Our world is 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 a Way. Loving life, pushing back against the BS, getting ahead together. That’s the mission for Pak. Experience a Light's Insights, Soundtracks, Vibe and Purpose. Generating, Respect. Fun. Knowledge. Power. Transformation.
Pak is the alias of Samuel Vaqar John, an American-Pakistani underground MC/rapper, singer-songwriter, recording/performing artist and independent creator. Born Aug 15, 1985, he grew up in several places including Idaho, Pakistan and (mostly) California before transplanting to Hawaii at age 20. A dicey brush with methamphetamine abuse and near-death experience just after turning 16 saw him realize his potential and priorities, and in 2001 he discovered the power in hiphop, rap and the art of freestyle. Influenced by hiphop heavyweights like KRS-One, Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, Eminem & Nas, and singer/songwriters like Nine Inch Nails and Damian Marley, he took a few detours but always kept on track with his vision – to Create. Serve. Heal. Empower. Protect People and Planet. From choirboy to music junkie to intellectual to holistic health practitioner to human being, he stands as an elite MC & lyricist in his own right, fusing polished flows with raw street poetry and intelligent rap with relatable story-telling rich with imagery and insight.
More than anything Pak uses his distinct voice and perspective to RALLY, UNLEASH and BOOST the Mind, Body and Spirit! Themes like Relationship, Social/Environmental Justice, Self-Discovery, Celebrating/Having Fun, Spirituality and Self-Acceptance prevail throughout his lyrics. His inspirations run the gamut from the vibes of 2Pac to Rage Against The Machine, from Limp Bizkit to Run The Jewels, from Sublime to G-Unit; as well as films like The Matrix, video games like Final Fantasy 7, texts like the Kama Sutra (Guide on Love/Relationship/Intimacy), and figures like Martin Luther King Jr and Buddha. Whether superfan or first-timer, people consistently cite him a “Stand-out!”, “Highlight!” and “Favorite!” after every performance – from intimate lounge to packed house – and they are regularly tuning in and signing-on to his vibe, artistry and music.
“I love life, the creative process, and most of all, charging everybody UP! When it’s all done and said, I’m here to make positive impact and enrich the peoples’ spirits!”
Pak is also founder and frontman of live-freestyle band Samurai Funktion, and is the co-founder and director of local underground hiphop event/movement BounceBackHipHop in Honolulu. His “I Will Not Be Chain3d” album-mixtape arrived on Aug 15, 2018 as an independent self-release. 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)”. His latest single, “Lyrical Disobedience” (ft Illnomadic & produced by Wunda), dropped on Oct 17, 2020. His forthcoming project “Resistance Protocols” (a 10-track album) is currently in production with a projected release date in 2021.
(More about Pak…)
The son of Pakistani immigrants (mother a registered nurse, father a researcher & 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 his luminous, mastermind wife (a spirited Norwegian and fellow creative intellectual) and their 2 pet bunnies.
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 Visual Communication he 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. Organizing and performing his first live show (a college house party!) in 2005, he’s invigorated every venue/show/stage he’s booked ever since, and it’s his undeniable presence, skill & energy that continue earning him a celebrated reputation 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!