Introducing: Crooked Forest

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Nashville-based record label Average Joes Entertainment celebrated eight new RIAA certifications allocated to several singles in its catalog during their...

Bridge: Thanks for sitting down with us! Let’s start by having you give a little insight into your journey through the music scene…

CF: I’m still reasonably new to it. I started by producing my own music and putting out a 3-song EP in July 2020 called “A Quiet Place To Scream” and since then have put out a slew of singles and 4 other EP’s which you can find all over my various social media channels and through my website Most of what I’ve been doing has been all based online, promoting new songs as I write and develop them but I’m hoping to do more in-person events and tours soon once I’m able to. 

Bridge: What are you doing to push a positive narrative as an artist and with your music?

CF: The initial point of releasing any music at all was to share experiences I’ve had personally in an effort to normalize conversations around difficult subjects. I dive in and out of a lot of issues but there are two things that drive a lot of my decision making as an artist 1) I’m actively in alcohol recovery and try to promote that as opposed to perpetuating the myth that being in a band is all about drinking, drugs and parties as was more common when I was first getting involved in music. 2) To show other artists and people in general that it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to make mistakes, and making music doesn’t have to break the bank. A lot of industry-types will have new artists believe that they need to shell out massive amounts of cash to “make it” but that’s just not the reality anymore – I show a lot of my music production process through my channels to help others learn how to get involved in the scene if they’re not sure where to start. 

Bridge: Are there any rituals you have developed over the years that are helpful to your music making process?

CF: I’m not sure I have really, a lot of what I do is spontaneous in that I often only really sit down to work on something when I get an internal push to do so, but when I really am hunkering down on a new record or song production, there are a couple things that I tend to do: Start with coffee and rough-plan out the day’s session. Make sure to make time for a long walk, either before, during, or both. That second one is the most important since I tend to get caught up in what I’m working on and will forget to even drink water if I’m really in the thick of something. 

Bridge: Could you talk about an UP you had in your career?

CF: Prior to starting my current music projects I was fortunate to spend many years in the Canadian music scene as a professional audio engineer working in a variety of studios and for big names in the industry that I would’ve never dreamed of working with. A lot of what I do now, production-wise, stems from watching those people and how they work. 

Bridge: Could you talk about a DOWN you had in your career?

CF: I’ve had many, like most artists it’s a lot of downs with a few up’s when you’re getting started. I left the industry for a number of years after facing a lot of obstacles that seemed directly tied to being a woman working in professional sound environments (studio and live), not receiving adequate payment for my work or credits on the sessions I worked for years. This is still something I think about regularly but these days it pushes me forward instead of it holding me back. 

Bridge: How do you think your experience has helped you shape your career and approach your music? 

CF: I made sure to jump around to a lot of different parts of the industry when I was younger, as I mentioned, from studio work, to live, to teaching and education, managing bands and promoting shows and more. The summation of all these things has given me a more well-rounded perspective of the industry as a whole and I’m not sure without them if I’d be able to tackle my own career in the hands-on way I do now, self-managing, self-producing, and self-promoting all at once. I’m not saying I recommend it and very much look forward to the day I have a great team working alongside and behind me to push all my projects but, I am grateful that I’m able to do it. 

Bridge: How did you develop your community of fans over the years?

CF: I think I’m still really just getting started and I appreciate everyone who takes a second to stream a song or tune into one of my livestream shows. There’s a long road ahead and I’m hoping that my music continues to build and have an impact on listeners. 

Bridge: Wasted Time is a great track. Was there any hesitation in releasing the new music?  

CF: Thanks! There was actually a lot of hesitation before I ultimately decided to put this one out officially but I was really excited about how it turned out, it’s one of my favorite productions so far. Earlier this year I started to get really in my head about being someone who plays and arranges all the music, which is what led me to collaborating with a drummer on Wasted Time. I’m glad I did it and love the new drums, but I still find myself in a bit of a limbo about whether or not now’s the right time to be doing collaborations like this. The intention with Crooked Forest was always to put a proper band together and as cool as it is to be able to shuffle tracks back and forth to other artists, there’s something to be said about creating music in a room with other musicians in person.

Bridge: Talk to us about new music coming up for you? What is the drive right now for releasing new music?

CF: I only really have one track in mind right now slated to be released early in the new year but I’m otherwise trying to put the brakes on a little bit with releases until I figure out what approach I want to take next, or what stories I find most compelling to tell right now. That said, I fully intend to share some new productions and demos as I build them to give listeners an inside look at how they come together, so there’ll be some new stuff coming soon, just not sure how it’ll be packaged yet. 

Follow Crooked Forest at the links below!

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