So, there I was standing in the longest line ever in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Afro-Punk festival; it was a hot day in October, and I was dressed to impress with my white dress shirt, black bow tie, matching black slacks and suspenders. The Afro-Punk festival is full of creative, artistic acts and musical performances by some of the favorite R&B Soul, Rock, and Hip-Hop acts of today. There were all sorts of African craft booths scattered around us and African art pieces galore that you could see up ahead of the crowd; there were American food trucks, soul food vegetarian booths, and Black business tents spreaded throughout the event grounds. I had an opportunity to network with some of the most inspiring and creative people. I jumped at the chance to tell them about my podcast and get to know more about their businesses. During one of the live performances, there were multiple artist and acts such as Masego, a jazz singer and saxophonist and Anderson Paak, an accomplished singer-songwriter and drummer. Paak was one of the headliners of the festival and he amazed us with his visual effects and vocals while he was drumming to his songs; Paak even surprised us with a legendary performance by Musiq Soulchild, a singer-songwriter from the 90’s Neo-Soul era. I and my new friends were singing every word of his hit’s songs; one of my favorite hits from Musiq is “Buddy.” I will never forget this day; I was able to meet and greet some creative artists like myself and I am still friends with them to this day. I recommend this festival to everyone that enjoys music, food and culture.
Brandon Anderson also known as “Anderson Paak” is the second youngest of a blended family with nine siblings. Paak is biracial and was born in Oxnard, California. His farther is African American and his name is Ronald Anderson; he served in the US Navy.
Paak’s mother Brenda, is African American and Korean; she was one of the only female strawberry brokers in California. Anderson Paak’s material status is not clear but he was married to Jae Lin and they have a son named Soul Rasheed. Before his road to stardom, in 2011 he once worked at a marijuana farm in Santa Barbara, California but he was fired without notice, leaving him homeless with his second wife and infant son. But he was blessed to link up with Shafiq Husayn, who is a producer and a Grammy Award Winning Performer. Paak later gets back on track by working as Husayn’s assistant as a videographer editor and writer just to name a few. A year later Paak begins recording his first album and releases “O.B.E. Vol.1 under the name “Breezy Lovejoy.”
In 2014, Paak gets rid of the name Breezy Lovejoy and comes up with “Anderson Paak” and releases his debut album “Venice.” Paak began getting a lot of buzz from the mainstream artist and performing six songs on Dr. Dre’s “Compton” album. He also has two songs on The Game’s “The Documentary 2.5.” Paak keeps the marathon going by dropping his second album, “Malibu”, he later was signed onto Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment and was named one of XXL’s magazine’s Freshmen issue. Today Anderson Paak still tours around the world with his band “The Free Nationals” and he currently has a Non-Profit organization called “Paak House”, this is a safe haven for those in need and it represents the next generation of folks doing good and giving back by aligning their resources with other like-minded non-profit organizations to generate a greater impact on society. Paak recently teamed up with Bruno Mars in a joint album titled ‘Silk Sonic’ that is getting a lot of buzz in the music world. Paak is a living, breathing success story and I believe that giving back is an eve n greater success for all ages.