Anderson .Paak may be headlining gigs at major venues around the world, but he’s never lost the essence of an intimate show. For anyone who’s ever attended a .Paak concert, you know the entertainer provides his fans with an inclusive and warm experience filled with call-and-response segments and even an instrumental solo. His inviting presentation, whether it’s onstage at Madison Square Garden or a tent show at Coachella, is most likely why he was tapped for #LoveThyBar, a new partnership with Jameson.
#LoveThyBar seeks to preserve and celebrate the local bar scene. As a part of the campaign, .Paak shot a 30-second PSA in his hometown of Oxnard, California, making a case for why people should support bars, especially those that celebrate emerging artists, good conversation, and, of course, thirst-quenching drinks. In celebration of the neighborhood cornerstones, Jameson has pledged up to $1 million for consumers to try the brand’s beverages. While touring in Europe for his latest album, Oxnard, Anderson spoke to VIBE about his stint performing in bars, asserting that he never forgot about those early days.
Growing up, he and his crew would play multiple gigs a night, sometimes getting paid in food. But what he gained from those early days was even more valuable. “It was a hard thing to do to get in music,” he admits. “I learned how to rock a crowd and getting out there and socializing and rock with people, and that was it. We played hours and hours and hours. Now, when I’m with my fans you can tell that intuition and we have a natural reflex that people think they can pay for but they really can’t. Those bars helped us develop those reflexes and intuition and help get our foundation together.”
It isn’t hard to see that .Paak’s energy is contagious. Fan videos show a unique electricity that would be impossible to fake. And it will likely multiply as his tour continues; his European trek coincides with the Apr. 12 release of his Ventura album — a follow-up to 2018’s Oxnard and what .Paak compares to the final stretch of a long journey. “It’s like one album (Oxnard) you could listen to if you’re going to the city, and the other one (Ventura) you can listen to on your way back,” he explains.
Ventura, he says, will also pay homage to the greats—Outkast and Notorious B.I.G. to be specific. “It’s one of those crazy things where you need some chill stuff, something that’s soothing but also still got that bop to it,” he continues. “[Oxnard and Ventura] are both very ambitious albums… I love being able to put them in different contexts. I was able to do that with this album probably the most and at the same time, kind of an ode to Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (OutKast, 2003) and albums that really molded me, Life After Death (Notorious B.I.G, 1997) and the era I come up in. Just having such a creative spurt. I don’t know when it will happen again, but I feel like I got that off on this one.”
.Paak notes that he worked with nothing but “icons” on the forthcoming album, including Dr. Dre who he says gave him ample space to have fun and put his soul into it. There’s a little more time on the clock until his album drops, but the #LoveThyBar partnership will continue all month long. Until March 31, Jameson will offer a rebate on its drink in select U.S. states. To claim the rebate, consumers can order a Jameson cocktail at their local bar and submit an image of their receipt or visit JamesonWhiskey.com for more information.