Original Calgary, Canada-based singer/songwriter Forest Blakk achieved a significant milestone in his career thanks to A&R Worldwide by signing a worldwide deal with the esteemed Atlantic Records Group in partnership with Sire Records and Warner Music Group in 2015. A&R Worldwide also helped secure Forest Blakk’s first-ever global publishing deal with Pangea International Music Publishing with a JV with Sony Music Publishing back in 2013, as well as helping his management secure a US booking agent, and much more as it pertains to media exposure and touring opportunities n the US.
Forest Blakk’s journey with Atlantic Records began in 2015 when his music was introduced to Pete Ganbarg, Head of A&R, during a meeting with Sat Bisla, President & Founder of A&R Worldwide. A&R Worldwide team members Monte Malone and Joe Arnold also played a crucial role in Forest Blakk’s early A&R strategy, brand development, showcasing, and marketing, starting in 2011.
At a MUSEXPO conference showcase organized by A&R Worldwide in 2015, the late and legendary A&R man and Sire Records Co-Founder & Chairman, Seymour Stein, discovered Forest Blakk. This led to meetings between Forest Blakk and Atlantic executives, including Stein.
Pete Ganbarg expressed his excitement about signing Forest Blakk to Atlantic, emphasizing the exceptional songwriting and captivating talent of the artist. Ganbarg said, “We are very excited to be signing Forest Blakk to Atlantic. From the first time that Sat [Bisla] introduced me to Forest Blakk’s music through the multiple times we’ve spent together in New York, it was evident this is very special artist. Songwriting at its highest level that cuts through! I can’t wait to get going and am thrilled to be working with the legendary Seymour Stein on this as well.”
The late and great Seymour Stein, Co-Founder & Chairman, Sire Records praised Forest Blakk’s standout performance at MUSEXPO 2015 and emphasized the importance of great songs and unique voices in his A&R approach. Seymour Stain stated, “I can’t recall missing a single MUSEXPO event. It’s an essential highlight in my annual A&R calendar, attending faithfully in Los Angeles, London, and other cities. MUSEXPO 2015 was particularly remarkable, thanks to Sat Bisla and the exceptional acts brought forth by his A&R Worldwide team. Among them, Forest Blakk stood out, capturing the attention of these seasoned ears of mine. As a ‘song’ man, I’ve always sought that special quality in every artist signed to Sire Records, evident in the likes of Talking Heads, The Smiths, Pretenders, Replacements, and even the iconic Ramones. Madonna, too, possessed it, even with just one song, ‘Everybody.’”
Seymour added, “Forest Blakk’s ‘voice’ is an essential ingredient, complementing his exceptional original songs. In our conversations, I’ve witnessed Forest’s unwavering dedication as the hardest worker on his team, a trait that has propelled many artists to success. I’m thrilled about the upcoming collaboration between Sire, Pete Ganbarg, Craig Kallman, and the remarkable Atlantic team. My admiration for Atlantic dates back to my earliest encounter with the influential rock and roll record ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ by Joe Turner, and my subsequent work alongside legends like Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler.”
In 2022 and 2023, Forest Blakk has charted with Gold and Platinum singles success in the US and Canada.
Forest Blakk’s international music career was made possible thanks to A&R Worldwide’s unwavering belief, crucial support, and valuable relationships within the music industry. Their early involvement paved the way for his success and growth.