If Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Jack Johnson wrote songs on the road with Jack Kerouac and Ram Dass in the back seat it would sound like… Forest Sun.
Forest is a Mill Valley-based songwriter and visual artist who has studied at the Facultad de Bellas Artes in Barcelona. His paintings and monoprints can be viewed online at forestsun.com along with his music and song lyrics.
So, Forest, what is your philosophy on songwriting?
Songs have a life of their own. i just let them come through. First comes listening.
In their review of your CD “For the Story,” Performing Songwriter said that you demonstrate “a well-rounded ability to capture simple, plainspoken emotions and frame them in a number of genres all well-played and deeply understood.” Do you intentionally strive for “simple and plainspoken” when writing a song?
Each song tells me how it would like to be. Sometimes a simple phrase can have multiple meanings and be received on different levels. It’s up to the listener to find that for themselves. The songs invite them in and meets them where they are.
When you’re out performing original songs in front of live audiences, what’s the most important part about selling a new song to folks who are hearing it for the very first time?
Not to sell anything. Play the song for your own joy and to give it life.
As an artist as well as a songwriter, what parallels do you observe between these two forms of creative expression?
Creating in both mediums can be like throwing up… or having sex… or giving birth… a bit messy and intense but you always feel better afterwords.
What have you learned so far as a songwriter that might be helpful to others following a songwriting path of their own?
Trust yourself. Don’t judge yourself or your creations, or listen to anyone who does. Just keep creating. Does judging you in any way or buying other peoples points of view help you improve or create more?
Mmmm, I’m gonna have to go with “No” on that one.
Forest’s music is available here:
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