The Okayplayer Interview: Anderson .Paak Talks 'Malibu,' Hi-Tek & The Grammys
Ladies and gentlemen, music lovers of all ages, please allow us to introduce you to the one, the only Anderson .Paak. Formerly known around the industry as Breezy Lovejoy, .Paak has quickly become the man of the hour, as his brand of multi-dimensional music has resonated with the likes of Stones Throw Records, Aftermath Music, NPR and others.
For more than a decade, the brainchild behind Malibu has been developing his own brand of kaleidoscopic music that mixes ’60s funk, ’70s soul, hip-hop, r&b and rock ‘n’ roll with expert ease. Last year, .Paak held one of the greatest secrets close to the vest, as the then-twentysomething-year-old was living a double life. On one end, he was packing in sessions as a player and songwriter amongst Los Angeles’ underground scene. On the other end, the Oxnard native was clocking those 10,000 hours with Dr. Dre in top secret studio sessions for Compton.
When the third album release from the good doctor released out of nowhere a whole week before the release of F. Gary Gray‘s Straight Outta Compton biopic in August, millions of fans were quickly wondering just who was this act who stole the show from The Game, Dre and Kendrick Lamar. Since then, .Paak’s profile (and tour budget) has skyrocketed, as the singer-songwriter has been wonderfully hitting the marks with songs like “Am I Wrong,” “Silicon Valley” and “Come Down” blazing ears the world over.
Considering all the heat and light he’s generated, Anderson .Paak remains cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. Speaking with Okayplayer from the comforts of his own home, Aftermath’s newest signee embodies the confidence necessary to veer from electro-hop bangers (“Luh You”) to funk to introspective soul (“Celebrate”). Free from easy comparison to other acts, .Paak is a true artist in that he didn’t copy-and-paste another’s formula and used his edge, grit and skills to become a success in the music business.
Organically, Anderson .Paak’s work ethic and sonic superbness traveled to the right eardrums. We are ecstatic to give you an exclusive look at this budding superstar right on the cusp of global greatness. In our chat with Anderson .Paak, he breaks down how he cultivated the sounds that make up Malibu, shares how Twitter brought him and Hi-Tek together for “Come Down” and offers his thoughts on diversity, the Oscars and the Grammys.
Okayplayer: For those who are just getting acquainted with your music — can you talk about your origins and your musical influences?
Anderson .Paak: For the most part, my mom was listening to a lot of soul music growing up. I was into a lot of Frankie Beverly, a lot of Curtis Mayfield, funk music from Earth, Wind & Fire. I was into Stevie Wonder… I have two older sisters and the oldest sister was into A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Nas, Jay Z and so on. When I was growing up, I was really into Tupac [Shakur] and a lot of West Coast acts.
Eventually I got my first drum set, I had already been playing in Baptist church, and I had been playing pretty much only gospel music. I was playing every Sunday and I was learning a bunch of tunes. I got really into it. All those things play a part in my musical make-up. Once I graduated high school, I got into other players like Radiohead, The Beatles, even jazz acts like Chris Dave, Robert Glasper, Miles Davis and so forth. Beck and even some folk stuff found its way to me.
>>> Did you know just how Breezy Lovejoy became Anderson .Paak? Read about it on Pg. 2