Canadian producer Zacharie-Jos Montpetit, known as Forrest., is the latest signee to Defected’s fresh and innovative sub-label DFTD. Making his debut with his three track EP, Creep. Forrest. finds a cohesive fabric in his knack for deep vibes and skillfully produced outings, all of which work to solidify the EP a truly masterful work of art. We met up with him to discuss his newest work and see where he thinks the future of dance music is headed.
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Earmilk: Let’s start by diving into your debut EP, Creep, which just dropped last month via DFTD. Where did the concept of the album come about?
Forrest: Yes, let’s get into it. Creep was actually the first song completed when I arrived in London last October. "YSL" was one of the first Forrest tracks ever written and "Face Down" was done this winter and was my 3rd official Re.You collaboration. Really pleased all these songs got to see the light of day simultaneously, they all represent a very distinct part of the Forrest. path.
EM: Is the production process for you always the same?
FT: I would say it depends on the track yes and of course if it’s a full on original or a collaboration. For the past year or so I’ve worked with Jonathan Doyon, so he sends me a loop, I’ll work on vocals, and we go from there. Same goes with collaborators; I’ll do the vocals and give my general input. That’s how it’s done really.
EM: How did you link up with Defected and DFTD?
FT: Defected were looking for some new young acts to develop and really connected with the unsigned tracks my manager sent them. I then met Simon Dunmore and everyone at the Defected office where we connected almost instantly and started from there. I’m proud to be affiliated with such a notorious House music institution.
EM: How did the EP name come about?
FT: It comes directly from the lyrics of the A-Side “Creep”. It goes “Yeah it’s me, creepin’ on, perhaps I’m right, it’s been so long”. Also we all can relate a little with this word, we all have some kind of Creep side. Some more than others… Haha. But yeah it’s pretty straight forward even though a creep by definition is everything but up-front and direct.
EM: How was it working with Jonathon Doyon? Do you find making music is easier when producing alongside someone else instead of alone? Are there any issues that arise when not working alone?
FT: Yeah Jonathan was a game changer. I started Forrest in Berlin and soon as I got back to Montreal I went to him for some much needed help. He was actually my sound-engineering teacher a couple years ago. The first track we completed together was Masquerade and from that point everything took off. We have a key connection when it comes to making music. He’s one of the best producers I know, extremely grateful for all his work; a Key component.
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EM: What about the other collaborators on the EP?
FT: The man, Re.You. As I was saying this completes what I like to call our first “Trilogy” of collaborations. First one “Are You For Real” came out last winter both Vinyl and Digital on Berlin based Souvenir Music. Second came out last spring on the notorious Mobilee, which was a pretty big deal for me since I’ve been a fervent fan of the label for quite some time now. “Face Down” closes the dance on DFTD, couldn’t be more satisfied with the turnout.
EM: Tell us about the music you grew up on and how it has played an impact on your sound today?
FT: Montreal, Canada, one of the most diverse cities I’ve ever played; a mix of Europe and America. I grew up listening to Punk, Rap, Pop, everything; the various sounds have influenced my vocals/what I write. The vocals are an extremely important to keep the dancefloor going. I learned how to play in so many different circumstances, to so many different musically inclined corwds, I appreciate this more than ever now that I’m fortunate enough to be touring quite a bit.
EM: Do you think deep house has made a comeback?
FT: think it’s mostly the term “Deep” that has made a comeback more than anything. I don’t think it’s relevant to talk about the Deep House aspect for me as like EDM, it’s been rinsed out in recent public conversations. But I am grateful for Deep Selection, where more and more we take chances and have a unique musical taste. For me it’s a great way to mix the more accessible stuff everyone wants to hear with the more emotional or harsh type of stuff I would equally want to hear when I go out.
EM: Do you produce with a theoretical mind, or strictly creative? Aka do you use music theory when going to the drawing board.
FT: No not at all. I have quite a significant musical background: I played 6 years of Violin as a kid, 4 years of piano and played guitar, bass and sang in bands before starting this whole Dj’ing thing. It sticks in you, that’s why the vocals are pretty up-front as well. Alongside the production it gives the project its true identity.
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