Fiawna Forté
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Fiawna Forté

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | SELF

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Band Rock




"Under The Radar Treasures - Fiawna Forte"

Free Tulsa Fest was hot as an oven in the most literal and figurative definition of the word, and on a night when game time temperatures reached nearly 110 degrees, nobody was hotter than Fiawna Forte. Forte and her band took the McNellie's Group Headlining Stage at 10 PM Saturday and held an awestruck audience captive with a jaw-dropping performance that was ridiculously good.

In her red dress beneath blue stage lights, and with her face-melting guitar, this human fire pit came across as Jack White incarnate in female form. Fiawna Forte's voice is at times a cross between Janis Joplin and Lucinda Williams but that's for comparative purposes only. Trust me, she owns her sound to the point that it is almost bullying in nature.

Blending rock, blues and alternative indie sensibilities, Forte is a virtual volcanic eruption in live performance. Loud and proud, her high-energy set offered a big sound that was as soulfully draining for her as it was for all in attendance. Fiawna gave 100% heart and soul and left it all up on that stage, musically, emotionally and physically.

The Fiawna Forte primer:

She performs through you with unstoppable force.

Her guitar will devour you and still leave you begging for more.

Her vocals are positively hypnotic.

Fiawna Forte is the real deal.

Some acts kill it. Fiawna Forte slayed it.
- Jivewired USA

"Rain, Mics, and Management Can't Stop Fiawna Forté"

Rain, Mics And Management Can’t Stop Fiawna Forte
by Sidney McMullen and Nicole Jones August 3, 2009 - 12:16 pm

Regardless of how much you know about Fiawna Forte, you have at least heard of her if you live anywhere near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The musically zealous people of Oklahoma speak so highly of her, you’d think she was royalty.

“I’ve seen her a couple of times. She’s really awesome.” - Liz Newberry

“She puts on an amazing show! Have you seen her before?” A random fan in the crowd before Fiawna’s Saturday set at Dilly Deli

“She is probably one of the top 3 artists here at D-Fest” - Dave Dambroso

After hearing so much about this local icon, who was just recently featured on the cover of Urban Tulsa Weekly and named one of the magazines current “Hot 100 People in Tulsa,” we had to snag an interview.

Saturday evening of D-Fest, I sat eating a “Mondy” made of grilled chicken, peanut butter, sprouts, chili sauce, and some other veggies all thrown together into a delicious sandwich. Fiawna walked in, pulled up a chair next to me, and opened up the conversation talking about working on a new album, planning her future tour, and how much she can’t get enough of Tulsa….

And of course, after such a delightful conversation at a bright colored table in the corner on Tulsa’s adorably new Dilly Deli, we had to check out her set. The sweet little Oklahoma girl in the deli took the stage outside on the patio and transformed into a full blown rock star - barefoot, jeans with both knees exposed, white t-shirt that said: “No one knows who the F you are” and a black vest thrown over. She walked up to the edge of the stage, took off her dangling necklace with a key hanging off the end, slung it on the mic stand and started jamming.

Long story short, she rocked. Long story unedited, she started her set and due to sound difficulties, had to stop, fixed a few things, and then restarted with a “Let’s try this again.” As soon as she started singing again, the rain came pouring down. She kept going. Her mic went out and you couldn’t hear the vocals. She walked to the front of the stage and belted out the rest of the song as long as she could sing and finished it up. Someone in the crowd yelled, “Your are a badass Fiawna!” The next song, the mic came back on but the rain grew more intense. An employee of Dilly Deli came on stage to tell her that she had to stop the show but she shook her head with authority and said, “We’re not stopping.” The unspoken compromise was that she put her shoes back on and that some cords onstage were covered up with plastic bags, but as soon as security turned their head, she was bouncing around barefoot again. Throughout the remainder of the show, her mic faded in and out and sound problems persisted but as far as the set was concerned, she killed it. Her band was tight, her vocals were spot on, and she fought through every single incident like a true stage warrior.

She closed with “I’d Rather Die,” which was featured on the CW’s Privileged, as well as in the Sundance flick Barking Water. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fans dance so hard to a female vocalist. By the end of the show, a good majority of her spectators were saturated in an “I rocked my ass off in the audience” sweat. Fiawna, we’re glad you went into music and left the pro-basketball player dream on the court. I recently heard rumblings that Tulsa might be getting a WNBA team, but please don’t inquire!
- China Shop Magazine

"Best New Artist of 2010 - Fiawna Forte'"

