San Francisco-based newcomer Forrest Nolan is making a play for a prime spot on your sunny days playlist with his new tune ‘Summer Vibe’ – a made-for-coming-of-age-rom-coms bop about someone who makes your summer that much better. It’s all shorts and t-shirts, ice creams and road trips to the seaside. Give it a listen below, and get to know Forrest a little better, too.
Hello! How’s it going? What are you up to today?
Dork, dork, dork. I’m well — thanks for asking. Pretty sleepy having looked at about a billion and a half rental units in LA. When I close my eyes, I see the Craigslist homepage. This has been my last three weeks or so. I really shouldn’t be so picky…
What first sparked your interest in music? Have you always wanted to be a musician?
I started singing in boys choir when I was 4 years old. I hated losing out on play-dates and birthday parties to rehearsals, but I can recognise that I did love to sing. Then Guitar Hero 3 came out, and I was hooked enough to finish the whole game in a week, deciding I needed to learn how to play a real guitar. I googled how to play ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ by Radiohead and started whispering interview questions and answers to myself, locking my bedroom door so no one would hear. I fantasised about having a youtube channel, and every day, I’d perform covers to my devoted subscribers, aka my mirror. Today I am obsessed with music though I’ll admit I think my 12-year-old self was also pretty into having people’s attention.
How did you approach pinning down your sound?
I figure as long as the music I’m making is honest and I’m not arbitrarily following any rules of songwriting or production, then whatever it turns out to be, I’ll accept as my “sound”. Making music that feels fresh is part of what excites me, so I just always follow my gut!
Where do you find inspiration, both in music and in life?
Mostly Travis Scott’s Instagram account. For music and life. Love that man. Other than that… hmm… relationships by any magnitude, though it often comes back to my relationship with myself: did I brush my teeth this morning? Do I still know how to do long division? Do I reach out to my friends enough? Etc. Also, the Gorillaz, Taylor Swift, and Drizzy.
What were your first steps for getting your music ‘out there’?
In high school, I was in a band (shout out Eli R-A, and Simon Clinton), we released an EP and then an album via CD Baby. We’d do tons of live shows and even go around the city taping posters to walls and on telephone poles. Little did we know we could have just started using Musical.ly, smh. When it eventually came to putting music out on my own — I dropped the live shows and just focused on making music good enough to do any of the real work for me.
And what’s been the highlight of your time as a musician so far?
When you put in years and years of practice, and finally, it leads up to creating a song that is exactly what you’ve wanted to make for your whole life; I have been brought to tears many times. Those moments and finding out Finneas heard one of the unreleased songs and thought it was good lmao.
Your single ‘Summer Vibe’ is great, how did you approach putting that one together?
I had the combined emotion of freaking out because a meeting had gone really well, and freaking out because my girlfriend and I were “taking a break”. It was summer last year, a ukulele was at my side, and the entire chorus came to me instantly.
Where does it rank on your ‘favourite Forrest Nolan songs’ league table?
I can definitively say it’s number three behind two other songs, one unreleased and the other not even finished…
What else are you working on right now?
Finding a rental unit for my brother and I, finding a community to be a part of, finding the left sock to my way-too-expensive-artisan-made-tie-dye pair of socks. $18! Never again!! Ok, one more time!!!
Music aside, what do you do for fun?
My brother and I have been devising ways to get back at our neighbour that plays one song on guitar from 11pm-2am every night opposite the wall we sleep next to (we’re sharing a bed rn lol.) We’ve also been trying to commit to watching movies or a TV show, but we both get way too distracted by either TikTok or “Warzone gameplay” on YouTube. Yes, I’m embarrassed to say this.
Is there anything else we should know?
Grammy’s 2022. If not that, then: Grammy’s 2023. If not that, then: Grammy’s Etc,. Honestly, I’ve only watched the Grammy’s through clips online, but I do still want to get Album of the Year. Ultimately, Astroworld was snubbed, so if it’s not meant to be, at least him and I can commiserate. Also, thank you Dork for your lovely interview!!! And thank you reader for making it to the end!!! My 23-year-old self is freaking out for my 12-year-old self. <3
Forrest Nolan’s single ‘Summer Vibe’ is out now.