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.”

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