Good Samaritan Bringing Us Good Vibes
The Portland-based teen is Hedi Slimane’s new pick for CreatiVity 03.
Creative Director of Celine and longtime V collaborator, Hedi Slimane found a fresh, young talent from Portland for CreatiVity 03. With the help of Quadio, Slimane found the pick of the week—Good Samaritan, a confident multi-talented artist inspired by contemporary pop lyrics and some of hip-hop’s most influential figures. Motivated by pressure, the young artist wants to use this time in isolation to release an album that reflects on his last year as a teenager, what he calls his “professional debut.”
Read what Good Samaritan had to share with us, below.
V MAGAZINE What’s your name, age and where do you go to school?
Good Samaritan My name is Everett Biron. I am 19 years old. I go to the University of Oregon.
V What are you studying?
GS I am double majoring in Advertising and Japanese.
V Where are you from originally?
GS I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.
V How has adjusting to the current climate of COVID-19 impacted your schooling and your life?
GS To put this simply: it fucking sucks. Between personal problems and COVID-19, I’ve essentially lost my freshman year of college. But, in a way, the pandemic is a blessing, because now I have nothing to do except make the music I have been putting off for so long. This situation could be a godsend for my career, I’m going to take full advantage of my time indoors. As far as education goes, things haven’t been this awkward since middle school. At least zoom backgrounds are fun.
V How have you been coping during this time? Is there anything that’s keeping you grounded?
GS I am coping by cooking, creating and listening to music, interacting with my lover, and most importantly, playing Animal Crossing. Portland resides beneath a perpetual rainstorm, so because of this, my girlfriend and I have resorted to circling around our apartment halls for exercise. The thing that comforts me through this is knowing that if I handle the situation properly, I could create the art I know I’m capable of. In the past, I have coped with difficult situations through creation. I’m like a pressure cooker–I rely on pressure in order to produce. The way I see it, things are now or never, and I am going to hang on to that feeling and use it as fuel for my artistic process.
V Can you tell us a little bit about your background in music?
GS My family was very in touch with the ’90s Portland music scene. I grew up on a steady diet of indie and alternative rock. My dad is a musical genius who can play most instruments proficiently–learning them just by ear. There was a lot of music in the house. I took some piano lessons as a kid but we couldn’t afford them for too long. I thought my music career ended there, but once I got to high school I was introduced to hip hop and rap by some friends that made beats on the software FL Studio. The moment I discovered Kanye I became addicted and I knew I wanted to do what he does: everything himself. I downloaded FL my junior year and started making music. I can’t play instruments but I can write music and I can use FL plugins to play what I write. By not needing to learn instruments I was able to balance academic honors, a job, and sports with music production. The only equipment I use is my laptop, apple earbuds, and a USB microphone. Keep it cheap.
V How did Good Samaritan get started? Is it just you? Could you tell us about the name?
GS I appreciate you referring to Good Samaritan as an entity rather than an identity. It is just me, yes, but initially, that wasn’t the plan. Good Samaritan is a name that is borrowed and shared—nobody owns it. Using the anonymity of the name, I intended for it to be a sort of “John Doe” label my friends and I could use to produce and publish art under. This did not pan out, but I retained the name for the message still remained. Good Samaritan is familiar; it’s a title for hospitals or a moniker for a kind citizen. It’s biblical, but not alienating in its religious roots. It also just sounds cool.
V How did you hear about Quadio? Can you tell us about the relationship you have with the platform and your music?
GS A Quadio ambassador reached out to me prior to their launch. They somehow found my SoundCloud and Instagram and asked to meet with me when they visited my university. We connected and I was impressed by their platform. Serving as a way for my music to be heard by other young artists on a similar timeline to myself, I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of.
V Why did you choose to showcase your music there?
GS Quadio was the perfect opportunity. A brand-new platform means no overcrowding, therefore I knew that I could stand out. People have been able to discover me in an authentic way. I have already received more direct interaction and engagement from other creators that I have never met using Quadio for just a few months, versus the years I’ve been on Soundcloud. Because I’ve been busy with school, I needed a place where I could put my music and it would draw attention without me having to promote it intensely. Quadio has done a great job with benefiting me in this way.
V Who are some artists that inspire you, your sound and creativity?
GS My sound is unique in a way that makes my influences difficult to pinpoint, so I have to break this into several categories: Vocal inspiration, instrumental inspiration, and image inspiration. Vocally, I’m inspired by Elliott Smith, Damon Albarn, Gwen Stefani, Frank Ocean and Kanye. Instrumentally, I’m inspired by Beck, MF DOOM, Gorillaz, Tyler the Creator, Pharrell, Timbaland and 00’s pop-punk. My image is inspired by A$AP Rocky, and Deaton Chris Anthony, but also just the city of Portland. A lot of workwear, outdoor gear and Nike. Creatively, video games are my biggest inspiration. I see video games as the ultimate creative medium as they incorporate music, animation, and storytelling in an interactive environment. The games I play most often are Pokemon games. Every installment of the series is very special to me. The music is incredible. The character designs are great. I have spent much of my life masquerading as a Pokemon trainer.
