Aloe Blacc knows all about breaking down barriers. Thank to his vocals on Avicci's countronica "Wake Me Up" and his own hit single "The Man," Blacc has seen how music can transform hearts and minds.
And if your goal is to bring people together through the power of music, what better way to do it than by recording an anthem for this summer's World Cup soccer tournament?
"I want my music to inspire people to dance, to smile, to sing," said Blacc of his version of the rousing World Cup tune, "The World Is Ours."
"The more songs that I can do that make people happy, the better I'm contributing something positive to the world," he said in a new video for the inspiring tune. "An artist is a human being and a human being has a responsibility to affect those changes. So whether you're famous or not famous, it's all part of the program being a global citizen."
The stirring acoustic jam features deeply felt lines such as: "I had an epiphany one night/Looking at the endless star-filled sky ... The world is ours ... 7 billion stars." Written by 2012 "X Factor" finalist David Correy and Brazilian percussion troupe Monobloco, the original version of the song was released in September as the Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup 2014 Anthem and has since traveled more than 92,000 miles to 90 countries along with Correy and the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Along the way, the song has been recorded by local musicians all over the globe in their native tongues, with Blacc's recording pushing the to-date total of versions to 25.
Blacc's entire career is exactly the kind of musical melting pot he hopes to reach with the song. Starting out in hip-hop sampling bossa nova, jazz and classic rock, Blacc said he got a formal education in those styles that helped inform his own musical form.
And, because this is a World Cup song, after all, there are the obligatory lines reminding you that it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. As the song picks up steam, it adds layers of strings, piano percussion and beats until Blacc is shouting to the stars over a heavenly back-up chorus about how this world is "all ours."
Blacc is the latest artist to release a Cup anthem, joining Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez's "We Are One (Ola Ola)." The official FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil album is due out on May 12 and is slated to feature track from Shakira, Santana with Wyclef and Avicii and Ricky Martin.