“GET IN MY LIFE!” -Pak
Go for the win and go for the glory! What’s your story?! Pak came up as (Sam)uel Vaqar John before he formed identity as MC/lyricist, frontman and recording/performing artist. His first scene & coming of age – the mid 90s and early 00s – fueled by the West Coast G(angsta)-Funk sound, tight alongside Nu-Metal/Heavy/Alternative Rock sonics and hypnotic Electronic, a gritty substrate of East Coast boombap, and heavy bounce of Dirty South productions, saw him coalesce with the soul-ggressive lyricists – the 2Pac’s, Eminem’s and Nas’s – and singer-songwriters – David Draiman (of Disturbed) and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) on one hand, Madonna or Damian Marley or Backstreet Boys and every other hit played over popular radio and MTV (!) on the other. There’s always more though…Rick James, Michael Jackson, Roxette – 80s power and funk! Shania Twain, Gwen Stefani, MIA – strong goddesses! J. Cole, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar – contemporary lyricists! Pak’s vibes flow from up-close and personal to massive and electric!
Pak is the alias/stage-name of Samuel Vaqar John (Sam John for short).
He is an American-Pakistani.
He is a holistic health practitioner licensed RN by state of Hawaii.
He is born 15 Aug 1985.
He lived Idaho, Pakistan, California, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, (and now lives) Honolulu, in that order. (His visits include Bangkok, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Kingston/Jamaica, San Juan/Puerto Rico, Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Brisbane, Mexico City-Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido-Rosarito, Oslo-Mjondalen, New York City, island of Kauai, island of Maui, Vancouver/British Columbia, Orlando, Harrison/Northwest Arkansas, Rio de Janeiro, St. George/Southwest Utah, Austin/Texas, so far…)
He married the tastiest random hook-up of his life (after meeting post-college graduation, at an after-hours pub in Waikiki) and they are now best friends! (She is Norwegian, a certified counselor that’s also Mastered in Emergency Planning and Disaster Management, and aspiring writer/director/content-creator). That was 13 years ago (and still counting!), as of 2021.
He “died” at 16 years old on a drug overdose methamphetamine, then came back to Life and never been the same (lame) since.
He has fronted 3 bands to date, starting from 2005 – Peace of Mind Crew (2005-2009), Jive Slinky (co-fronted 2010-2013), and Samurai Funktion (2013-present).
He sang in choir (tenor/baritone) throughout high school and college.
He’s officially released 2 singles (2018-“Metamorph (Up In The Head)”, 2020-“Lyrical Disobedience”), and 2 EPs (2005-“Still Wunda”, 2018-“I Will Not Be Chain3d”) as Pak. He’s released 3 full-length LPs (“Peaceofmind”, “Ques?ion”, “Rhyme4AReason” – under the Peace of Mind Crew banner) between 2005-2010.
His favorite movies are The Matrix, Transformers 1986 and Forrest Gump. His favorite books are The Iliad and anything comics, spiritual and self-help/improvement. His favorite video games are Final Fantasy and Mega Man X. His favorite animes are Cowboy Bebop and Mobile Suit Gundam. For more favorites, please ask him!
More than anything Pak uses his distinct voice and perspective to RALLY, UNLEASH and BOOST the Mind, Body and Spirit! Themes like Empowerment, Having Fun, Social/Environmental Justice, Relationship, Self-Awareness/Acceptance/Love, Hope, Resilience, and Spirituality prevail throughout his lyrics. Whether superfan or first-timer, people consistently cite him as “Highlight!” and “Favorite!” after every performance – be that intimate lounge, sidewalk corner, or big-a** stage.
“Music, Artistry, Vibe. Above all I love LIFE – creating, experiencing, charging things UP! It’s easy, I’m here to spread the love and kick the positivity!”
(Follow a rabbit hole to Pak’s live-freestyle band Samurai Funktion now…or later…)
Did ya know Pak is also co-founder and creative director of local underground hiphop movement/event BounceBackHipHop in Honolulu, and hosted and performed there weekly for 1.5 years before Covid shut it down?
Did ya hear Pak’s “I Will Not Be Chain3d” album-mixtape (it arrived 8/15/18 as an independent self-release)? Didju know it garnered a fully-funded grassroots Kickstarter album merch campaign, and saw the release of an official music video for the single “Metamorph (Up In The Head)”?
Did ya know Pak’s latest single, “Lyrical Disobedience” (ft Illnomadic & produced by Wunda), dropped on Oct 17, 2020?
Did ya know Pak’s forthcoming project “Resistance Protocols” (an 11-track LP) is currently in production with a projected release date in late 2021?
(More ’bout Pak…)
The son of Pakistani immigrants (mother, a flight attendant turned registered nurse with her career in a state Psychiatric hospital and State Correctional facility, and father, a PhD chemist and researcher turned high school science teacher), he was born in Moscow, Idaho and brought up chiefly in Southern California’s Inland Empire, though he also spent formative years in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Northern California’s Napa Valley area, Majuro atoll (capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands), and Honolulu, Hawaii where he now resides with the love of his life, Maiken Josephine/”Joey” (a spirited Norwegian, creative & intellectual!) and their 2 pet bunny-rabbits.
Family and personal turbulence (parents’ bitter divorce, anxiety, substance abuse) as an upper-middle class suburban teen saw him in some serious trouble until in 2001, at age 16, he discovered rhyming and fell head-over-heels for the art of freestyle rap. Not long after, he started writing, collaborating, producing, recording and performing – sensing this his calling. This culminated in independently releasing several underground albums (“Peaceofmind”, “Ques?ion”, “Still Wunda”, “Rhyme4AReason” – all under the moniker “Peace Of Mind Crew”) and subsequent touring between 2008-2012. In summer 2012 he joined live-band Jive Slinky (exiting the band in 2014 shortly before it dissolved) as well as forming & fronting live progressive hiphop/rap/rock/experimental freestyle band Samurai Funktion in 2013. Around the same time in 2012 he went back to school, and in 2018, he earned a Bachelors degree in Nursing (adding to a Bachelors in Communication & Multimedia he’d earned in 2008). The year 2018 also saw the release of his most personal and candid project up to that point, the “I Will Not Be Chain3d” album/mixtape. After organizing and performing his first live show in 2005 (an unforgettable college house party at his mom’s pad!), he’s invigorated every space, show and stage he’s booked since, and it’s an undeniable Presence, Skill & Energy that continues to earn him a celebrated reputation and remembrance in every music scene he’s a part!
Throughout his journey, Pak is bent on mastering the craft of honest & unflinching self-disclosure – delivering impactful, penetrating lyrics & heartfelt renderings channeled off Emotion, Experience, Education and Exchange. Not only that, he embodies a tenacious, independent DIY-spirit as an artist entrepreneur and is a perpetual source of positive vibrations – from championing sustainable mindsets, community engagement and optimistic perspectives to pushing Peace, Love, Unity and (safely) Having Fun both on and off the stage.
Find Pak forging his own path – deriving strength through music and connecting with others through it all. Always crafting the purest, most-empowering music possible on a mission to capture imagination, experience catharsis and energize any & all vibing with!
"Pak's Perspective 20xx":
Our world's in flux. Climates rage, Throngs party, Everybody hustles to get by. We’re simultaneously feeling the highest highs, and the lowest lows. It’s getting tougher to stay up - to live Just, Free, Dignified lives - to navigate these waters. But we find our Way. Loving life, pushing back against the BS, getting ahead together. That’s the mission for Pak. Generating, Respect. Fun. Knowledge. Power. Transformation.