Interview: Tori Forsyth makes a country comeback with All We Have Is Who We Are (LP)

Tori Forsyth releases her third album All We Have Is Who We Are today through Island Records. Following her Golden Guitar-nominated debut album Dawn of the Dark (2018) and the rock album Provlepseis (2021), the new record includes the QMA 2024 Country Award winning single “Sometimes”, as well as most recent release “All We Are”. Produced by Scott Horscroft (Paul Kelly, Silverchair) at the renowned Grove Studios on the Central Coast, All We Have Is Who We Are marks a promising return to Tori’s country roots.

We had the pleasure of chatting to Tori ahead of the release of All We Have Is Who We Are – read on for more!

Hi Tori, congratulations on the new album! It’s been a few years between releases for you. Catch us up on what you’ve been up to.

I guess COVID happened… So that definitely stifled a lot of my creativity much like a lot of artists, so I just wasn’t putting my energy towards anything creative. I just didn’t have it in me. It got to the point where I was just like, ‘I don’t think I want to be a musician anymore’ and I had a very black and white way of thinking about it. I was either doing it or I wasn’t which I since learned is not the way anything works, there is a lot of grey area. […] I am inherently a musician which is just what I realised after I kind of gave it up. And I then began creating more than I had in the last couple of years and wrote this record. So I think that coming to the understanding that I am a creative person, I am a musician regardless of circumstance is what was going on behind the scenes for me the past few years.

Well that’s good to have you back! Your last album was more of a rock release and here we see you coming back to the country genre. What propelled this choice? Is country music where your heart is?

I mean it’s funny… I feel like I answer this question slightly different each time. I think that no matter what kind of way an album comes out it is exactly the truth at that given time when I release music. It is the truth for that period of time. When I released a rock record [Provlepseis] I was on the road more […] the way my life was was a lot more chaotic and fast paced, I was listening to a different kind of music at the time. […] I was playing a lot of pubs and I wanted to write a record to play in pubs with the band. Unfortunately we didn’t get to tour it as much as I wanted because of COVID but that was its purpose, it was to be able to perform. I think there is such magic in going to a rock show and experiencing the energy that comes from a powerful female front-woman so I wanted to be able to experience that for myself and I did get to do a few shows with this record. We still play a couple of the songs in the set now.

But as to coming back [to country music], I don’t think I necessarily ever left. I grew up in the country and it’s a part of who I am as a person. So I don’t know if it has ever necessarily left me […] I think coming back to it I was more inspired by my circumstances. I was living back on the farm and grounding down to the way I grew up again. I was given the opportunity to do that during COVID, so I was experiencing that live again which inspires to listen to that music again. I think I am very influenced by my immidiate environment when I’m writing a record.

Being a country music fan myself I can tell that the trend at the moment is very much that ‘bro country’ style, the likes of Morgan Wallen. And I can see that your new record takes a little bit more of an alternative direction. I can tell that you definitely didn’t look to follow any predicted path. What makes this album really you?

I think that not necessarily making a choice was what produced this album. I definitely didn’t sit down and thought I want to be the counter to the culture. I think that’s where authentic creativity kind of comes from. I do listen to pop country and I think there is a place for anything in music and it’s all about personal preference. I also think that whilst Morgan Wallen is huge […] there is a bit of a revolution for that really low fly, lyrically driven, emotionally driven music as well with the likes of Zac Bryan and Oliver Anthony. […] We really starting to see that passionate, a little rough around the edges music coming up to meet pop country and them coexisting in the same space.

You offer a couple of collaborations in this album: there is the acclaimed collab with Shane Nicholson “Sometimes” and Kasey Chambers added backing vocals to your single “Good Enough”. How did you go about working with these high end artists? Tell me about those experiences.

I’ve known Shane for a long time, for about ten years since I’ve been doing this, I met him early on. He has been part of every project I ever done and I am really inspired by him and his music… and his take on creativity. I really wanted him as a part of this project as well. It is the first record of mine he hasn’t produced but I wanted him in it in some capacity. And I thought this song is perfect for him to sing on. So yeah.. I asked him and he said yes and here you go!

And Kasey Chambers: I always wanted to collaborate with her on a song so I sent her a message and she said she will happily sing on it. That was very special for me because I grew up listening to Kasey a lot and she has really been a trailblazer in Australian country music and has kept authentic the entire time. I think that’s really inspiring.

Since your comeback late last year you’ve done some epic shows and big festivals such as Groundwater and Big Sound. Tell me a little bit about your latest performance experiences and what you’re looking forward to in the coming year.

We did some great shows with Jackson Dean. He is from the states, he is incredible! If you haven’t heard his music you’d love it. These were some highlights in the last 12 months. I am excited to play Gympie [country music festival 2024] it will be very cool. And we’re doing a tour in May […] honestly I am just really happy to be doing it again there was a period when I didn’t think it is gonna happen again. To be able to perform the songs and to have people receptive to the show that you put on that’s success.

Let’s talk about your latest single, “All We Are”. A beautiful video featuring you on a horse! Is that how your life looks like these days on the farm? Tell me a bit about this video.

I grew up riding horses. It kind of grew to a crossroads of me choosing music over horses because they’re both full time. I worked for my parents when I was 20 [on a horse breeding farm] and I rode their horses to just keep them in work. Coming back to being on the farm […] we don’t have many horses to ride anymore. My horse is now like a hundred years old in horse years and he’s just chilling up the back and he can’t be riden anymore. I wanted to start riding again and I really wanted it to be a part of the narrative of the video clip and we have a film put together with all the clips as well which will come out soon. I wanted it to reflect kind of a time capsule of my life and what it looks like for me and horses have been such a massive part of it. Going back and riding was really fun and it inspired me to do it all again so I’ve been riding my dad’s horse and it has been very good to experience it again as an adult. You don’t really appreciate as a kid how special it is. It’s pretty awesome.

What about the last song on the album, “Happy”. I felt like you really sealed the record with a positive message. Tell me about it.

I did want to cap of the record with something positive because the whole record is very much introspective self reflection and I wanted it to be a more positive offer. Because the last couple [of records] were quite dark. I’m not in that headspace anymore so I wanted to reflect exactly where I was at when I was writing it. Enjoying life again and just learning to live differently. “Happy” is not necessarily my favourite song in the album but it’s definetly the song that kind of umbrellas the album. It was a very intentional song to write.

So which song is your favourite?

I don’t know… I really like performing “Not In Control” it’s really fun. As far as the lyrics… I like “Didn’t mean a thing” that’s pretty special. I don’t know, my opinion changes everyday!

Grab a copy of Tori Forsyth’s All We Have Is Who We Are HERE and catch her live on the following dates:

Tour dates:

17th May – The Vanguard, Sydney

18th May – Stag and Hunter, Newcastle

23rd May – The Tote, Melbourne

26th May – Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast




Anna Blaby

Anna is a Melbourne based mum, writer and storyteller.