Aloe Blacc may not be a household name, but he certainly has a well-known voice. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter got his big break last spring when he sang the vocals behind Avicii’s worldwide hit “Wake Me Up”—and next Saturday, he will be performing for free in the heart of Eagle Rock as the headliner for the Eagle Rock Music Festival.
This is the first time in the festival’s 16-year history that a chart-topping artist will headline the festival, according to Joey Weitz (senior), one of the festival volunteers. In the wake of last year’s controversial decision to downsize and cut spending, this is a major change in the Eagle Rock Music Festival’s trajectory. Blacc’s agreement to headline the festival is in part due to Brian Martinez, one of the main organizers of the festival, who has known Blacc for several years and was able to personally invite him to perform.
“I also think Aloe recognizes how important a festival like this is to Northeast L.A.’s cultural fabric. He’s no stranger to L.A.; Aloe got his start with Stones Throw Records,” Weitz said via email.
Stones Throw Records, which is based in Highland Park, first signed Blacc in 2006. The record label later released two of Blacc’s full-length albums. After the success of “Wake Me Up,” Blacc parted ways with Stones Throw and signed to Interscope, where his career continued to grow. His major label debut album Lift Your Spirits made it onto the top ten of the Billboard charts, peaking at number four, and his lead single from that album, “The Man,” went to No. 1 in the United Kingdom.
Along with the internationally-recognized headliner, the Eagle Rock Music Festival will feature 33 other performances by artists and bands from the L.A. area. The performers cover a wide variety of genres, from Latin and electronic to rock and R&B.; One notable act is Campus Security, a rock band made up of six Occidental students.
The festival will take place this Saturday, Oct. 4, from 4-10 p.m. along Colorado Boulevard between the intersections of Eagle Rock Boulevard and Argus Drive. Admission is free, though there is a recommended entrance donation of $10. Blacc will perform on stage at 9:10 p.m.