Tori Forsyth is an Alternate Country singing prodigy. With her sweet, soulful sounds, Tori has taken the New England by storm. FOCUS finds out more about the girl behind the guitar …
Tell us about yourself, Tori …
I started singing in the school choir when I was about nine. I begged my dad to give me singing lessons when I was 13, but he didn’t want to – because I was a bit of a quitter (laughs). He eventually saw me sing super nervously at a school concert and thought he’d better get me some lessons. I sang nowhere but inside the room of my lessons ’til I was about 17. I would be way too nervous to sing in public and would find any excuse not to. It’s not until I met Trent Crawford … He basically told me to get over myself and just do it. We then recorded my debut EP, Black Bird, and the rest is history.
How have you seen your style change over the years?
I think the only way it’s changed is the lyrical maturity and the stories. I still love the same sounds like banjo and filthy guitar, so the only way it’s changed is with my age I, suppose, and the way I write.
Who is your biggest influence and why?
I grew up listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Melanie Saftka. One of the first live concerts I ever watched is when my mum showed me the 1994 Fleetwood Mac concert, and I fell in love with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, all the music, and the way Stevie performed made me want to dance and sing around as a kid. I still call it my favourite album of all time.
Do you have a band that travels with you, or are you a one girl show?
No, it’s usually just me. A band is a luxury! Ha ha!
What instruments do you play, and what genre do you find yourself in?
I consider my sound Alt Country. The reason for this is I feel the roots of my music is Country, but I love to incorporate other sounds within it. The term Alt Country gives me that flexibility.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced over this time?
The biggest challenged I’ve faced is fear. Like a lot of people who start singing or performing, it’s pretty scary to put yourself in front of people; add that to being a young woman and all the bulls*#t that comes with image, and it’s mortifying.
How did you overcome this fear? You seem so calm and collected … Do you still get nervous?
Oh thank you! Well, I still get nervous, but I think when I get into a zone and go into another place, all my nerves go away.
What advice do you give to the younger generation on starting their career in music?
The advice I’d give to anyone is to bite the bullet; just do it. But if you’re in it for the money, it’s probably not in your best interest (laughs). Oh, and find people who are supportive and keep them super close.
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge who has supported your career?
I have a bunch of people who have been champions for me. I’m really lucky and I could name them all, but one person in particular is Aleyce Simmonds … Leyce approached me after I released my first single to be my manager; that was about a year ago, and we make the greatest team. She has a way of knowing exactly when I’m doubting myself or something silly, then I get an email from her and I stop throwing my pity party … She’s the kind of person who makes me push harder for something and makes everything seem within reach. I call her my guardian angel …
You have a new single out, Kings Horses. Where can we find your music?
Yes! Kings Horses is available on bandcamp; I am so proud of this. The band The Spurs and I will be touring with this year, and I headed north to a little town hall in Springfield and recorded this within a few hours! It’s a rad tune; check it out on www.toriforsyth.bandcamp.com
So you are in a band as well? Tell us a little more …
I’m only in a band for this tour. Aleyce and I will be sharing and making a big deal of going to rural Australia and major cities. It’s going to be rad.
What’s in the future for Tori Forsyth?
This year sees me doing a whole lot of touring Australia-wide in the lead up to to my debut album, which I’ve just recorded with Aria award and multiple golden guitar winner Shane Nicholson, being released! SO excited to share this little guy with the world.
See Tori Forsyth play on 6th July.
Two Goats Café & Baa.