“BEing and creating on my own terms, appreciating everyone around, pushing for progress and enjoying the hell out of life – that’s what I’m all about! Music drives me, and coupled with all the energy I bring, mine – informed through relationship, identity and the mental/emotional hurdles faced in this modern era – is why my fans and new listeners alike continue to relate, connect and support!”
Adopting the stage name Pak is Samuel Vaqar John, an American-Pakistani rapper/hiphop artist, frontman (for live hiphop-prog-rap freestyle band Samurai Funktion), producer, promoter, manager and more, raised in California now established in Honolulu, HI.
Fans say he bares resemblance to the likes of Slug (of Atmosphere), Lupe Fiasco, Redman, Eyedea and similar artists. Impressed how he spits lyrical density with both intensity and clarity, counterbalanced by smooth G-funk inspired variances, he delivers a style all his own! Insightful plus the life-of-the-party, his music and high-vibration live performance never fails to impress, gaining new fans at every turn.
His most candid effort to date, the “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 an official music video for the first single “Metamorph (Up In The Head)” is out now.
(More about Pak…)
Brought up chiefly in Southern California’s Inland Empire, he also spent formative years in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Northern California’s Napa Valley area and Honolulu, Hawaii where he now resides with his lovelier half and their 2 pet bunnies!
Family and personal turmoil (i.e. parent’s divorce, substance abuse, anxiety) as a teen saw him in some serious trouble until he discovered rhyming at 16 and fell hard for the art of freestyle rap. Not long after, he started writing, collaborating, producing, recording and performing – sensing this all his calling. This culminated in releasing several underground albums (“Peaceofmind”, “Ques?ion”, “Still Wunda”, “Rhyme4AReason”) and subsequent touring between 2008-2012. In summer 2012 he joined live-band Jive Slinky (exiting the band 2 years later shortly before it dissolved) as well as forming & fronting live hiphop-prog-rap freestyle band Samurai Funktion in 2013. At the same time in 2012 he went back to school, eventually earning a Nursing degree (he also holds a degree in Visual Communication), while simultaneously prepping his most personal and revealing project to date, the “I Will Not Be Chain3d” album/mixtape!
Influenced early on by West Coast icons (2Pac, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop…), East Coast legends (Nas, KRS-One…), Southern staples (Outkast, UGK…) and countless hiphop/rap crews (Jurassic 5, G-Unit, ATCQ…), to high-energy rock acts (Rage Against The Machine, Linkin Park, Nirvana, Limp Bizkit…), and following the lead of independent trail-blazers (Nine Inch Nails, Tech N9ne, Run The Jewels…), Pak is bent on mastering the craft of honest & unflinching self-expression – delivering prominent, penetrating lyrics & heartfelt renderings channeled off Emotion, Experience 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 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!