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Oakland Native Samaria Talks New EP ‘Even Paradise Rains’ & Love For Surfing

January 30, 2024

Read the full interview on SheenMagazine.com!

Samaria just released her newest EP titled Even Paradise Rains, and we can’t stop listening!

Born and raised in Oakland, Samaria is a rising R&B singer who creates music that serves as a safe space and healing tool, giving audiences all around the world the luxury to escape through the music. Equipped with lyrics inspired by real life experiences, Samaria arrives as a breath of fresh air in the music industry.

Samaria states, “I’d describe myself as somebody who has a hard time expressing themselves outside of music. “serial recluse,” out of all the songs on the project probably describes me best. I don’t think I’m necessarily a recluse, because I definitely have friends and I’ll be around people. But I definitely retreat into my show a lot. It’s my comfort zone”

“serial recluse” hails as a standout single from her newly released EP titled Even Paradise Rains. The 8-track project sees Samaia letting go and allowing herself to feel her emotions, finding paradise in solitude. And when she’s not doing music, she’s probably surfing, oftentimes booking a one-way flight to Hawaii to ride the waves in peace.

Sheen spoke with Samaria via Zoom to discuss her roots in the Bay, the new project, studio essentials, beauty go-to’s, and more!

 

I love “serial recluse.” Is that the fan favorite?

Yeah, I’m realizing it was the #1 fan favorite, but it seems like it’s getting moved to #2  based off of my audience’s engagement. It’s fluctuating right now, it’s weird. I just knew that was going to be the one. But right now, people are really leaning into “beating myself up.”

You mention being a recluse. How are you dealing with the attention, the followers, and your numbers going up?

Truthfully, I remove myself from paying attention to numbers overall. It was controlling so much of my emotions and my day to day anxieties. Of course, I’m excited. I’m excited to see that this project is getting a lot more recognition than any project or song I’ve ever put out. There’s the excitement, but then there’s still feeling like I have so much more to do. I’m trying to find the balance between celebrating the small wins, then also not getting too comfortable.

I’m from the Bay, I know you’re from Oakland. Who or what influenced you to get into music?

My biological mom was a singer, and my dad was a rapper when I was a kid. I’ve always been surrounded by music. I was always stroked into being on stage at a young age. I did all the talent shows in my schools. My favorite album when I was a kid was Justified by Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me A River” was my favorite song ever. There’s definitely a lot of Bay Area influence on me. I listened to so much Keychia Cole growing up, it’s not even funny. I used to have the cassette player, all the physical CDs. But I also listened to a lot of neo-soul, like Lauryn Hill, Erykah [Badu], all that. I knew from an early age, I wanted to be a singer. And be creative in some sort of capacity.

 

Even Paradise Rains out now. What’s one thing you want fans to take away from this project?

Honestly, I always find that to be a hard question. Because as much as I enjoy that people can relate to my music, these songs are so me venting my own bullshit into the microphone. The things that I go through in my life. The only thing I can really hope and pray for is that other people relate to the things I find very specific to my life. I do get confirmation in that a lot with the DMs that people send me, because there’s always that nervousness of being perceived when you’re putting music out. Okay, these things that I’m writing about are so specific to the things that I’ve been through. I don’t know if anybody’s gonna listen to this and think “Oh, I’ve been through this too.” I really rip myself apart in my music. I don’t know if everyone else is going to relate to that. [laughs] But I’m always surprised after the fact that so many people do.

Is that hard for you to open up and be vulnerable about real life shit?

No, not anymore. It used to be when I first started writing music, because I was so scared again of being perceived. People are going to know these things about me, I’m naturally a pretty private person about the things that really matter to me. These things I write about are the most important experiences I’ve ever had in my life. But nowadays, it’s very, very, very therapeutic for me. So I don’t look at it that way anymore. Cool, I’m starting over.

3 things you need in the studio at all times?

A candle burning. A real candle, not one of them fake flicker candles. An actual pen, notepad. I really enjoy writing music, pen to paper. I hate writing music on iPhone, it’s a thing that I have. Third thing, I have a projector of my own. It’s really important for me to have some sort of visual playing in front of me when I record.

When I used to record myself at home, I’d always have my favorite episodes of Dragon Ball Z playing in the background. I thought it was a TV show. But sometimes, they have these videos of people who like to attach cameras to their chest and they walk around major cities like Tokyo. It feels like you’re walking through the cities from a first person point of view. So candle, pen and paper, and some sort of visuals.

What are your beauty-go-to’s? 

Probably my cream Fenty blush, I don’t go anywhere without that. I love my Fenty blushes. The NYX chocolate brown lip liner, because I like my lips to look juicy. Fat and juicy. And some eco style gel for my baby hairs.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Whew. Nowadays, beach bum. [laughs] But on a regular day, I’ve always been a Y2K girly. I love the Y2K street fashion. It’s always been a part of me naturally because I love thrifting and I like finding one of one pieces. So sporty, chic, Y2K if I had to put a name on it.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

Surf. I love to surf, it’s my favorite thing in the world. Next to music.

Where do you go?

When I’m in Cali, I’ll either go to Malibu First Point or I’ll go to El Porto, Manhattan Beach.

I want to live in Manhattan Beach.

It’s nice over there. It’s a cute little surf town, it’s expensive though. You can ask anybody, but I’ll book a one way flight to Hawaii real fast. Just to go get in a good surf for the week, then I’ll come back. I literally got back from Hawaii 3 days ago.

How was it?

It’s always amazing. I got people out there that are second family to me. Whenever I go, they welcome you back. They’re like, “Why did it take you so long to come back this time?” I’m like, hopefully permanently next time. [laughs]

Have they heard the project?!

Honestly, it’s crazy because that island in particular, Honolulu, there’s a lot of natives on the island. I get recognized a lot in the Bay Area, but I never expected to be recognized in Hawaii because it’s such a small-knit community. Ever since I put out “tight rope,” the first single from this project, I get a lot more recognition out there in particular. It could be too because I have a lot of artist friends out there.

There was a couple of times, me and my friends were out and about and randomly people say, “Oh my god, I love your music.” I’m like, you know who I am?! [laughs] Everybody out there, the people that I know personally are so supportive of me. I’ll come to their house and my music video will be playing on TV. They’re like “we’re so proud of you.”

Any goals for yourself at this point of your career?

I want to win a Grammy. It’s Grammy week, I’m manifesting that in the near future. I really want to get into the film world. I’ve been working on this script. I’ve been writing a script with a friend of mine. I’m really, really manifesting bringing that into fruition and getting that produced by my favorite filmmakers and production companies. I have a list of people. If they don’t produce it, then I probably will never let it come out. [laughs]

I’m getting ready to lock in album mode. I have no idea what that looks like right now, but a big goal of mine is to figure out what that looks like. And what it’s going to sound like. Because I’m really in this space where I want to just delve into sounds I haven’t necessarily played with. I really don’t want to do the same thing again, if I have the choice.

Anything else you want to let us know?

Go stream Even Paradise Rains. New music on the way. Thanks for having me. Thanks for asking amazing questions.

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