Listen to soul star Aloe Blacc give Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun a jazzy, R&B makeover

Aloe Blacc studio portrait
(Image credit: Grand Scheme Productions)

Soul music star Aloe Blacc – best known for his lead vocal on EDM DJ Avicii's international chart-topper Wake Me Up and his own hit I Need A Dollar – has launched a project covering well-known rock songs. 

Rock My Soul will be made up of a pair of EPs, with the first volume released on June 7. The songs included on the EP will be Don’t Speak by No Doubt, Lithium by Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Under the Bridge, Green Day's When I Come Around, and Soundgarden's classic Black Hole Sun. Blacc's version of the latter is already online. 

"I’ve always been a fan of Chris Cornell’s lyrics and voice," says Blacc. "In this version of Black Hole Sun, which I’ve tried to cover multiple times, I’ve now re-imagined it with a soulful, jazzy sound.”

Referring to the project, Blacc adds, "I’ve always been drawn to the emotional depth and powerful messages in these songs. With Rock My Soul I wanted to honour the originals while also bringing my own perspective to the music. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it."

The two EPs were produced by the in-demand Otis McDonald – best known for his copyright-free audio libraries used to soundtrack viral videos on YouTube and Facebook – and recorded at his TrackTribe West Studios in San Francisco. The pair released a single together, Simple Man, in February. 

"Even though rock is a derivative of blues, there’s a different character," Blacc told Culture Trip in 2018. "Blues is more laid-back and relaxed and contemplative, where rock is more expressive and deliberate. And I think that with those kinds of things, you get a sense of the people from the sound and style of music."

Blacc will release a second track from Rock My Soul next week. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.