Happy Birthday, “I Need A Dollar”

From Q Magazine:

This week marks the second anniversary of Aloe Blacc’s I Need A Dollar. With the song already on its way to being a soundtrack for our times thanks to the way it encapsulated the economic woes being experienced by governments and individuals alike, we caught up with Blacc to discuss his creation and wish it happy birthday.

What was it that first inspired you to write I Need A Dollar?
“I was listening to a CD of field recordings made by chain gang workers, basically singing songs of woe. They were singing their own songs about their hardship and problems and I was inspired to write in that style. The details of my lyrics were personal experiences, mixed with friend’s experiences and just experiences I gleamed from the situation I saw happening in the US and the economic crisis.”

Did you get fired then?
“I was working as a business consultant and during a big round of layoffs I was part of the chopping block. I started writing the song back in 2005, before the financial crisis and a couple of years after I lost my job. I was laid off because the company was trying to trim down so they could sell it to another company. For me it gave me a chance to focus and incubate, make some music and develop myself into an artist. It gave me the chance to take music from being a hobby of mine into a full time activity. So the second verse when I sing about losing my job was personal, but the maybe inside the bottle… line was about a friend of mine who was falling into the trappings of alcoholism. So I sprinkled a few different experiences in there and mixed mine in to make the song.”

So the song predates the credit crunch, yet it became the fitting soundtrack for it.
“Over the years from 2005 onwards, I’d create different versus that applied to different situations and I think by 2008 most of the versus made sense! The first verse, Bad times are coming… relates directly to the financial crisis.”

Continue reading at Q Magazine….