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EXCLUSIVE: Aloe Blacc on Playing a Member of James Brown’s Band in ‘Get on Up’

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Aloe Blacc stops by ESSENCE to talk about his music and his role in Get On Up.
Singer Aloe Blacc stops by ESSENCE to talk about his music and his role in the new James Brown biopic, Get On Up.
Photo Credit: Michael Rowe

Aloe Blacc really is the man.

In addition to two No.1 records, "Wake Me Up" and "I'm The Man", Blacc also landed a role in the James Brown biopic Get on Up.

In the film, the 34-year-old makes his film debut playing Nafloyd Scott, a musician in Brown's first band, The Famous Flames. "Playing a musician rather than the leader was different for me," Blacc told ESSENCE.com. "I'm usually in charge of all the musicians that I work with so I got to see from the other side and get a better idea of how my musicians view me. It opened my eyes to see how I could be a better band leader to my band members."

The Panamanian-American singer said he entered the project with a healthy knowledge of Brown’s music—having sampled it for songs in the past—and the film expanded his view of the man behind the music. “[It] made me see him in a more three-dimensional way," he said.

Blacc co-stars with Chadwick Boseman, Octavia Spencer, and Jill Scott in Get on Up, in theaters today.