Before Forest Blakk could sing about loss and love, he had to pull himself back from the brink. Raised by parents with a history of drug use, he has hair-raising tales of his childhood, including an assassination attempt on his father on the family’s front stoop, rooms full of cash, and constant uprooting to places like Jamaica and Florida.
Blakk underwent a spiritual and physical transformation that enabled him to carve a new musical direction that he calls “urban folk,” blending his identity as a city kid with his attraction to artists like Don Henley and Joe Cocker, whose soulfulness and emotionality resonate with him. Now he’s the kind of nimble songwriter who etches new facets into the surfaces of tried and true terrain. His piano- and acoustic-driven songs are are ballads about loss, whether it’s letting go of someone you’re still in love with (his debut single “Love Me”) or physically losing someone through death; the reincarnation of love (“Where I First Found You”); or feeling love through lust. “It's not as simple as just putting words on paper for me,” Blakk says. “It has to connect. Every single line in every song has to mean something.”
Blakk is deeply invested in empowering others to be visible, especially those who feel invisible, as he did as a kid. That his songs are as open-hearted and hopeful as they are is a testament to his personal resilience.