V If you could work with anyone musically (dead or alive), who would that be?
GS Vince Guaraldi. The sounds he was able to capture in his music, both personal projects and Peanuts soundtracks are so warm and timeless. He played the piano like a singer–every note he felt vocal and alive. He spoke through the piano. I want to learn how to make my music that emotional. I just feel like he could teach me so much about music. A living artist I would like to work with is Doja Cat. She is a killer songwriter and I admire how she brings her sense of humor through her music. I think that we would get along.
V How do you want listeners to feel (or what do you want them to do) when they listen to your music?
GS The quality I value most in the music that I’m making right now is charisma. I love artists like Playboi Carti and A$AP Rocky because of the way they combine their looks, fashion and attitude with their sound. A lot of the music I listen to is not very complex or extravagant–It’s just cool. When I listen to Rocky, I feel like Rocky. I want people to listen to Good Samaritan and feel like Good Samaritan. I want to continue to improve my vocal charisma and image. I need people to come not just for the sound, but also the feeling I give them as a creator.
V Can you tell us about your creative process when producing “I Saw You”?
GS “I Saw You,” was made unlike any song that I’d done before. I had a crush on a girl that looked like a love interest from a 2000’s teen movie. She was beautiful, shy, mysterious, alternative, but not off-putting, and endlessly charismatic. She gave me such a nostalgic feeling every time I looked at her and that’s when the lyrics started flowing out. I usually don’t write lyrics before creating an instrumental but this was an exception. I approached writing and structuring a pop-punk song the way I would a hip hop song. I think it worked. Fun fact: The girl I wrote “I Saw You” about is now my girlfriend 🙂
V Tell us about your style, where’s your favorite place to shop or get inspiration in the clothing you wear.
GS My style is recycled. With the exception of sneakers, all of my clothes are pre-owned. I’ve been pretty broke most of my whole life, so I’ve had to find ways to dress cool with little means to do so. I like combining futura fashion from the late ’90s and early 2000s with ’70s pieces (primarily golfing pants and shirts). In my opinion, the best way to look good is to dress to your frame. My favorite place to shop is the Goodwill Bins: it’s dirt cheap and full of gems.
V When you aren’t doing anything music-related, what can people find you doing?
GS Drawing, playing/watching basketball, cooking and making art with my girlfriend, writing poetry, playing soccer, riding my bike, playing pokemon, or hanging out with friends. I love sports and being outside, so I try to balance my music time with my outdoors time. I also do a lot of graphic design work/clothing design and choreography but that’s usually music-related as I sell my clothes at shows and I, obviously, perform at them as well.
V Given the current circumstances of this health crisis, how have you given back or tailored your music accordingly?
GS I haven’t tailored my music to the situation. I am inspired by the events of the crisis. I’m inspired by the status of the world, and I know that the music that I will be creating will reflect my emotions that arise through this pandemic. I feel that I don’t need to directly acknowledge the coronavirus in my music but rather the emotions.
V Do you believe music is important especially during a time where the world is in crisis?
GS Absolutely. Nothing turns a mood around like music. A good song can get you out of any funk. I’ve utilized that property of music several times since the crisis began. Music can be uplifting, empowering, and uniting, but also personal, which can provide us sanity during this crisis. Music is good for the mind, body, and soul. With music, we will get through this. There’s gonna be a lot of great music coming out of this crisis.
V Where do you see yourself and your music career 5 years from now?
GS I don’t even know where I see myself in the next month, but I do see myself becoming successful in the long run. I know that I have the tools, skills, and with time, experience. I do believe that it will happen, but I just don’t know when.
V What are some of your goals with music this year?
GS I am putting out an album within the next two months. It will be my final artistic effort while I’m still a teenager. That means a lot to me as I have only really seen myself as a teenager. This project will serve as a graduation of sorts. In a way, it will be my professional debut. I believe that this album will take my career to another level because I have learned a lot about myself and my emotions during my last year of being a teenager, and I now know how to translate those thoughts and feelings into my music. I am more in touch with who I am, who I want to be and what I don’t want my music to turn into. I want my music to stay true to my sound and not follow what sound is currently in.
This could be you next! Head to our musician hub to find out how to enter for a chance to debut your music on VMagazine.com! Don’t forget to follow Quadio and VMagazine on Instagram to keep up with more new music updates.