Originally published on YELP on 5/1/2016:
Two weeks ago I caught up with Deja Gaston after the Soul'd (and sold) - Out show relocated to the Roseland to hear about a different side of the man who sings and drums and moves dance floors all at once. When you receive Anderson.Paak live you realize - whether in the conscious mind or somewhere else in space time - that he (in tandem with the people on stage and behind the scenes, sound mixed by Nevin Thomas) is presenting to you a moment of the future-now navigated by the choices you make right here, right now. And catching up with his high school niece I saw that innovation and intelligence run in the family. She and two friends took an English project to the streets to turn a homework assignment into something more than a means to an end, something with personal relevance. Rather than research an historic author, these young ladies decided to talk to her uncle for the assignment. And, shared over french fries, her stories incarnate the messenger as human, illuminate the body that conduits your star gaze:
"When the album dropped and all the stuff started happening everyone didn't believe me and I was like 'I've been telling you guys since seventh grade like do you need me to like show you the pictures ?'
"Its cool just to see how far he's come like I just remember he had a room for his music and he used to play in his room and I was the bugaboo little kid that was always there. He used to try and scare me out the room.
"Some of the songs he has I remember when he was making the beats to those. Like cellphone you know that song yea he made that as a joke it was a voice memo on his phone and then that turned into a legit song.
"We all have the choice, the musical talent and the choice. Its passed down through the family for sure but we all express it differently. I do my own thing, like I don't like have a soundcloud or anything you know but I do sing on my guitar I mean, what comes out just comes out. We're still included, the Timan Family Choir that's me and my sisters so its pretty cool that he brings us in. We all have musical talents but we obviously express it differently.
"He doesn't act like a crazy celebrity its cool. I love it. I love him. My uncle. It touches my heart to see all these people who love him and are just like doing the most for him. I'm proud because he touches peoples hearts, not just the music but the way he carries himself. It's awesome."
Check out the voice memo, tangled with the sounds of Saucebox, here. And be sure to follow this rising star @deja_simone (IG/twitter)
After dinner we sent these young queens to the hotel and followed the concentric afterparty circuits. From the green room at Roseland we cooked it at Saucebox with Joey Beach on deck, dance party in the front door lobby while they prepared the balcony for an unexpected party. Pink champagne at Fifth Avenue, a Jupiter pillow fight until the public side ended at Service. Champagne sunrise at PLAT "I got a play COACHELLA tonight" -- tell me Portland can you handle Anderson Paak ??!?