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Relive Foreward, Tori Kelly’s foray into music that inspires everyone


THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A review of the music icon’s first major-label release that spring-boarded her talent into the music industry


Singer, songwriter and pop star Tori Kelly has captured the ears of so many people. Her distinct voice and originality is what pushed her to the fame and popularity that she has today.


Kelly began sharing videos of her singing on YouTube as a teenager and began to gain recognition appearing on the ninth season of American Idol as a semi-finalist in 2010. Since then, she has released numerous songs that are tough to get out of the minds for many.


In 2012, Kelly released her self-produced EP entitled Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly. Just one year later, she signed with Capitol Records and debuted Foreward, her second EP.


The entire 16 minutes and 9 second EP peaked 16th on the US Billboard 200, a record chart ranking the most 200 popular music albums and EP’s.


Elle Magazine described Kelly’s second EP as a mix of pop, R&B, and soul. It features five songs, “Rocket,” “Dear No One,” “Tresure,” “Paper Hearts,” and “Daydream.”


For Kelly’s first foray into music, she describes the EP as “a fusion, with an urban twist.”


The EP opens with “Rocket,” a downbeat tune that describes what she would do if she could build a rocket and was the pilot of the rocket.


“If I could build a rocket I would

Put all my dreams inside it I would

Maybe I could travel far into something new.”


Although the song is slow, it’s a reflection of the determination that she has and others could have at chasing their dreams.


Kelly writes in her second tune that although she is independent, she also wants someone to hold close. “Dear No One” became the EP’s most popular, being released on iTunes as the free single of the week.


In the upbeat and catchy song, he sings a letter to her future significant other.


“So if you’re out there I swear to be good to you

But I’m done lookin’, for my future someone

Cause when the time is right

You’ll be here, but for now

Dear no one, this is your love song.”


“Treasure” is her reflection on what it feels to be in love and describes life as an adventure with someone that you love.


“It’s a new way to discover

So many things to uncover

Even when the tide is high

Out here it’s just you and I.”


In addition to its message, the song takes the listener through a journey of different sounds that can be catchy in a different way from its predecessor.


The fourth melody of the EP is the slowest on her album. Although unhurried, the song is a beautiful tune of Kelly contemplating life after a relationship has ended.


“Pictures I’m living through for now

Trying to remember all the good times

Our life was cutting through so loud

Memories are playing in my dull mind

I hate this part, paper hearts.”


The EP concludes with “Daydream,” a confident message to anyone who has big dreams, but perhaps lacks the courage to chase after them.


“Don’t quit your daydream

Don’t forget to breath

Who you want to be is only up to you.”


In a series of melodies that the listener can listen and relate to, Kelly ends her message with a song that is inspiring to all. It also ties into how she came up with the title of her second EP.


“I decided to name this EP Foreward because to me it is an introduction to something bigger that is coming in the future.”


And there is no question that Kelly has bigger things coming for her in the future. Since Foreward’s debut, she has released three studio albums and was nominated for Best New Artist at the 58th Grammy Awards.


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