K. Forest embodies Toronto through and through, so when I heard he was holding a listening party for his upcoming album Forest Fire II album, I had to support the city and RSVP’d ASAP to get access to the event.
And it did not disappoint.
For those of you that don’t know, K. Forest is an up and coming singer from Brampton who made some waves with his song Guidance that was featured on Travis Scott’s album. His three projects; Forest Fire, Eyes of Taiga, and When It’s All Said And Done have all been well received and he’s stayed true to his sound.
He continues to work hard and is now looking to make an even bigger name for himself with his next record Forest Fire II, which features 13 songs and releases on June 12th.
The event was scheduled to start at nine, so I pulled up at eight to claim my stake which is always to one’s benefit. I arrived on scene to find out the event was being held in an outdoor lot on the streets of Queen west.
The walk from the alley to the lot was decorated with a mural of graffiti before opening up to square space that hosted a DJ, some lights, a small stage, a side bar and a mural of K. Forest’s logo.
I posted up as the organizers set up the event, the DJ was playing some throwback tunes ranging from Craig Mack (rest in peace), to Akon’s hit song Locked Up. I chatted with a couple of them as more guests arrived.
Funny enough, Forest had been chilling for a bit but I had no idea it was him. I’d seen him on Instagram before, but the difference in appearance from online to in person is always a trip. He was taking photos with some fans on his backdrop.
Things were now in full swing. The lot began to flood with the diversity one would expect from a Toronto scene.
There were artists, photographers, suits, hypebeasts, young people, old people, and of course beautiful women that piled in. All of that in conjunction with an open bar meant there was some fun to be had.
Small aside, attending events solo may seem like an odd thing for some, but I am a huge advocate for it. It forces you out of your comfort zone by compelling you to interact with others around you.
The moment you pull out your phone to escape, you feel out of place. I’ve always met someone new or had someone approach because you’re in the moment and they gravitate towards that like one lady did last night.
The event never got too crowded, there was just the right amount of people for the venue and the DJ’s set of current music was getting everyone in the right mood. There was also some Drake that was played and for the first time ever I saw a very tame crowd for his music.
People were still singing along, but it was not as rambunctious as a Toronto scene would expect.
Ten o’clock hits and Forest’s voice comes through the speakers thanking everyone for attending. He gets a feel of the crowd and where everyone is from before introducing the first track titled P’s & Q’s.
It’s a cool track with a nice vibe and a good opener for his album. As it closes out he mentions that Joe Budden and Mal from the Joe Budden Podcast are involved in some way, which as a fan of both, piques my interest for when the album rolls out.
Forest gets the crowd to move closer.
“Tonight we’re family,” he says before he proceeds to debut track two. If I remember correctly it’s titled Hot Minute where sings about how making music was his top priority.
After getting us all hyped up, he slows the energy down and prefaces that this next one is for the ladies. There was no title mentioned but it’s a slow tune to it’s core.
Continuing on the theme of relationships, which runs throughout the album, Forest asks the crowd if they’re here with their old or new baes.
Then says “I’ve got a banger for you guys.”
New Bae being a track about upgrading from your old relationship and the crowd was feeling it.
For the next five minutes, but what felt like an eternity for me, he tries to quiet the crowd in order to introduce his next few songs that are of the slower variety.
But you know when you’re at a party and the cops show up and you’re trying to get everyone to shut up but people keep having their side conversations thinking they’re quiet enough? Well that was the case here.
“NIIIIIIZE IT” he wails in the mic until the crowd finally falls silent. He plays two more slow songs, one of which I really enjoyed and can’t wait to hear upon release.
He follows them up with a song that he said was his favourite to make.
“It’s called 64 keys!”
“Should I play it again?”
Everyone loses their minds and requests another play.
“DJ run it back!”
And so he does.
After the second play through Forest quiets the crowd once again to let everyone know about the single Blue Moon that he just released and it seeps through the speakers.
The last song of the night was titled Example.
“I call this one Example, because you make an example out of your ex.”
Once the song ends, Forest thanks the crowd for coming through and departs.
I dap the DJ and make my way past the graffiti before almost sacrificing my body to stop the first street car from getting away.