Anderson .Paak has a golden voice. Yet, his identity got ever-so lost on his latest album Oxnard. Thankfully, as he tells Esquire in a new interview, his upcoming Ventura album will be him to the bone. We can't wait.
"I wanted to keep it as incubated as I could 'cause I wanted to keep the vibes with how we felt at the time," he said of Ventura. "I didn't want to over-produce, I didn't want to start second-guessing it, I didn't want to drive myself crazy. I drove myself crazy with Oxnard. That was almost why I was like, I'm about to put [Ventura] over to the side now, like a 'break in case of emergency.'"
Later, .Paak adds: "[Dr. Dre] let me have a lot of leeway on Ventura. He was like, it seems like you got it. I spread my wings on the production and on the writing and on these collaborations."
Considering the main issue critics had with Oxnard was a lack of identity, it's redeeming to hear that .Paak had full creative control over Ventura, which he's promised to be a more soulful affair. The album, coming in April, should serve as an appropriate course correction.
As .Paak explained in his interview, Oxnard was less so about Anderson .Paak's sound, and more of him being a "vessel" for Dr. Dre. They took the Oxnard journey together, which, while commendable, produced mixed results.
Giving Andy the reigns on Ventura should provide a more organic and authentic record, one that has .Paak sounding like himself and wonderfully at home.