British/Colombian singer-songwriter Vanessa Forero has been composing since the age of nine. She has mainly written film/TV scores and songs for other artists, but since being selected in 2015 by Brit award singer-songwriter Beth Orton to write with and perform at her UK show, Forero decided to become her own artist and record her own songs in her distinctive Indie/Folk style with Latino influences.
“To be selected out of 350 more eligible performing artists was a huge kickstarter for me, pushing me into that ‘you can do this too’ territory. Beth and the other artists saw me as someone I'd not yet become, but who I wanted to be, so it was a real re-defining and re-inventing time for me.”
Vanessa grew up in Bradford, Yorkshire but her mother was abandoned in the Colombian jungle as a child and survived with monkeys before being rescued - yes really! This in turn affected Forero's own childhood and upbringing.
"I suppose being raised by a resilient, survivor type mama made us a not-so emotionally led family, so time on the piano became my only real space where I could let all of me out. I liked living in the shadows as a child, almost fearing my own voice, so I probably spent more time learning to talk on the piano than any other way. We'd talk for hours and hours about everything, everything I wasn't bold enough to express with words out loud. Even still, my expression through music has always been in a background, hidden kind of way as a screen composer or keys player. Now after facing a few fears, I've literally 'found my voice' on the other side and discovered there's a lot I want to say over here."
Vanessa has been on a personal journey as well as a musical one in the last year and feels she has a lot she wants to get off her chest in her forth-coming EP.
“In the years spent serving other peoples musical vision, I'd not realised how much I'd lost my own musical voice. But the more I chiselled it out and carved it into shape, the more I brought my true self - both personally and musically - back to centre stage on the Vanessa show, and its a place full of colour, feathers, fun and wildness. It's taken a hell of a journey to get here, which is why this EP is called "From The Uproar" - things got messy, but it was worth it.”
You can also hear echoes of Forero’s Colombian roots - of which she is very proud - in the use of Colombian skin-drums and upbeat rhythms in her gutsy Indie/Folk sound.
Forero is a skilled multi-instrumentalist as well as a producer, composer, arranger, and now singer. She is also passionate about working with women in the industry.
"There's not enough girls picking up drum sticks or getting stuck into studio manuals, and I think a lot of that has to do with it not being a suggestion to them in the first place - because "that's the boys job". I'd love to see more female role models that suggest otherwise and remind the girls that it's an option for them too. Besides, I just find having a bunch of talented, hot, wild señoritas on stage really powerful and makes things loads of fun for me, so I've herded in the girls for this one."
The songstress is also a bestselling author, having co-written the book on her mother’s extraordinary life ‘The Girl With No Name’, for which National Geographic made the globally broadcast feature documentary ‘Woman Raised By Monkeys’. The sequel book is on its way.
Forero’s self-produced debut EP ‘From The Uproar’ is due for release 28th March 2016.