Before the acclaimed rapper, singer, producer, and drummer Anderson .Paak rose to stardom, the Oxnard native was playing drums in a church band and helping to manage a weed farm in Santa Barbara. After a sudden termination left him and his family homeless, .Paak remained dedicated to music, and eventually found himself as a featured vocalist on Dr. Dre’s 2015 album "Compton." Shortly after, he released his second full-length album, "Malibu," which peaked at number nine on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award in Best Urban Contemporary Album. His most recent studio album, "Ventura," was released to critical and commercial success, and netted .Paak a Grammy for Best R&B Album, as well as a Grammy for Best R&B Performance for his song “Come Home,” featuring André 3000. A frequent collaborator, .Paak has also released music alongside producer Knxwledge as NxWorries, is often accompanied by the band Free Nationals, and most recently formed an R&B duo with Bruno Mars under the name Silk Sonic.

Can you tell me about your journey with Vans?

It’s been incredible going from wearing Vans when I was growing up to working at a Vans store to playing at House of Vans. The entire experience has been about being hands-on, about creativity, about invention. It feels good to know that I’m a part of this, that like everyone who comes to a House of Vans, I can have an impact on Vans culture.

How is House of Vans different from other venues?

There was so much energy in the crowd at House of Vans Chicago, it kept us all going even though it was super hot in the venue. But the shows there are different, because they give you a more up close and intimate experience with the fans.

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Anderson .Paak enchanting the Vans House Parties crowds at House of Vans Chicago in 2017.

What’s your favorite part about performing at places like House of Vans?

I love being with my band. We always hype each other up before we go on. We give ourselves a moment to take in the sounds of the crowd to prepare us so that we can give the best show possible. At House of Vans Chicago we could feel the energy, feel the audience, even before we were out there. It’s that kind of place.

Find Anderson .Paak on Instagram @anderson._paak