Forest Blakk Gives Family of the Year's 'Hero' a Ballad-Like Spin: Exclusive

Forest Blakk
Jack McKain

Forest Blakk

Forest Blakk is a Canadian artist on the rise whose work has ventured from long-form poetry to soulful singing/songwriting. In his latest drop, the up-and-comer delivers his unique take on Family of the Year's "Hero," adding new elements and a corresponding video debuting exclusively on Billboard

The original is lullaby-like in its simple softness and was fittingly featured in Richard Linklater's epic 2014 film Boyhood. Blakk's connection to the song was seemingly immediate. 

“(It) was just one of those songs that really hit me. I saw myself in the lyrics. I heard my thoughts in the melodies. I felt like that song was written just for me," he said in a statement. "I suppose that's what draws us to music, the ability to connect and attach to what someone else has to say, and did I ever connect." 

In his rendition, Blakk takes on a slightly more ballad feel with added rich piano keys and fuller vocals as well as extra strumming on an acoustic guitar. The video follows the song’s stripped-down appeal, showing Blakk and his keyboardist Christoph Stiller seated in a living room performing the cut.

As for the rest of his catalogue, Blakk’s single “Love Me” has garnered over one million views on Spotify, and he’s even ventured into spoken word with “Swipe Right,” a six-minute musing on humanization and desensitization.

"I love that my fans get to be a part of my life. I love that they get to be part of this journey with me and I love how it keeps on growing," Blakk said of his budding career. "I'm really looking forward to what 2018 has in store for all of us as I keep putting my heart out on the line." 

Take a look at his re-imagining of "Hero" below.