Forest Blakk has been trying to write songs for his nana for a decade.
“She was my stepdad’s stepmom, and she was the first safe haven I ever had in my life,” Blakk told PEOPLE in an emotional interview. “I was 15 years old when I moved in with her with two garbage bags and a suitcase. My breath, she was my first hope.”
Indeed, the child who would become a famous singer/songwriter had experienced a very complicated life up to that point.
“I think the word ‘messy’ almost does it justice,” Blakk said quietly. “I’ve never had someone to cheer me on before. My dad would rob me of that feeling. If I tried to play hockey, he would try and pay me to score goals, when I wanted my dad to show up at the game. ”
A silence ensued, as if Blakk wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue this trip down a rather scary memory lane.
“My father sold 10 grams of cocaine to my stepfather and my stepfather. Bought my name from him. Buy I am from him. He stopped. “I’ve moved 10 times a year. My father was a gangster. I’ve seen guns pulled on people at a young age. I’ve seen people try to assassinate. [my father] At our doorstep. The man shot him several times, but he passed it.”
Fortunately, Blakk found safety in Nana’s basement and found an emotional outlet within the guitar’s strings. It was on that instrument that Blakk finally wrote the song “I wish you knew” with Steven Solomon, David Hodges, Drew Kennedy – a song that appeared on his new album. Every little detail EP.
“I wrote that song to say that I hope you know that every day I’m out here doing something, every time I play a chord, every time I make an album or an EP or I go out and I play for an audience, I really miss you,” Blakk said of his instrument to his grandmother.
It’s truly surprising that despite the brutal challenges that Blakk has gone through, he still finds a way to serve as the creator of heartfelt songs such as “Let You Love”, “Fall in Me” and “If You Love Her.” But coming to “If you love you” came because of some pain.
“In the middle of making my second EP side And I’ve been on tour for about 22 months,” Blakk said of the song he co-wrote with Steven Solomon.” At that time, I had this relationship, and I thought I would marry her. And I didn’t really tell anyone this, but I came home with her to have a story. My whole life has gone out from under me.”
In 2019, Blakk returns to Los Angeles and lives in a car that his label has rented for him, trying to find a way to survive with little money and very little confidence in his future. But in that pain came “If You Love Her,” Blakk’s single that went on to have more than 310 million streams worldwide.
“That tragedy was the greatest gift I’ve ever received in my career,” said Blakk, who will embark on a 17-date North American tour this January.
“I think the reason it connects with so many people is because love, even though it’s complicated, is very simple in the sense of what you have to do, just be kind, say ‘I love you.’ You don’t need a big house, you don’t need a big thing. Sometimes it’s those little gestures that really make a love story.”
And now, Blakk is living his last love story with his new fiancé, Tooley Jones.
“I felt the whole world was black and white until the day I saw her,” raves Blakk. “And then everything was painted with her. It changed my whole life.”