The world is at a crossroads again. Conditions are extreme. Fires rage, As people party, Everybody hustles to get by. We’re simultaneously feeling the greatest highs, and the lowest lows. It’s tough to stay up, to earn a living, to navigate the waters. But we find a way. Happiness and good vibes are still manifest in the blueprint. Loving life, pushing back against the BS, getting ahead together. That’s the mission for Pak. Experience my life’s soundtracks. All about Respect. Fun. Power. Sincerity. Transformation. This music’s purpose.
Pak is the alias of Samuel Vaqar John, an American-Pakistani MC/rapper, singer-songwriter and recording & performing artist. Born Aug 15, 1985, he grew up an American-Pakistani in (mostly) California. A close brush with methamphetamine and near-death experience at 16 saw him realize his potential and priorities early, and in 2001 he discovered hiphop, rap and the art of freestyle. Influenced by hiphop artists like KRS-One, Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, Eminem & Nas, and singer/songwriters like Nine Inch Nails, Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and Madonna, he took a few detours but kept on track with his vision. From choirboy to music junkie, he rose to become an elite MC & lyricist in his own right, and now crafts and distributes his work as an independent creator based in Honolulu.
More than anything Pak uses his distinct voice to RALLY, UNLEASH and BOOST the Mind, Body and Spirit! Themes like Relationship, Social/Environmental Justice, Self-Discovery, Celebrating/Partying, Spirituality and Self-Acceptance prevail throughout his lyrics. His inspirations run the gamut from the energy of 2Pac to Run The Jewels to Damian Marley to Rage Against The Machine, the sounds of Linkin Park to Sublime to Kanye West to Nirvana (!) and films like The Matrix, texts like the Kama Sutra, and figures like Dave Chappelle to Martin Luther King Jr. Whether superfan or first-timer, the 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, pumping everyone UP! When it’s all done and said, I’m here to make positive impact and lift our peoples’ spirits!”
Pak is also founder and frontman for live-freestyle band Samurai Funktion, and is the co-founder/director of underground hiphop event BounceBackHipHop. 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.
(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 lovelier half (a spirited Norwegian!) and their 2 pet bunnies.
Family and personal turmoil (parent’s turbulent 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 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 (in addition to a bachelors he holds in Visual Communication). That same year also saw the release of his most personal and candid project up to that point, the “I Will Not Be Chain3d” album/mixtape. Since 2005, after playing his first live show at a college house party, he’s INVIGORATED every venue, show, and stage he’s booked, and his undeniable presence, skill & energy continue earning him a celebrated reputation in every music scene he’s a part of!
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 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!