Anderson .Paak Finds His Muse: Everything
“For people who don’t know, the music speaks for itself. I never thought I’d be a new artist at 31 years old,” he said by phone from Los Angeles while tending to his son, Soul.
He has also recorded as a guest on dozens of songs, singing and rapping. He performed on six tracks on Dr. Dre’s 2015 album, “Compton,” which got him wide attention. He also appeared on the 2016 album “We Got It from Here … Thank You 4 Your Service” by A Tribe Called Quest, whom he performed with at the Grammys on February 12.
Throughout “Malibu,” he sings and raps amid the utopian grooves of 1970s soul; the woozy flux of current alt-r&b; the brittle sound of trap; the low-slung swagger of Los Angeles hip-hop; and hints of psychedelia, new wave, gospel and electronic dance music. All of them are put in service of his own complicated story.
Anderson .Paak is the son of a South Korean woman and an African-american man; he grew up in Oxnard, California. Although “Malibu” was also nominated as best urban contemporary album, Oxnard wasn’t particularly urban. It’s fa- mous for its soil, and his mother supported the family growing organic strawberries. “Mama was a farmer/papa was a goner,” he sings on the album. His last glimpse of his father, he told LA Weekly, “He was on top of my mom, there’s blood all over the street.” His father, now dead, was jailed for assault.
He started playing drums in his church band at 12 and was rapping in high school. His musical tastes were broad, and he was already resisting pigeonholes. “People didn’t always understand a drummer that was leading the band,” he said. “People wanted to box me in. ‘Is he a rapper?’ ‘Is he an R&B dude?’ ‘ We can make him like this.’ No.”
At 21, he moved to Los Angeles and worked his way into a nurturing local scene. He did himself no favor by choosing the name Breezy Lovejoy, which he saw as a cheerful, romantic R&B moniker. But he assembled a band, the Free Nationals, and built a following. In 2012, he released two albums.
By 2014, he had renamed himself Anderson .Paak — the dot symbolizes attention to detail — and he released “Venice,” an album full of lighthearted tales of smoking
Anderson . Paak, the songwriter, singer, rapper and drummer who was born Brandon Paak Anderson, didn’t mind being nominated for a best new artist Grammy even though his 2016 release, “Malibu,” places him about five albums into his recording career.
LANZAROTE, Spain — In the dim underwater light, a man lies on a funeral pyre, his arms outstretched. He is not a real person, but a statue created by Jason deCaires Taylor, a British sculptor whose works form Europe’s first underwater museum, here on Lanzarote.
The figure is also meant to convey the renewal of life, as his pyre becomes a new habitat for fish and other sea creatures.
Mr. Taylor’s statues — some 300 of them — depict other lifeor- death issues, including one of a boat filled with refugees that evokes Europe’s migration crisis. He also addresses less critical social issues, like the obsession with selfies.
The use of art as an artificial reef is meant to raise awareness of the destruction of ocean reefs around the world. He uses concrete, fiberglass rods and other materials to make his installations both resis- tant to corrosion and ph neutral.
“Sculptures are normally seen as static and monumental, while these are always living in the moment,” Mr. Taylor said. “The more texture the pieces have, the more they transform” underwater.
One installation is a 30-meterlong fence with a gate that seems pointless, since a diver can easily swim above it.
Though Mr. Taylor started his Lanzarote project before President Donald J. Trump promised to build a wall on the United States’ border with Mexico, he said Mr. Trump “seems to be very much about protectionism and divisions, the kind of ideas that I wanted this wall to show as being absurd.”
He added, “Our attitude is to build borders and claim ownership of the world and its natural resources, when the three- dimensional natural world really doesn’t work like this.”
It took more than two years to make all the works and submerge them more than 12 meters into the sand below. The Museo Atlántico opened on January 10, and already feather worms and sponge are starting to cover the statues.
Scuba divers pay an entrance fee of 12 euros, about $12.80, and are accompanied by guides certified by the museum, which is about 300 meters offshore.
The museum is part of a cultural project dating to the 1960s and inspired mostly by César Manrique, an artist who turned the volcanic island into his canvas. Manrique designed houses, statues, restaurants and cultural centers, often carved into the lava rock.
Manrique started to transform Lanzarote toward the end of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, when the regime used tourism to boost Spain’s economy and end its international isolation. Yet Manrique was a staunch environ-