Tori Forsyth: “It feels like I wrote it to serve its purpose now”


The last time we caught up with Aussie country-turned-rock artist Tori Forsyth, the pandemic was just beginning to rear its ugly head. We had all just gone into lockdown, unbeknownst to us for longer than anyone could have anticipated, and Forsyth was about to enter the most dramatic year of her life. Coincidentally or perhaps fatefully, the album that she had started writing in 2019 became more and more relevant to every single new day that she was living, like a prophecy gradually coming true.

Speaking on Provlépseis, her full-length that comes out this Friday, she affirms that while the timelines aren’t exactly linear, no potency has been chipped off the release. “I wrote that in 2019,” she affirms, “and then recorded bits and pieces last June…It’s weird though because I feel like it’s more relevant now. That’s why the name Provlépseis came about, meaning ‘predictions’ in Greek. It feels like I wrote it to serve its purpose now.”

It would be a completely fair curiosity to wonder what it is about the record and its subject matter that ended up, despite having been written two years ago, becoming so closely intertwined with Forsyth’s experiences over the last 12 months. On that question, she justifies her preoccupation with subjects that are both universal and those specific to how the world has changed since we all locked ourselves in our houses.

“I broke up with my ex-partner this time last year and a lot of the songs reflect that,” she explains, albeit that they had already been written before they manifested into her reality. “I also feel like the way that the world has shifted over the past year; it addresses a lot of social media issues, that have become bigger issues now. I think it’s a lot to do with how I’ve come to see the world as an adult, and my struggles with the world as an adult as well. And just being a musician, in this time of having those different roadblocks, trying to form a career in art…It definitely reflects a lot of that, but it’s more about observations of the world in a very personal context.”

There’s a lot to unpack about breaking off a relationship, or moreover coming to age in a world like the one that we find ourselves in today. Forsyth is as authentic as they come, so it comes as no surprise that her relationship with social media isn’t altogether smooth sailing. Having to worry about the image that you’re projecting, especially in a context as overwhelmingly digital as our own, can come into direct conflict with trying to nurture your own wellbeing and your connections with the people around you.

"I don't feel like I'm ever going to portray this version of myself that is super punk rock."

“I’m struggling probably more with social media today than I was last year,” she elaborates. “I’m in the process of releasing a record now, and it’s the most interesting thing to battle. What I see is the struggle to be a human being and show up as a human being…I’m kind of the anti-rock star in myself. I don’t feel like I’m ever going to portray this version of myself that is super punk rock. You know, I think that’s reserved for my music and my projects, that element of [being a] musician, but for me to show up online, I need to do so in a way that feels like it’s genuinely myself. So because I’m not a band, I am just me, and if I’m not true to that, it feels super ingenuine.

“And it’s not a strictly musician/actor thing. It’s like, everybody’s got a profile. So I think reserving things for myself, but also being authentic, but also not wanting to be the centrefold for criticism, but also trying to spread something that’s positive and good whilst also saying genuine to my art, it feels very conflicting on a continual basis. The way that the algorithms work now, it’s not in favour of the artist. I don’t even know what’s it’s in favour of anymore, but it’s not in favour of art and creation. It’s very self-driven, like showing up with your face in a photo is generally what gets the traction and the boost.”

Looking at it through a wider lens, Provlépseis of course ruminates on some of these issues and how they’re affecting our identities, but it also demonstrates Forsyth’s thirst for knowledge – for self-development – and growth. It sounds like a corporate jargon convention, but actually opening yourself up to learning from others probably could have solved over half of our world’s problems, and if anything, that’s an under-exaggerationForsyth enthusiastically promotes having that mindset, using the example of herself to demonstrate its power.

“My opinions change every day, you know, I’ll say something to you and then be like, ‘Oh, maybe that was wrong’. Being open to learning and to having a different opinion…That has been a massive lesson for me. Being able to talk to people without judgement and without feeling so tied down to your own opinion that you can’t listen – as well as just knowing that everybody is feeling relatively similar, no matter where you’re at in the world.”

If justice prevails, Provlépseis will launch Tori Forsyth into a field of unanimous praise and objective success, because God knows that’s what she deserves. She might be the most genuine person making music in Australia right now, and she’s also made one hell of a record, which distressingly covers almost the full gamut of what a human being in 2021 is going through. Hopefully, her gift to write music perfectly predictive of the future carries through to next year, and the year after, and the year after that.

Provlépseis is out this Friday, 21st May. You can pre-order it here.