DERICK G PROFILE
Sitting outside on the computer under a beautiful golden sun, accompanied by a full glass of merlot and a backwood filled with top-shelf gelato, I slowly find myself turning back to the day I programmed to meet Derick G for this interview.
As I began making preparations to leave my apartment to meet the man, I abruptly faced a surprise obstacle, the bus I was scheduled to take was suddenly being delayed by 33 minutes past it’s scheduled time, prompting my late arrival to our rendezvous.
The night before our meeting I had scheduled a call but asked to push it back a bit, as I found myself more preoccupied than expected. Even then I still called a bit later than the said time. For any of my friends, that’s not a big deal, and Derick and I have a pretty solid relationship that has always been pretty laid back.
However, as I arrived at my destination, he pulled me to the side and proceeded to ask me to assign more value to his time, and that right there and then, he wasn’t just my friend, and I wasn’t just his.
Without breaking eye contact he says “at this moment we are wearing our business hats and should act accordingly based on that.”
I was surprised, but not really.
I’ve always been bad with time, but not often have I felt remorseful for being tardy. At that moment, whether or not it was intentional or of my own doing, I felt ashamed; and I kept those words etched in my mind.
He was absolutely correct.
If he was not my friend, perhaps I would’ve lost an interview, or even worse, have one with an individual not as engaged due to my preventable recklessness. It was a teaching moment that sort of forced a change in me to be better by demanding more of myself, and by being righteous to his own values and self-worth, regardless of our relationship.
I smiled, reassured him that I will be better, and thanked him for voicing his thoughts.
He shook my hand, and with a big smile, asks how I’m doing and we go on like nothing happened.
I was right. Derick is one helluva guy.
For those who know Derick, one thing that sets him apart from many entrepreneurs and creatives is that when he puts his mind to something, whether it’s a cause or a project, not only does he fully dive into those ventures but does so with an impressive level of efficiency that most people his age have yet to grasp.
I initially met Derick during our college days at Portland State University. As he was just getting his brand Derick G Visuals off the ground, I recall seeing him at practically every local music show I attended; and I attended many.
A few months back I received a call from Derick, we briefly caught up, and I was still fresh back in the states after spending time abroad working on a film project. Readjusting to life in Portland wasn’t the easiest. And with a troublesome pandemic affecting the world, I found myself in a rather bad mental space and to an extent, was even short on confidence and passion.
He told me he wanted to write a piece on me.
Why me; I first thought.
I couldn’t help but to initially wonder why he would choose me.
At the time, I was personally in a somber space in life. I was doubting a few of my abilities; one, being a leader of a new up & coming black-owned production company; the general idea of myself as an artist and especially the realization that whatever I thought I was seeking wasn’t going to be folded in front of me without a level of self-realization, humility, grit and perseverance.
I tend to be very hard on myself when it comes to my work. Although I can be very patient with myself, it’s not a surprise for any creative to hold a degree of melancholy at all times concerning their work. Regardless, after that brief feeling of anxiousness, and listening to the idea Derick had suggested, I contentedly agreed.
I remember smiling from ear-to-ear after reading the article for the first time, the day it came. I stepped outside my dwelling, took a flask filled with my favorite cognac, walked to the park and sat quietly.
The skies were grey but I didn’t care. The gloom could not shade the radiance I felt.
To randomly be honored by someone I’ve always respected–what a gift. I felt an overwhelming sense of being and for the first time in a while, I was able to feel good about myself and my craft.
That feeling was a sort of personal revival in regard to diving back into my work. Derick was able to bring that life back to me by recognizing my hard work, which I hadn’t even taken into realization myself. I needed that reminder and it came at the right time.
A thousand thanks wouldn’t be enough.
As we begin to settle in and start the brief interview, Derick sits behind his desk, wearing a PFTC t-shirt. On his desk lays a closed computer, a notebook, and a few writing utensils. To his left, a PFTC mug off course and to his right, his podcast mic steadily near him.
With a cool demeanor and effortless swagger, Derick attentively awaits my first question.
