As one of the most influential and respected artists in the music industry, Anderson .Paak's style of music got him loved by people internationally. With a successful career and songs such as “Come Down”, “Leave The Door Open” and winning several Grammy Awards, his life path wasn’t the easiest one for him.
The Story of Anderson .Paak
Better known by his stage name Anderson. Paak, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, drummer, and producer. He released his debut mixtape, O.B.E. Vol. 1 in 2012, under the pseudonym Breezy Lovejoy. He then released Venice in 2014, under his current nickname and followed up with Malibu, in 2016, which received a Best Contemporary Urban Album nomination at the Grammy Awards. In addition to his solo career, Paak is also one-half of NxWorries, along with record producer Knxwledge. He's accompanied by the band The Free Nationals, who play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, piano, and drums, and also serve as a backing vocalist. In 2021 he announced a duo with Bruno Mars, called Silk Sonic. They released their first album called An evening with Silk Sonic.
Born as Brandon Paak Anderson on the 8th of February 1986 in Oxnard, California as part of an Afro-American-Korean family. When he was seven, he saw his estranged father beat his mother and was afterward arrested and sentenced to a long prison term. He started playing the drums in the local Baptist Church in 1997 and from then on produced his own music in his home. Towards the end of his high school education, his mother was taken into custody for millions of dollars in fraud. Ever since then, he kept himself working odd jobs and got occasional appearances as a musician under the stage name Breezy Lovejoy. He eventually got a steady job at a legal marijuana plantation in Santa Barbara and released his first EP in 2010 titled Violets Are Blue. In 2011, however, he unexpectedly lost his job, which led to high debts, and got homeless with his wife and their child for a short time.
Change of stage name, breakthrough, and first chart success
In 2013 he changed his stage name to Anderson .Paak and in the same year recorded an EP under the new name. The EP consisted exclusively of cover versions called Cover Art.
The following year his second album, Venice, was released. He also worked with producer Knxwledge and released an EP as the duo NxWorries. The included track Suede garnered attention online, where it received around a million views each on SoundCloud and YouTube. As a result, Paak received an invitation from an A&R manager at Aftermath Entertainment for a recording session with Dr. Dre. He heard Suede for the first time and was enthusiastic, which ended up with Paak getting featured on six songs on Dr. Dre's album Compton.
Dungeon Sessions: NxWorries - Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge - Suede
As a result, he became known to a wider audience and finally signed a record deal with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. He released his next album, Malibu, at the beginning of 2016, with which he was able to achieve his first chart success. In the summer of 2016, he gave a Tiny Desk Concert, which became the most successful concert in the series with over 83 million views on YouTube.
He went on to appear on the work of numerous other artists before rejoining Knxwledge, releasing the album Yes Lawd! as NxWorries.
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals Perform "Come Down" at the NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
At the 59th Grammys in 2017, he was nominated for Best New Artist and with Malibu for Best Urban Contemporary Album, but lost to Beyoncé's Lemonade. He also performed at the ceremony alongside A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, and Consequence and used the stage to protest against US President Donald Trump and specifically his Executive Order.
Paak then joined as the opening act for Bruno Mars for the European portion of his 24K Magic World Tour, along with his backing band The Free Nationals, and then J. Cole for the North American portion of his 4 Your Eyez Only World Tour.
New singles, Oxnard and Grammy win
In 2018 he contributed to Black Panther: The Album, and recorded Bloody Waters with Ab-Soul and James Blake. The song entered the music charts in the week following its release, as did almost all of the album's songs.
A little later, Anderson Paak released his new single, 'Til It's Over. The song was part of a series of commercials directed by Spike Jonze and in collaboration with FKA twigs for Apple's HomePod. In May 2018 his new single, Bubblin’, was released with a music video and a remix with Busta Rhymes. At the 61st Grammys, Bubblin' shared the award for Best Rap Performance with King's Dead from Black Panther: The Album by Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake.
The song was not intended to be included on the forthcoming album Oxnard. Instead, Tints with Kendrick Lamar was chosen as its first release. The track peaked at number 81 in the UK charts but only stayed there for a week.
On November 16, 2018, Oxnard was finally released. The work was done by Dr. Dre, who also served as executive producer. It became his highest-charting album to date, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200 and various other charts.
First headlining tours and Ventura
Anderson Paak then announced his first major tour as a headliner. The Andy's Beach Club World Tour took him through the USA and Europe from mid-February to the end of March 2019. The Best Teef In The Game Tour also took place from May to June of the same year, with Anderson Paak being supported by Thundercat and The Free Nationals for all performances, as well as some by Earl Sweatshirt, Noname, Mac DeMarco, and Jessie Reyez.
Between the two tours, his fourth album Ventura was released on April 12, 2019. With number 4 in the charts in his home country, he achieved the best result of his career up to that point. The album again received an award at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, this time in the Best R&B Album category. He received another Grammy for Best R&B Performance for the track Come Home featuring André 3000, which was included in the work.
"Anderson .Paak" by kingArthur_aus is licensed under CC BY 2.0 | Desaturated from original
Features & Singles, An Evening with Silk Sonic
In early 2020, Eminem's album Music to Be Murdered By was released. Anderson .Paak was featured there on the song Lock It Up. Like many of the album's songs, it briefly charted on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Paak's first appearance on that chart.
In the spring, the animated film Trolls World Tour was released, in which Paak lent his voice to the role of Prince D. They also involved him in several songs on the associated soundtrack.
Over the years, Anderson .Paak attracted attention primarily as a guest musician on works by other artists, such as Rick Ross, and released a few singles. Timbaland-produced Jewelz and Lockdown garnered the most attention. It references the Covid-19 pandemic that was taking place to which the title also refers, and primarily dealt with the Black Lives Matter movement, in particular the protests following the death of George Floyd. With the song and the accompanying music video, he again won a Grammy award for Best Melodic Rap Performance alongside a nomination for Best Music Video.
In 2021, .Paak released the single Leave the Door Open together with Bruno Mars under the common name Silk Sonic. He was on the Billboard Hot 100, Paak's first number one hit, and was nominated for four Annual Grammys (Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song & Best R&B Performance). Two more releases, Skate and Smokin' Out the Window, followed before the Silk Sonic album An Evening with Silk Sonic which was released in November 2021. The R&B-duo later on announced their Las Vegas residency for 2022. They will perform between February and April at the Dolby Live Theatre.
Silk Sonic perform "Fly As Me" at The 2021 BET Soul Train Awards
With an ongoing career for more than ten years, he decided to expand his work and started his music label under the name of Apeshit Inc. and work in the coming years to lift up other musicians like him. He was inspired to launch the label as performer-based with its statement mission focused on "raw talent" and artists who play instruments while performing.
With a long career behind him, we wanted to highlight the great music he made with a playlist of selected songs. Take a listen to the list below to hear some of our favorite songs from Anderson .Paak. Make sure to follow if you want to hear more music from our favorite drummers.