Following the success of Australia-wide tours alongside one of Australia’s biggest singer/songwriter names, Byron Bay native – now Melbourne-based – pop/folk songwriter, Domini Forster, gears up for the release of her very first full-length album in early 2017. Armed with a live show that highlights a melancholic sweetness; the great divide between positive and negative emotion, and; Forster’s multi-instrumental skills (with the main focus on guitar and ukulele), the last piece of the puzzle is now almost firmly secured. We caught up with Domini for a chat on all things musical in her past, and into her future, before she appears at Melting Pot’s Songwriters in the Round event at Cromwell Studios on Friday, December 9th.
Music has featured in Domini Forster’s life from a very early age. Being brought up through the Steiner School system in Byron Bay had her introduced to instruments and classroom music training through her formative school years, including a number of years where playing a stringed instrument was a compulsory part of her schooling - yet it wasn’t until Domini’s early teens where the passion exuded itself and transformed into the realm of a songwriter.
“I can’t put a finger on an exact moment, but I always loved singing, and performing and just being involved,” Domini says;
“At some point a boy taught me a few chords on guitar,” she recounts; “The first song I wrote was actually a song about breaking up with him!”
Forster candidly describes her writing style as her main cathartic process, and a way in which she deals with many of her emotions and thoughts. This is unsurprising when you take into account that many songwriters’ processes follow a similar path, however listening to some of Domini’s content and the way in which it is delivered, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was more at play.
She reaches an almost uncomfortable depth at times, clearly showcasing her full appreciation of the wide range of emotion which she intuiting. To come to terms with realising that something so deep and complex sounding having the most simplest of explanations or genesis, is sometimes the best possible result, and also provides a more direct connection with the artist as a whole.
I think this is a big part of what makes Domini Forster such a special artist, she is easily connectable. There are no smoke screens or hidden meanings, in a very much ‘what you see is what you get’ package.
“It’s a cathartic thing for me, and it just felt so satisfying, so there was never a question for me that I would ever stop doing that…”
Domini also reflects on her involvement with Melting Pot’s events over the years, particularly Songwriters in the Round as a reminder of her home area in Byron Bay:
“I grew up in a pretty community-centred place and have gone to a lot of house concerts in my time and that style of music, it just feels like the core of where music started for humans, that ‘round the campfire;’ sharing stories in song form… I love playing to people who want to listen.”
Her move to the big smoke culminated with releasing a small EP, 'Little Dreamer,' in 2013, a snippet of original material which is still available digitally through soundcloud.com/domini-forster.
Having had sprawling success throughout the past couple of years whilst on tour with Lior, Forster has fully capitalised on this exposure to a new and wide-ranging audience.
After discovering Domini at a songwriting competition in which he was the guest artist, Lior approached her to extend some on-stage opportunities which quickly transformed into a range of small regional tours with the multiple ARIA-nominated artist.
The swag of tours accepted Forster’s music so well that she was then given the support slot for Lior’s national tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his debut album, ‘Autumn Flow,’
“It was such an incredible record, and so many people have such a connection to it, so it was absolutely amazing,’ Domini reminisces.
She continues work on her debut album, ‘Raven,’ due to be released in March 2017. ‘Raven’ was recorded with the masterful Nick Huggins at his home studio in Point Lonsdale, and will prove to be Domini Forster’s biggest collection of original songs to date. Domini reflected on the making of ‘Raven’ as a difficult yet highly rewarding process;
“If any musician tells you that making an album is fun and easy… they’re bullshitting,” she explains; “But it was an amazing process, and I stressed about it, and put my heart and blood and sweat and tears into it…” something that you’ll no doubt be able to hear and experience upon its release next year.
The future journey for Domini Forster is yet to be mapped out, but if one were to interpret the direction, the feeling amongst her peers and immediate community is certainly that the only direction will be up.
Domini Forster appears with accompaniment from multi-instrumentalist and singer Phoebe Sanger this Friday night, December 9th at Melting Pot’s Songwriters in the Round – to be held at Cromwell Studios: 136A Cromwell St, Collingwood.
Written and compiled by Josh Forner for www.meltingpotonline.com