Seeing your growth over the years with Derick G Visuals at the helm, and your two new ventures, the Daily Depository and the Portland Free Thinkers Club, how have they taught you about your capabilities as a creator?
It has taught me everything man!
He assures with immediate confidence,
This is true self-exploration, this is true trial and error…for me, this is therapeutic. I can take all the rumbling in my head, and put it on a platform where it can be conductive and allow other people to view the world in a different perspective. If I can share things that change anybody’s perspective then it shows that my potential is untapped… I can’t put a cap on that, because if I cap my potential then I’m going to shoot for an end goal… for me there is no end goal… As a whole, those three ventures to me say, if you get off your ass and make something happen, the dominoes will begin to fall.
I like that.
Derick speaks with vigor and confidence. He always does. We let out a quick chuckle, and I quickly glance back to the questions written down on my notepad. The atmosphere is warm, and I wanted to know a bit more about him, beyond the surface that we’ve presented to each other over the years with a few personal questions.
If you were to interview anyone that you admire, dead or alive, who would that be for you and why?
…I really am fascinated by and would love to interview Jimi Hendrix.. Specifically because he lived in an incredible time.. In the age of psychedelics, which I wish I could’ve been present for.. I think he was able to get to a much deeper place cause of it. They’re sort of like conductors. He channeled a high frequency and brought joy to people that still play his music as if it came out today. He captured the minds and hearts of many, many people, and for that reason, and the psychedelic connection as well I would love a couple hours of conversation with him.
We have mirror neurons for a reason. I’m not trying to be like anybody, but I will say this: I’m trying to look at anybody who’s done something that I admire and respect and take a little piece of greatness from them and every single person, so hopefully those attributes could blend into my actual essence…my nature of being. I want to be unordinary, amongst unordinary people.
How much influence has your family and background played into who you are now, and especially your work ethic?
I come from a hard working family. Work ethic was instilled in me when I was very young and I was often told, very often actually, that I have a terrible work ethic and that I was lazy. So I think that was always in me to prove that it wasn’t the case. And because I have a father who was handy-man, a jack-of-all-trades cat who could do anything with his hands, it gave me an entrepreneurial spirit. Honestly, family is not the reason I work as hard as I work… by studying this capitalistic system; people that work really hard and don’t make any excuses get a little further in life than the people sitting on their ass all day.
What would you tell the Derick from five years ago? And what would you want your future self to not forget?
I would tell myself from five years ago to stop seeking validation from people, period. The last five years or less personally was spent trying to validate people’s beliefs on what makes me happy..like going to college..as much as I appreciate doing it and the experiences I’ve had, I only did that for my family. But now, I’ve paid off my family debt, which is doing what they wanted me to do. I say don’t let anybody tell you how to be happy or what happiness is for you. And do the things that you love to do because you have a limited amount of days on this planet.
But I still wouldn’t take back anything either…
To my future self..you ain’t shit man!
We burst into laughter.
Remain humble always and stay confident. If you’re not confident in yourself, no one can be confident in you.
What is the lasting impact you wish to have on the community?
I ultimately want to preach independent thought–to help others detach from groupthink, to help people think for themselves.
In your sense, what is true wealth?
He answers without skipping a beat.
Lasting valued authentic relationships with people I care about. And what I mean by that..it’s like what I’ve talked to you about before. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Word is everything to me. I would give anyone the shirt off my back without hesitation if one needs it more than I do..because at the end of the day, on our last day, we can’t take none of this. Materials get into too many people’s heads.. Nobody is better than anyone because of things.
A gentleman with an immense amount of talent, and an even bigger heart; who carries a great love for his community and is an authentic truth-seeker. We need more selfless voices in our society today, ones that speak the unfiltered truth based on accurate studies and research; ones that allow the expansion of the mind and push the boundaries of creativity. This man carries such a voice and I can say with confidence that with people like him around, the future is in good hands.
Tune in to his podcast, become a patron and support the absolutely necessary work and energy that he’s providing.
This is Derick G.
Thanks for reading. If you’re looking for content to pass the time at home, tune into the Portland Free Thinkers Club Podcast on YouTube.