“I’m not really a model, so I’m not sure how to pose.”
“Yeah well I’m not really a photographer, so I guess we’ll learn together!”
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a cool young creative by the name of Samantha Gabrielle, a Portland-area gyal who exudes island vibes and a positive aura everywhere she goes.
Approaching her 27th birthday here in June, the poet and avid reggae fan decided to act on her longtime goal of starting a blog. This morning she launched GoddessVibes, a site dedicated to spreading positivity and sharing the Afro-Caribbean cultures with her friends and readers.
I had a chance to catch up with the Northwest beauty this week to discuss the upcoming launch, as well as find out more about her views on life, religion, music, and food. I also got to perform my first photo shoot. Swag.
Read on to learn more about the island beauty looking to make a splash in PDX.
I know you as Samantha Gabrielle. Is that what you’ll be writing under?
Yes, I will be writing under the name Samantha Gabrielle which is my first and middle name!
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? How did you end up in Vancouver/Portland?
I was born in Portland, my family comes from Jamaica and I spent a lot of my childhood there so to me that’s home and that’s where my Caribbean roots come from. I never actually lived in Portland up until a year and a half ago, I lived in Vancouver, WA throughout my middle school and high school days.
Your island and African roots are obviously very important to you. Has that just always been instilled in you, or was culture something that interested you at some point?
Yes, my island roots are very important to me. It made me who I am today, this is how I grew up in a Jamaican household the culture will forever be a part of me. I have a lot of African friends – mainly West African friends – and that’s basically how I fell in love with the culture. From the food to the music and dances, I love it ALL. I’ve picked up on some of the languages such as Sierra Leone Krio, Ghanaian Twi, Pidgin and Fante and I can understand a bit of Nigerian language that comes from the Yuroba tribe.
What drives you to do poetry?
What drives me to write Poetry is expression, I’m in love with expression. Anyone I’ve dated knows I love to express myself; it’s my freedom and my peace. So with Poetry I’m making a statement of expression; from bad relationships, family, to friends and just love in general, I will share through my craft.
From your Snapchat it seems like you’re really into health – both physical and mental. Is your goal to help people? If so why?
Yes, I definitely am. It is my goal to help people, eventually I’d love to be a mentor someday, travel to Africa and work with kids as well as back home to Jamaica. Charities are definitely on my mind, I’d love to give back as much as I can. Why do I want to help people? Well I truly believe that God called me to do that. I have a voice and I could use that to set an example and be a positive influence, so that’s a major goal of mine. I use my Snapchat as practice and I get a lot of feedback which makes me happy!
Are you big on Caribbean food? What’s an ideal meal to you?
Well yes of course! *laughs* That’s all I eat. My favorite meal would probably be curried goat, plantain with rice and peas… I can never get enough of that specific meal.
You and local rapper Karma Rivera are often seen together. How did you two meet?
Funny you ask, I’ve always heard of her and seen her around and watched clips from her shows. I don’t know who reached out to who first, but the first time we ever hung out we just vibed and we’ve been cool ever since. Plus she’s Caribbean/American as well, us Caribbean gyals affi stick together!
Do you consider yourself religious, spiritual, or neither?
I consider myself more spiritual than religious but I am a Christian. I just believe a lot of things about certain religion is more so man made. I am currently studying a lot about Islam as well and I love it! But I do believe in God and I believe there is only ONE God, I have a relationship with him, I pray every day, and to me that’s all that matters.
I know you love to dance. Where did you get that from?
I’ve been dancing all my life! *laughs* We Jamaican over here, that’s all we do. I’m not a big club person or partier like I used to be but I do have a lot of family and friends who are DJs so you will catch me at Caribbean/African events here and there showing my support. I love music and I love to dance, it’s a good vibe always!
You seem to really value family. Did you grow up in a close family?
Yes! I grew up in a big family, everyone is close. Look at it like this: my stepmom and mom have been friends all my life still till this day. No family is perfect but at the end of the day family is all I have and I love them with everything I have in me, I grew up on respect, my family is very big on that as well so they will always have my respect.
What is the goal of your upcoming blog?
My goal is to spread good vibes, honesty, love and culture!! I see a lot of the PDX/Vancouver folks are just now kind of getting into the Caribbean and African culture as far as music goes because it’s currently a “wave” right now. This is something I’m passionate about, and something I’ve always been in tune with from di day mi born. (I love) MY culture and the cultures I’ve fell in love with over these past couple of years, so my goal is to spread the vibes and show Portland what they’ve been missing out on from the dancers to the DJs, events and so on. Also just lifestyles when it comes to health, God, relationships, my travels as well my journey of making huge changes in my life as far as going back to school, writing a book and building my brand. This blog will be a little bit of everything and I’m excited to share!