Bristol Recording & Voice Studios • Bristol Entertainment • 169 Massachusetts Ave • Boston • MA • 02115
Email: info@bristolstudios.com  • Phone: 617-247-8689

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Spotlight on April Forrest

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Award-winning dancer, choreographer, and singer April Forrest stepped into her first dance class at the striking age of two, although she tells Bristol Studios, “I was dancing in my crib!”  Having trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, and hip hop, Forrest is an all-around dancer and more than fully qualified to lead the dance program at Bristol Studios.  After training at the local dance studios by the time she was in middle school, Forrest wanted something more and decided to explore two hours west of her hometown, New Britain, CT, looking for new challenges.  She animatedly relives her experience of traveling from Connecticut to New York every week to take lessons at Broadway Dance Center.

“Now THAT was fun.  A fourteen year old girl roaming around NYC by herself.  Actually, now it sounds dangerous.  Good thing I always had a pepper spray and an intimidating stare.  I also went to a Performing Arts High School where I majored in dance.  That was mostly ballet.  Ballet is my love above everything else in the world.”

Forrest choreographed for JADA for several years as a member of Boston based Pop/R&B girl group.  Consisting of four talented and beautiful ladies, JADA members include April Forrest, Lauren O’Keefe, Jacyn Tremblay, and Elle Wine.  But even before she joined the group, Forrest’s choreography career began in eighth grade.

“There was an artist in Connecticut who was part of RADIO DISNEY with me and she needed choreography for her backup dancers. That was my first real gig as a choreographer. Since then I just kept going. Choreographing for JADA was interesting since I was in the group and also the newest and youngest member.  It was a funny situation to be in, but I handled it with total professionalism. As much as I loved doing it, as the years went by it became difficult for me to have that role because I really wanted to be challenged but with my own choreography that was pretty much impossible.  It was so familiar and easy for me. At that point we brought in a choreographer that had trained me in NY. Everyone was happy, including me!”

The dance classes that Forrest teaches at Bristol can be described as fun and relaxed.  Being geared towards performers with limited dancing experience, Forrest provides them with technique exercises that are needed for a strong performance.  She also says that it is a safe and healthy environment to discover and play in where there is no competition.

“Everyone in the group class gets along very well and they are all supportive of each other. It's like a little dancing family!”

As a senior in high school, Forrest decided to move to Boston by herself to pursue a music career and found herself teaching dance immediately after her arrival.  Although Forrest started singing when she was really young, she had to work towards it, “I’m not one of these people that came out of the womb singing.”  Ballet was always her passion, however, over the years she evolved into a well-rounded artist and performer, even branching out to songwriting.  But the clouds for a singing career opened up in 2004 for Forrest.

“I saw some Bristol artists performing in Faneuil Hall and I thought to myself, "I want THAT."  So I introduced myself to Ric and Laura Poulin (the owners) and started lessons immediately.”

And those lessons paid off, as she joined JADA shortly thereafter.  Originally Forrest trained with Brian Orvek, but then switched to Ric Poulin. With extensive training and experience as a major label artist she recently joined the teaching staff at Bristol Studios.  Forrest primarily teaches voice, but can also be found instructing others on Artist Development, Dance, and Performance Skills.  Training at Bristol and being a part of JADA presented Forrest with the opportunity she had been waiting for.

“In elementary school I realized that I wanted more than just dancing.  I wanted to be a Superstar.  I think I already was inside, I just didn't know how to get it out.  As I got older I started taking classical voice lessons, but they weren't getting me the sound I wanted.  I modeled, acted in movies and on stage, directed plays, and choreographed entire ballet pieces by the time I was in middle school.  I wanted something more and singing was always my weakness.  I remember wanting to sing like Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.  Then, of course, it was all about Christina (Aguilera); I idolized her.”

Not only is Forrest varied in her artistic training, but she has a range of musical influences.  She describes herself as “all over the place, interested in artists such as Bruno Mars, Miranda Lambert, Maroon 5, Eminem and different styles including swing, classical, and jazz.

“I love everything, but as an artist I like to channel Bruno Mars and Maroon 5, but with an edge to it like Michael Jackson.”

Bristol released their annual holiday CD where Forrest can be heard singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.  Although the song was recorded last minute, Forrest has enough training and talent that she was able to produce a great track.  

Forrest describes herself as “edgy, versatile, and original” and has a goal of coming out with something “fresh and exciting that people can’t help but love.”  She is really excited about her new original song called “Again” that hopefully will have the ingenuity that Forrest desires.  She admires Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga for their inventiveness and aspires to have the same effect and same kind of impact.

“I want people to hear my music and go ‘Whoa, who is that!?’”

Being in JADA has brought Forrest and the other three girls recognition and experience.  They’ve performed all over the country and have done shows like the KISS concert and sang the National Anthem at multiple Boston sporting events.  They have also performed with artists like LMFAO, Britney Spears, JoJo, Flo Rida and many others.  But the highest accomplishment for Forrest was when they won a Boston Music Award in 2008.

“I was totally shocked and my mom started crying.  It was nice to feel that hometown support and it's a pretty prestigious award here in Boston.”

In regards to artists that Forrest would love to collaborate with, she immediately answered, “David Guetta”.  She sees them working well together and thinks he is really talented and has a unique vision.  Forrest would also love to get in the studio with Ryan Tedder from One Republic.

When it comes down to it, Forrest acknowledges Bristol as the launch pad for her artistically.  Prior to finding Bristol she felt lost.  She would improve and then stagnate, rather than a steady or exponential increase, she described it as “spinning in circles”.  But after training at Bristol she not only was able to access her singing potential, she was able to develop as a well-rounded artist.

“Everything an artist needs, Bristol has. Recording studios, engineering, voice lessons, marketing skills, performance training, dance lessons. I mean the list goes on and on. It's kind of crazy actually what we have here. You don't see this anywhere else, and the best part is that the team here is so invested in each person that walks through the door. It's not smoke and mirrors. We have the tools, we can teach you the tools, and we genuinely care about your future.”

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