Aloe has released before.

It’s emergence is a fascinating tale of lo-fi recording being boosted by current day streaming services.

Goodbye was crafted in 2003 while Aloe was moving house, long before he found fame as an artist.

The avant-garde production was part of an unreleased a cappella project based on the story of a hitman and his mafia boss.

In 2008, when Aloe was signed to an indie label he gave the track to a friend for a compilation album he was putting together.

Aloe had long forgotten about the curious track until he was told last year that Apple had heard the song and wanted to use it for a TV commercial.

Its use has now paved the way for Aloe to keep exploring fresh sounds under a pseudonym.

He said: “I put it together and threw it online quickly and debated whether I should attache Aloe Blacc to it, but I thought if I want to create a new pseudonym why not attach my algorithm to this new artist’s name and then hopefully build this pseudonymous project.”

In many ways it makes perfect sense for an artist who has never been constrained by genre having navigated hip hop, dance and soul effortlessly.

Little Do You Know is available to stream and buy now.

The release is a reimagined version of a 2014 pop track turned viral sensation

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