Forefeather, a Minneapolis hip-hop artist, recently made a pilgrimage to India that has heavily influenced his music and changed his view on life. During his travel, he captured a variety of sounds for his energetic new album, 3Rhythms.
Forefeather grew up in the Twin Cities, which allowed him to experiment with several genres of music. This experimenting brought him to hip-hop. “I always knew [hip-hop] was something I wanted to do,” said Forefeather. He began writing and recording music, and shortly thereafter he started performing with other local artists including Kristoff Krane. These initial performances gave Forefeather the feeling that his career of being a musician was just beginning.
Being an artist in Minnesota has given Forefeather a sense of empowerment over his music, “I feel I always knew I had permission to play whatever type of music I wanted,” he said.
In his earlier years he performed as Zach HB, but later changed his name to Forefeather. The name Forefeather comes from the idea of a wing’s forefeather: the foremost feather of a wing. He said he chose this name because he’s not trying to stand out on his own so much as he’s trying to lead the way with his music—just as a forefeather guides a bird’s wing without standing out.
Forefeather’s newest album, 3Rhythms, features songs he wrote during and after his two-week pilgrimage to India. While there, he recorded a variety of sounds which are used in songs on the album. Everything from religious chants to conversations to a man reciting a poem are included. Along with giving his music added energy, these sounds provide a journey-like experience. Besides telling his story, the album is also open-ended enough for listeners to fill in the spaces for their own story.
When Forefeather is not performing, he’s teaching yoga. Teaching yoga has influenced his new music, he said, making it more mindful. 3Rhythms tells the story of his travels, along with his journey to self-awareness. He plans to continue to travel and to create more music that he hopes can heal the world.
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Kelly Busche is a member of the class of 2019 at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities with plans to major in journalism.