Anderson.Paak is winning SXSW 2016

 

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, perform at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Erika Rich for American-Statesman
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, perform at NPR Music’s SXSW Showcase at Stubb’s on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Erika Rich for American-Statesman

A few weeks before South by Southwest, singing rapper Anderson.Paak skyrocketed from being virtually unknown to the name everyone was talking about. In an early evening party at the YouTube house, he absolutely lived up to the hype.¬†Rappers who sing are all the rage right now, but Paak moves in his own lane. With a golden voice, he’s warmer than the chilly Toronto crowd and a better singer than most most rappers who attempt a good croon.

Performing with a full band, he demonstrates a strong sense of song craft. His rhymes flow seamlessly into melodic verse. He’s also a smooth dancer, popping, locking and sliding through full body gyrations. Looking for a broader range of skills? Oh yeah, he spent half of his set sitting behind the drum kit, kicking out wicked grooves.

He oozes charisma and star quality, and he made it all look effortless.

Based on the crowd response and raw talent, Paak is already winning SXSW.

By summer expect his smooth song raps like “The Season/Carry Me” to be on full radio saturation. By fall, expect to join 20,000 or so of your good friends at Zilker Park for a (likely) afternoon set at ACL Fest.

Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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