Throughout 2016, Anderson .Paak’s Malibu is one project that has received well-deserved praise and admiration from fans, critics and fellow artists alike. Released back on January 15, Anderson’s album has traveled in our ears to the very end of 2016, a testament to the amazing music he’s made. He is without question a major artist—a rare talent—but the tools he employed to craft his masterpiece aren’t what you would expect from an album of this caliber.
When the GRAMMYs announced .Paak was nominated in the Best New Album and Best Urban Contemporary Album categories, the soulful singer let his joy be known on Twitter. After thanking a few peers for their kind words, Anderson admitted the conditions of the equipment that was used to make Malibu: a Mac Mini with a dented microphone.
There was nothing special about his computer, nothing exceptional about his mic, even the tree he smoked was struggle-wrapped in a blunt. If he told you the hardware before hearing the music, you would probably expect Malibu to be a SoundCloud struggle album, not a GRAMMY-nominated opus.
We are taught from an early age not to judge a book by its cover, but by the content within its pages. Anderson’s confession is a reminder that it’s not the equipment that makes an album, but the artist behind the computers and the microphones.
Bedroom artists around the world are proving time and time again that you don’t have to be in some famous recording studio to make great music. You can make it work with the bare minimum. A computer, a microphone, a lot of talent, luck, and an excellent engineer to make you sound pristine is all you need. We are the D.I.Y. generation.
.Paak’s career is beautiful to witness for many reasons. He’s someone who it didn’t happen for overnight, he took a longer path and on that road, he has become an incredible artist. He took all that he learned and created undeniable music and recorded it on the most mundane of equipment. Without compromising his artistry, he has proven that it’s possible to win by doing it your way.
If you think great art isn’t appreciated or if you believe it’s impossible to make it in this industry without the most expensive equipment, or if you think your art has to be compromised for acceptance, remember Anderson .Paak—a shining example that anything is possible.
By Yoh, aka Anderson. Yohaak, aka @Yoh31