For those who haven’t heard your music before, tell us a little about Forest Claudette?
My name is Forest Claudette. I’m an artist from Naarm, I grew up in the forest and I come from a musical family.
The Year of February is your first EP, how long have these tracks been in the vault and how did it all come together?
They’ve been in the vault for varying times. Its an EP that brought together different times in my life. I knew I wanted the first EP to capture the full sonic spectrum I’m trying to occupy. I also wanted it to feel coherent but varied as a way to represent those different points of my life.
Any recording highlights?
Working with Chris Hartz on ‘Hologram’ and ‘Gone Without A Trace’ was definitely a highlight. He has become a friend and a mentor.
The vinyl was pressed at Suitcase Records, what was it like hearing the test pressing for the first time?
I listened to it with my brother at his house, but his record player was broken so we thought maybe the record was warped. We then took it to a record store down the road from my house and the guy was nice enough to let me use his record player and its sounded great.
What track of yours would you recommend to someone who hasn’t listened to Forest Claudette before and why?
My ambition is to not be defined by one single track or can’t be held to one genre. If you want something upbeat, listen to ‘Gone Without A Trace; if you want something sad listen to ‘Goodbye’ and if you want to disassociate, listen to ‘Hologram’
One word to describe The Year of February?
With a live show that launched last year and a debut performance at Bigsound, before then selling out shows at The House of Music and Booze and The Gasometer Hotel, have there been any favourite moments performing?
Its always split between after a show being able to take a second to soak in what’s happened with my band and my team and the other half is when other people know the lyrics and I’m like, WTF.
Any funny stories or mishaps?
Yeah I spilt my water bottle at Panama Festival and as I went to pick it up I put the mic straight into the feedback and deafened myself (and probably everyone else) for like 5 mins. It was terrible but very funny.
Tell us about your live show, the design, the band, the lot.
I play with my two dear friends, Ari and Sab (Sab makes beautiful music themselves – go check it out) and we’ve been practising together for the past 5 years or so on and off as the diff versions of the EP evolved. For the moment it’s just the three of us and that’s really fun. Hopefully in the future we’ll meet a bass later that is as weird as us so they can join our family.
What Australian artists have influenced your approach to writing and creativity?
Sampa The Great & Genesis Owusu. I think they are far and away the most detail oriented and fully formed Australian acts that I look at when it comes to recorded music, their live shows. Their vision is super clear. And I love to see Black people winning.
What’s an album of theirs you would recommend and why?
Sampa The Great – The Return. I always admire how Sampa puts herself into her music and you can feel it – the authenticity, the storytelling. I just believe every word she says. And the visuals are fucking sick.
Do you have a favourite store to go digging for records? Either in Australia or overseas?
Sky Diver Records on Smith Street.
Where will we find you on Record Store Day 2023?
I’ll be on tour with Ruel in Fremantle.
Do you have any must haves that are also on the list for this year?
Tyler the Creator’s Call Me if You Get Lost (Estate Sale Edition) and Little Simz No Thank You.
Keep up to date with all things Forest Claudette via their Website and Instagram.