Anderson .Paak‘s star-studded .Paak House benefit concert will be extra sweet when it touches down Friday (May 12) at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, Ca., thanks to a new partnership between the multi-talented artist and ice cream purveyor Häagen-Dazs.
.Paak, who grew up in nearby Oxnard, tells SPIN that the company’s “hefty donation” of $500,000 is enabling him to stage what “is probably going to be the biggest .Paak House ever,” featuring a surprise lineup of friends, collaborators, and local rising stars. At the event, Häagen-Dazs will debut its new Butter Cookie Cones, which are lined with chocolate, filled with four different ice cream flavors, and topped with cookie pieces and chocolate curls.
Proceeds will benefit .Paak’s Brandon Anderson Foundation, which facilitates access to the arts, supplemental education, and unique experiences for underserved communities. .Paak politely declined to “let the cat out of the bag” about who might appear at the concert, but previous events have featured everyone from Thundercat and Kali Uchis to Seth Rogen and Ty Dolla $ign.
“We have a full day of amazing music, food, and fun, and Häagen-Dazs is going to ensure everyone will have a big smile on their face,” he says. “It’s going to be epic. We did it in Oxnard the year before last and that was big, but this was even bigger. The whole county comes out every year to the fairgrounds, and for us to take it over is huge for me and huge for the city. I’m just over the moon to do it with Häagen-Dazs. They’re a brand that’s fun and vibrant, just like my music.”
On that front, .Paak confirms he’s working on his first album under his own name since 2019’s Ventura, and has more recently been busy finishing the long-awaited second album from NxWorries, his collaborative project with producer Knxwledge. No release date has been announced yet for the follow-up to the pair’s 2016 debut, Yes Lawd!, which was released nine months after .Paak’s breakthrough sophomore solo album, Malibu.
“It’s been great to just see things kind of go full circle. The NxWorries album and Malibu came out the same year, and that was a really big year for me as far as people discovering my music,” says .Paak, adding that the success of the Gil Scott-Heron-sampling Yes Lawd! track “Suede” is one of the reasons he was eventually signed by Dr. Dre to his Aftermath imprint.
“To go from there and do Silk Sonic with Bruno [Mars] and to be able to come back to this, where the roots are, has been fun,” he enthuses. “I’ve been having a blast with my career and the trajectory, and working with all these different people. I think it’s going to make it all that much better when I come back around to the Anderson .Paak stuff, because I do have some stuff ready (laughs).”
NxWorries, which has rarely performed live, will return to the road for a handful of late spring and summer dates in Europe. The only North American shows come as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival: June 24 in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Prospect Park alongside Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Bilal, and BJ the Chicago Kid, and July 28 at the event’s jam-packed Napa edition.
“It’s going to be very raw and very intimate,” .Paak says of the group’s stage show, which will offer a noticeable contrast to the eight-piece band setup of his own recent solo concerts. “I think it’s going to be cool to go back to just seeing people perform on a stage — a raw performance without any gadgets or gizmos, and connecting with the audience.”