In terms of both musicality and social relevance, Aloe Blacc is the heir apparent to soul greats like Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. In 2013, the single Wake Me Up, which Blacc co-wrote and sang with Swedish DJ Avicii, was a number one hit in over 100 countries. His third album, Lift Your Spirit, also dates from 2013. On it, he continued his mission to produce socially conscious songs, pairing Blacc’s poetic yet incisive lyrics and soulful voice with huge hooks and relentless feel-good grooves and beats. Blacc explains: “What it comes down to in my songwriting is trying to tell the story of the underdog and all the obstacles they have to overcome in this life.” He hopes to effect social change while continuing to instill his music with mindful positivity. For example, the moving song Wake Me Up is about Mexicans trying to build a life in the U.S.. Blacc appeared at North Sea Jazz in 2012 when he was still relatively unknown. Now he’s back with a new single Brooklyn In The Summer.