“Yea You! Let’s G(r)O(w)!!”
PAK-1 is the alias/stage-name of Samuel Vaqar John – an artist, rapper, singer-songwriter, vocalist/frontman, event organizer (and more) based out of Honolulu, HI. A child of divorce still caught between clashing cultures and masking conflict amidst privilege, his life is one of ups-and-downs, but more important, the search for healing, a place to belong, and ways to help others along the road. Shaped by his environments, his upbringing spanned worldwide – Northern Idaho (age 0-7), Pakistan/Punjab (age 7-10), San Bernardino County (age 10-16 + 19-20), Northern California (age 16-17), Marshall Islands (age 18) and finally Honolulu, Hawaii (age 21-present). Coming of age in the late 90s/early-mid 00s, he gravitated towards certain sounds & cultures of that era – particularly Nu-Metal, Alternative/Hard Rock, Electronic, Punk, Reggae and HipHop/Rap (especially G-Funk, BoomBap, Underground, Soul and Southern sub-genres). He holds rare perspective and versatile flow because of all that, and his music and message, which is relatable and electric, reflects this today.
His favorite MC/rapper/lyricists and crews include: Nas, KRS-One, Wu Tang Clan, Eminem, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, G-Unit, Ludacris, Aesop Rock, Jeezy, Run The Jewels, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle and many more. His favorite singer-songwriters include: Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), David Draiman (of Disturbed), Madonna, Damian Marley, Rick James, Boots Riley, Michael Jackson, Billy Idol and more. His favorite bands include: Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Disturbed, Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Roxette, The Roots, Rage Against The Machine, Sublime, Alice In Chains, Limp Bizkit, System Of A Down, etc.
PAK-1’s impact is best felt through his Energy, Creativity, and Attitude – kicking a high-powered percussive flow laced with attractive melodies and cinematic storytelling also rich in vocabulary, layers & insight. Armed with a voice & vibe that aims to POWER-UP listeners, he is a catalyst for both good times and our revolutionary linings! The result is music that makes for equal parts Let’s Break Free(!), Bob Heads(!!), and Relate/Reflect(!!!) – ultimately connecting to one Another, to a Higher Power, and to our human BE-ing.
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He’s an American-Pakistani.
He’s a holistic health practitioner RN licensed by the state of Hawaii.
He’s a Leo born 15 Aug 1985.
He’s lived in (chronological order) Idaho, Pakistan, California, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, (and currently) Honolulu. His travels/visits include Bangkok, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Kingston/Jamaica, San Juan/Puerto Rico, Sydney+Melbourne+Adelaide+Brisbane/Australia, Mexico City+Oaxaca+Puerto Escondido+Rosarito/Mexico, Oslo+Mjondalen/Norway, New York City, island of Kauai, island of Maui, Vancouver B.C./Canada, Orlando/Florida, Harrison/Northwest Arkansas, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, St. George/Southwest Utah, Austin/Texas…(and he ain’t done yet!)…
The most serendipitous hook-up of his life (i.e. the Scandinavian blonde beauty found at a half-past two at the after-hours Irish pub the night after Halloween in Waikiki!) became his best friend/soulmate and wife! (She’s Norwegian, a writer/director/content-creator and emerging entrepreneur who Mastered in Sustainability and holds certificates in Substance Abuse Counseling and Emergency Planning & Disaster Management!). This power duo team-up was 14 years ago (and still counting!) as of 2022.
He “died” on a methamphetamine overdose at 16 years old, came back to LIFE and has never been the same (lame) since!
He has fronted 3 bands to date, starting in 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 independently released 3 singles (2022-“Remember-Protect”; 2020-“Lyrical Disobedience” ft. Illnomadic; 2018-“Metamorph (Up In The Head)”), and 3 EPs (2022-“PAK-1”; 2018-“I Will Not Be Chain3d”; 2005-“Still Wunda”) as Pak (the most recent 2022 releases as PAK-1). He released 3 full-length LPs (“Peaceofmind”, “Ques?ion”, “Rhyme4AReason”) all under the Peace of Mind Crew moniker between 2005-2010.
His favorite films include The Matrix, Transformers (1986), Terminator 2, and Forrest Gump. His favorite filmmakers include Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino, Oliver Stone, and the Wachowskis. His favorite books include The Iliad, Kama Sutra, and anything comics/graphic novel, spiritual and self-improvement. His favorite video games include Final Fantasy 7 and Mega Man X. His favorite animes include Cowboy Bebop and Mobile Suit Gundam. For more favorites (or anything else for that matter!), please reach out directly (by email or by DM)!
More than anything, PAK-1 uses his distinct voice & perspective to EMBOLDEN, UNLEASH and BOOST the Mind, Body and Spirit! Themes like Empowerment, Having Fun, Social/Environmental Justice, Relationship, Self-Awareness/Acceptance/Love, Imagination, and Spirituality prevail throughout his lyrics. Whether superfan or first-timer, people consistently cite him “Highlight!” and “Favorite!” after every performance – be it intimate lounge, busy sidewalk, or big-ass muthaf*ckin’ stage!
“Everybody I meet, I’m all about CHARGING UP! I’m driven to Create, Push Ahead and Enjoy/Take-In all Life has to Offer 🙂 I want the world to FEEL and KNOW me for the Goods I Kick and the Lifts I Give!”
(More specifics ’bout PAK-1…)
The son of Pakistani immigrants (mother, a flight attendant turned Registered Nurse, she practiced in a state psychiatric hospital and then a state prison/rehabilitation center, and father, a PhD chemist, mathematician 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, Josephine (a spirited Scandinavian, creative & intellectual!), and their 3 pet bunny-rabbits.
Family and personal turbulence (parents’ bitter divorce, anger issues, 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 outfit 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’d earned in 2008). From that point on to now, he continues to hone and master his craft(s) and practice, produce, and perform to the fullest! Since organizing and performing his first live performance in 2005 (an unforgettable college house party at his mama’s pad!), he’s rocked every space/show/stage he’s ever booked, and it’s an undeniable mix of Skill, Energy and Presence that continues to earn him a reputation and remembrance in every scene he’s a part!
Throughout his journey, PAK-1 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 Having Fun both on and off the stage.
Find PAK-1 forging his own path – deriving strength through music and connecting with others through it all! Always cultivating the most enriched position possible on a mission to capture imagination, experience catharsis and energize any & all vibing with!
"PAK-1's Perspective 20xx":
Our world's in flux. Climates change, People 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-1. Generating Respect, Fun, Knowledge, Power, Transformation. That said, Let’s G(r)O(w)…