The Toronto-based artist harnesses a Jack Johnson-esque quality to his music, content to stay stripped down in his instruments, retaining an audible smile in his voice as he weaves cheerful stories with a seasoned songwriter’s grace.
“See the World” is just as beautiful and serene as its music video, which features Forrest on a hike to a turquoise lake between aerial shots of stunning landscapes from various locations across Canada that were taken on a cross-country trip before COVID. The visuals are fitting not only for the somewhat literal relation to the song and its message, but because of how well it reflects the meditative and awed nature of the song. Peaceful but happy, Forrest’s kindness radiates from the song, nailing the “country meets folk meets reggae” soundscape he aspired for.
Forrest’s love of music extends beyond his own work, and focuses on spreading it to others. In 2011, he founded the Genesis Community of the Arts, a Canadian charity that “establishes sustainable arts programs in marginalized communities around the world, by bringing together groups of artists and mobilizing them to share their gifts through education.” They also teach visual arts and dance, but music seems to be the most popular program.
This is only one example of his passion for social causes. Two of his previous singles, “Tell Me” and “Emmanuelle” have touched on racial injustice and the pandemic, respectively, the first through its lyrics and the second in a socially-distant-appropriate music video. In “Tell Me” he pleads to his listener, “Tell me you know that everything’s different when you’re living black.”
A jack of many trades, Forrest has also toed in the realm of theater, creating a live experience of his concept album, The Climb, that was displayed at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. The festival’s founder, Gregory Nixon, described the performance as “an engaging, multilayered work of song, storytelling and movement” and named it as “one of the highlights of this year’s Fringe.”
“See the World” will appear on Forrest’s upcoming album Sol e Sol. He has been documenting the album-making process via Instagram stories alongside a constant stream of uplifting posts along with a delightful mosaic of scenic footage that makes you want to go on your very own Canadian cross-country trek.