Born in upstate New York to folksinging back-to-the-land hippie parents (Forest’s dad literally built the floor that Bob Dylan stood on at manager Albert Grossman’s Bearsville studios in Woodstock, NY. His mom heard Pete Seeger and Joan Baez play in her uncles living room in Boston and dated one of the Chambers Brothers before she met his dad), weaned on a diet of Jackson Browne and Toots and the Maytals, some of Forest’s earliest memories are of his dad playing “Poncho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt and his mom singing Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train”. Forest wrote songs with Rory Block when he was six years old, learned to juggle from WavyGravy when he was 9, and studied drumming with the late African master percussionist Babatunde Olatunji as a teenager. In college he played in a band with SNL star Maya Rudolph. They opened for No Doubt at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz before Forest left to study art in Spain.
A pioneer of the DIY movement he recorded his first record in his bedroom in San Francisco with bassist Seth Ford Young (Tom Waits, Edward Sharpe) and toured Europe for the first time, including playing at the Rally on Dam Square in Amsterdam for the Tibetan Freedom Concert.
He’s played festivals from California (Strawberry Music Festival, American River Music Festival) to Europe (Belladrum in Scottland, Fiesta City in Belgium) and opened for such luminaries as Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Rait, Steve Earle, Keb Mo, Brett Dennen and the Beach Boys (Forest met famed Beach Boys producer Van Dyke Parks at festival porch jam and later swapped songs at his house in LA). Collaborations include the jam band scene (ALO -Animal Liberation Orchestra on Jack Johnson’s label) the bluegrass scene (Hot Buttered Rum), and indie folk artists like Jolie Holland. Forest’s songs mine his deep folk roots and embrace his love of gospel, reggae, Americana, country, soul, jazz and funk.
Sun’s music has appeared on Showtime and MTV and in several film scores and soundtracks. He has also had several cameo roles in independent cinema including playing fireman in “Who there?” directed by Cassie Jaye and premiering at Tallgrass Film Festival.
Having done two successful kickstarters Forest is releasing his putting out his music on Vinyl and releasing a new song each month this year.
Forest is also a visual artist and his original paintings and prints have been shown at the Sala Lola Anglada in Barcelona and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art.
Forest resides in the Redwoods of Mill Valley, Ca when he is at home.
“…a quiet joy in a raucous world." John Davy - No Depression
" ... stripped-back, slightly twangy evocative Americana set that is a delight from start to end." Maverick Magazine (UK)
“... alt country, folk-rock jams, creating a hodgepodge of comparisons that ranged from Jack Johnson to Ryan Adams to David Gray. ...even into Bob Dylan territory ... a daunting place to tread, but pulled off with the grace of a musical veteran.” Jessica Small - Santa Barbara Independent
With over 65 million plays on Pandora, troubadour and award-winning songwriter, Forest Sun, enlivens audiences around the globe with his wealth of songs and stories, all sung and told in a laid-back California style. Sun's soulful music draws on a deep well of Americana and is compared to everyone from Jack Johnson, John Mayer and The Avett Brothers to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.
Forest Sun’s music is featured in film and television, including MTV's Good Vibes, the Showtime Series The Big C, and three surf films, Land of Saints, A Common Thread and 5th Symphony Document. Forest’s songs appear on the benefit CD Burning Heart, Songs for the Gulf (to raise money for cleaning up the oil spills) and Songs for Laura Vol 1 and Vol. 2 (to raise awareness for people with cancer and their families).
You can also hear Sun on San Francisco’s favorite radio KFOG’s Local Scene Vol. 1 & 3. Forest’s music has found it’s way to Japan with the CD Dancing Again released by Buffalo Records and songs featured on the Japanese compilations Surf Time 1 and Surf Time 2.
2012 - NAPPA honoree, Just for Fun
2011 - Best Song Nominee, International Songwriting Competition with "Trampoline."
2011 - Best Album, Kids Music Awards with Just for Fun, Songs for the Little Ones.
2011 - Best Song, Kids Music Awards with "Trampoline"
2009 - Best Song Nominee, Just Plain Folks Awards with "Gurus and Rockstars."
2007 - 1st place, Pacific Song Writing Competition with Drops in the Ocean. (video)
Forest Sun tours solo and with a rotating cast of fine musicians including Gawain Mathews (Mickey Hart, Ben Lee, Tony Furtado), David and Enion Tiller on mandolin and violin (TAARKA), David Phillips (Peter Rowan) dobro and lap steel, Steve Adams (ALO/Nicki Bluhm) on Bass and Rob Hooper (Hot Buttered Rum, Seth Walker) on drums.
photo credit - Ingrid Serban