Anthony Forrest has released his debut solo single and accompanying video, for the hypnotic electro-soul release Deepest Love. Renowned as the frontman and guitarist of Brisbane’s breakthrough reggae/dub group Kingfisha, Deepest Love is Forrest’s first solo release. Flirting the line across genres, with hip-hop undertones, rolling electronica melodies, and Forrest’s silky-smooth vocals, the electro soul track with nods to 90’s producer J Dilla, and a down tempo Fat Freddy’s Drop is a new and exciting direction for the renowned vocalist.
Produced by prominent Brisbane producer Pete Gardner from So Soap Studios, the pair have spent the past 4 years working on the project together. With Garden’s knowhow and Forrest’s musical prowess Deepest Love has carved a place within their respective musical journey. Anthony drops by to answer a few questions about the single for Hi Fi Way.
How has the lead up been to the new single Deepest Love?
It’s all been pretty smooth. I did the film clip two years ago and the artwork last year and the song has been finished for a while, so everything was in place and ready to go.
What is the story behind the single?
Lyrically it’s pretty loose, I had a pretty full-on dream the night before I put pen to paper. The lyrics came together quite quickly within a couple hours which is pretty rare for me. Musically I was getting into a lot of hip-hop and mucking around with different beats, I seemed to resonate with this beat in particular and it worked really well with vocals.
Is it hard or easier than you thought going solo?
It’s still in the very early stages of the whole project. I’ve really loved the recording process – just working with myself and a producer was super enjoyable, taking our time with it all and just going with whatever felt good. It’s definitely a different experience going into the hustle stage of things now without support from your band mates..
Was it a challenge to work out what you wanted your own sound to be?
It did take some time. I’ve had a lot of songs hanging around that I was planning on recording by myself, I just wasn’t too sure which way to take them. I tried a few different genres and feels, and once I found the formula that I was into, it seemed to roll out pretty smoothly from there.
Are you building towards and album?
I’m working towards an album. I’ll probably drop another single or two before the album but I’ve got about twelve or thirteen tunes I’m happy with and keen to release.
Does the music come before the lyrics?
The last few tunes I’ve worked on the music has come first, working on beats, baselines and synth sounds and then putting some lyrics and melodies over the top but I usually write most of my tunes starting with voice and acoustic guitar. Once I feel there’s a vibe I’ll try and work on the lyrics and build on rhythms etc from there.
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for yourself?
I can’t really think of just one – I’m inspired by a lot of different musicians from different genres. If I had to put a few down I’d say J Dilla, Radiohead, kaytranada and James Blake.
Did you lose much momentum last year due to the pandemic?
I was planning on releasing in March last year and everything turned upside down, so I’ve sort of been sitting on the song since then. I haven’t minded a lot of the Covid experience as far I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with family, not travelling but I am excited to get back into some sort of normality pretty soon.
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
I’m hoping to do a small run of shows around the east coast, maybe mid next year and then yeah, that would be great to jump on some festivals and get back into the swing of things
What’s next for Anthony Forrest?
I’m planning on releasing another single and a music video in March apart from that I’m still writing and trying to get in the studio as much as I can.
Interview By Rob Lyon