The winner of this little contest is a CD that has, quite honestly, moved me in ways that left me surprised, delighted, dazed and very proud of my local music scene.
Surprised, because I had no idea that talent like this could be found in Tulsa.
Delighted, because it proves that indie artists, working on a shoestring, can write, perform and produce an incredibly well recorded and engineered album outside of mainstream indie hotspots.
Dazed, because the music, words and vocal pyrotechnics found on Fiawna Forte's debut, "Transitus" come straight from the depths of her heart and soul in a way that very few artists can equal.
From the Zeppelinesque barroom stomp of "No", the outsiders' lament in "Jealous of You" (with one of the most kick ass music hall bridges you'll ever hear), the tentative, somewhat fearful embrace of love to be found on "I'd Rather Die" (another candidate for Single of the Year) and the album's closing track "Transitus", a soul searching confession of failure, hope and the desire for change... there's not a bad track to be found on this album. If you've ever felt deep loss, alienation, anger, love, hope and redemption, this one will break your heart and make it whole again.
The entire band (Forte' on guitar, Hank Hanewinkle III on drums and percussion, Lance Howell on lead guitar and Phillip Hanewinkel on bass) create a joyous noise, as they imbue each song with just the right musical touches to convey the emotions being put across in the lyrics. In addition, each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist, so you'll hear keyboards, strings and even a banjo on the plaintive "Boat Song", a gorgeous ballad of love, loss and heartbreak.
And then, there's the voice. Fiawna Forte' has one of those voices that sound as though it should be coming from someone twice her 22 years. From a gentle croon to a throaty growl to a full-throttle rock and roll roar, her voice is miles above almost any female vocalist you'll hear and a standout from the sound-alike singers who seem to be dominating the indie scene these days. It's a fair comparison to put Forte' in the same category as Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) as they have very similar vocal timbre but I actually think that Forte' has a better grasp of how to utilize the upper range to give a song that extra rock and roll kick in the ass.
In short, if I were going to suggest a single CD to you, it would be "Transitus" which represents the winner of Egg Radio's Inaugural "Best New Artist Award" for 2010, Ms. Fiawna Forte'. - EggRadio

"SXSW: Fiawna Forté"

SXSW: Fiawna Forte

Powerhouse rock'n'roll

By Stephen Carradini
March 16th, 2011

In an age of increasing gear and growing complexity, it's almost counter-cultural to rock it with little more than the instruments you brought in.

Fiawna Forte and her band brought in exactly three pedals; one for each of the two guitarists and bassist. The stage was remarkably uncluttered, which was necessary for the band to move around. And move they did. Fiawna and her band went nuts on stage: dancing, headbanging and generally strutting their stuff. Even the drummer couldn't stay on his seat, routinely standing up and banging with fervor.

But the stage was not enough for Forte; twice she entered the audience while performing, once with guitar in hand and once with just her mic. She roamed around in the audience, trying her hardest to invigorate the listeners.

Antics aside, her music was enough to arrest the audience; her brand of no-frills rock and roll was sold by her roaring voice. Even though there was a power to her vocal cords, it never became guttural or non-feminine; her voice is just powerful. When paired with body-movin' riffs and ear-snagging melodies, it became an irresistible formula that I and the audience could not take eyes off.

Fiawna Forte has an electric stage presence, great songs and a bright future. I am blown away. - Oklahoma Gazette

"Static, Episode 21: Fiawna Forte"

by George Lang - The Oklahoman

"Sweat. Blood. Tears."

Interview: Fiawna Forté - Independent Cause

"50 Bands/50 States"

Best Oklahoma Band of The Year - Boston Phoenix

"Hear Me Roar"

by Gary Hizer - UrbanTulsa Weekly


2010 LP Release, Transitus
2013 LP Release, The Album to Fund the Album



Fiawna Forté is a propelling force of musical nature that blends the traditions of rock and roll, blues and indie sensibilities with everything else that crosses her path. Running (barefoot) ahead of this mixed bag of labels, Forté has kept listeners guessing since her full band's live debut in May, 2008. Widely known for her furious voice and roaring presence on stage, Fiawna's keen sense for melody and songwriting never suffer amongst the high energy and volume of the band. Her visual femininity only adds to the mystique as the strength of Forté, her song, her soul and her band becomes contagious to the diverse and expanding audience.

From Tulsa, OK, Fiawna Forté has performed at a variety of musical venues and festivals, such as Austin, TX 2010, 2011, & 2012 SXSW. Her music has been included on compilations (internationally) alongside Amy Winehouse & Duffy. Her song "I'd Rather Die" appears in South Korea's first HD smart phone commercial and the Sundance film, Barking Water (directed by Sterlin Harjo), in which Forté has a cameo. In 2010, Fiawna Forté was honored to be chosen as the top band in Oklahoma by The Boston Phoenix "50 Bands/50 States" issue. And has graced the cover of many Oklahoma magazines and papers.

Since her full band debut, Transitus, in May, 2010, Fiawna Forté has created an atmosphere for listeners to find themselves in and gain the inspiration to move forward. Being fully aware of her own constant state of transition, Forté does not forget the path that led to who she is, but demonstrates the power to pave the way for who she will become.

"Fiawna is the real deal and may be the next big thing out of Tulsa. As a singer, songwriter and performer she is at that point in her career where all that is left is national recognition. 'Crying Tree' is definitely a step in the right direction. Forte is at her best when she gets emotionally charged up in her lyrical content and stage demeanor and this song most definitely plays on that killer combination. The song constantly builds in speed and motility to an incendiary crescendo. In layman's terms, it flat out rocks. 'Crying Tree' is a sonic earthquake."

-Michael Canter review of Forté's song 'Cryin' Tree'

"Just suppose that Chrissie Hynde was looking for red dirt and oil wells when she left Ohio rather than Ray Davies and punk rock arrangements that will leave a mark. Fiawna Forte has a power that will bring reference to every rock lady that has demanded attention on stage. The other females
may be peers but Fiawna is the boss of her songs. The rhythm is Bo Diddley rockabilly and Fiawna never misses an opportunity to wring every drop of emotion from a note."

-The Alternate Root, Nashville