Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of performance. Do we only perform on stage? Or do we perform our everyday lives, too? Do we ever not perform? There’s so much to figure out. But I never felt ready enough to get myself out there and practice performing in front of a live audience. When a chance appeared for me to perform at a club night, I went for it head first not really knowing what I was doing or getting myself into. Turns out I got myself into the best part of my life so far, the one where I discover the joy and the ecstasy of performing live.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
I think people find the way we started our band the most interesting part. Forrest Flowers started very much in a punk manner. I was contacted by a nightclub offering me a slot to perform. And I agreed to it having nothing in mind – that was two weeks prior to the event. My friend Sunny agreed to play guitar for me once. At that point, our ex-drummer Zee has never played drums before but after my persistent begging, she agreed to do it once for the night, too. I couldn’t find anyone for the bass. The plan, for now, was for me to play the bass and sing at the same time which, as my first performance, promised to be tragic. It was now a week until the gig and I had some material down for the songs but still no bass player. And so I went to Tinder and changed my profile in search of not love but a decent bass player. A miracle happened – I matched with our future bassist Tom. I explained the situation to him and somehow our chaotic arrangement sounded fine to him. We rehearsed twice before playing the gig which went surprisingly well apart from us being fully cancelled from the night just a couple hours prior. But that’s for another story.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I think mental and physical self-care is extremely important. It’s easy to forget about your health when your career is built around regular gigs, partying, drinking, drugs, etc. As fun as it is, you have to have a certain sense of responsibility to know when your body and mind need a break. I feel quite lucky that I feel comfortable in both extremely intense situations and extremely relaxed, too. Say after playing a loud punk gig or DJing at a gabber rave the night before, I can go sit alone by a lake and play the ukulele the afternoon after. For me, it’s all about finding that balance of stimulating yourself enough with work, music, people but also making sure you have your space to recoup and be ready to get back into the mad world again.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I couldn’t have had any of this without my closest friends who also happen to be my bandmates. Our guitarist Sunny is my oldest of friends here in London and has been there for me for years from when I was struggling with dysphoria and working on my transition to now where I have a completely different life and identity. Having such unconditional support provides so much security that it made me realise – I’m not making friends here, I’m making family. It’s amazing really that we can stay so close and also be able to write songs, perform and have fun together drama-free.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Activism and performing are my main outlets. Witnessing inequality outrages me so much. There’s some sort of sensor in my mind that gets triggered whenever I see people being mistreated due to something they have no control over. So I try to fight discrimination by being so public about issues surrounding LGBTQ+ community, BIPOC, Sex Workers, Immigrants. I try to help where I can; recently, I’ve compiled an archive of links to active fundraisers and resources surrounding the issues communities I mentioned above struggle with currently. As a band, we go to protests, support and host fundraiser events, write songs about our own journeys with identity issues, sexuality, mental health, homelessness, addiction, etc. No other feedback makes me feel happier than people contacting me saying that they could relate to a song or a post and it made them feel understood and less alone in their issue. There’s so much that society needs to learn to accept. But really, to me, it’s just about encouraging people to manifest their humanity.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
I can’t think of a specific quote but one thing comes to mind. I often recall this comedy sketch from Limmy’s Show where he shows a dog sticking its head out of a moving car window. And he narrates saying: “A dog doesn’t worry itself about how everything works, how it can go so fast down this motorway in this thing that doesn’t even have legs. It simply sticks it’s head out of the window and enjoys the sensation of the wind in its face and the way it makes its ears flap and how it feels like it’s flying down the street. Why is the dog so chill about everything? Because it doesn’t think about it too much. Be like the dog.”
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I and the band have our joint Instagram profile “@forrest.flowers”. We can also be found on Facebook, Spotify, Youtube, and Bandcamp under the same name.