FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE, OXNARD, CA NATIVE ANDERSON .PAAK — the son of a soon-to-be incarcerated father and a Korean immigrant mother, who came from a farming family — lived a fairly simple life. His first experience with music came at the hands of a drum set given to him as a child, followed by turntables and an MPC shortly after. However, his life changed at the age of 17 when his mother and step-father were also incarcerated, leaving the teenager to his own vices — but also finding the virtue of music.
“I had a lot of momentum up until that point with music, and was already making music and writing and doing a bit of travelling, and once that happened, it put a hold on everything,” he says. But in 2012, the artist then known as Breezy Lovejoy released his first album, O.B.E. Vol 1. It’d be two years before Breezy Lovejoy returned, this time as Anderson .Paak, and another year before getting noticed by veteran producer Dr. Dre. That chance meeting resulted in .Paak appearing on six songs on Dre’s Compton comeback, launching him into the forefront of the music industry.
Now, with the recent release of his new full-length Malibu, .Paak is still in awe at the path life’s brought him. “Venice EP was a journey in range and dynamic, and we were exploring a lot of different musical genres and shifting around along that big street in Venice, and Malibu is us getting further out in the ocean,” .Paak says about the album.
“I feel like one of the hardest things to do is catch a wave, and now that I’ve caught a wave, I just wanna ride it and remember what it’s like to catch it, enjoy it and go out there and catch another one.”