On Forest in the City, rising R&B singer-songwriter UMI set her intention to infuse the music with her love and spirit in order to inspire others. Out today via RCA / Keep Cool, Forest in the City is UMI’s first full-length project. Listen to Forest in the City here. Four years in the making, with UMI at the helm of songwriting, production and creative direction alongside her trusted community of collaborators, the album explores UMI’s life experiences as she left her nature-filled hometown of Seattle, Washington for Los Angeles, California. Without the woods and tall trees, she had to look inward to connect with the comfort that buildings couldn’t provide.
UMI shared : “This album began with a question: What impact did humans leaving the forest have on our minds? Our mental health, our values? This led me to another question: Is the city our new forest? And how does the city impact our minds? Our mental health and values? Is it possible for us to feel fully at peace within the city? And while thinking on these questions I wrote my album. By the end of it, I came to realize that the forest never left me and neither did my peace. That my life is a journey of returning to that forest and helping others to do the same through my art and so this project is a collection of songs & visuals that evoke peace and transformation within the listener. A reminder that we are all little forests in the city :)”
UMI will kick off her very first U.S. tour this Saturday, May 28th in her hometown Seattle. The performance will be backed by an all-women band and the tour will include a unique VIP meditation experience led by UMI. The 23-date tour includes sold-out shows in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and more. Limited tickets for select dates, in addition to upcoming news, can be found on UMI’s website here.
UMI leads with peace. With this intention, multidisciplinary artist Tierra Umi Wilson —who goes by the moniker UMI (which means ‘ocean’ in Japanese)— builds a space for healing in her music. UMI’s voice is soft and feather-like as her vocals gently call listeners to be reflective and embrace the range of their emotions. The 23-year-old Seattle native, who’s now based in LA, has been releasing music since 2017, finding early success with a string of EPs and songs like “Remember Me,” which has now surpassed 118 million streams on Spotify alone. Vogue offered an early cosign by naming UMI as one of the “young breakthrough musicians making noise in the music industry” and she has continued to raise the bar with consecutive projects, Introspection in 2020 and her latest, Introspection Reimagined, in 2021. On the freshly composed interpretation of Introspection, “UMI grows ever more contemplative, drawing out gorgeous piano melodies and vocal runs.” (Teen Vogue) It was recorded at the legendary Shangri-La Studios in Malibu and each song was rearranged by UMI and created top to bottom with a full band, complete with horns and strings. UMI’s dedication, execution and ingenuity earned her recognition from Vogue, Interview Magazine, WWD and Refinery29, and support from the likes of Chanel and Nike. Throughout 2021, UMI brought her live show to festival stages including Governors Ball, Day N Vegas and Head in the Clouds, as well as joining Burna Boy for a performance at the iconic Hollywood Bowl. Now, with four years steadfast towards her first full-length album, UMI is arriving with Forest in the City. Over the past two months, UMI has set the stage for the album, beginning with “sorry” in March. An anthem for self-forgiveness, the song is “UMI is at her best, using the dreamy track as both a diary entry and a manifestation.” (Teen Vogue) In April, she followed up with the soul-awakening “whatever u like,” which was named best new music by Billboard, ESSENCE, Pigeons & Planes and more. Each release, including the latest single “moonlit room,” has been a sanctuary UMI has created within her Forest in the City. “The themes are more universal and the sounds more expansive, bouncing from sun-soaked electro R&B on “whatever u like” to moody slow jams like “moonlit room,” Rolling Stone reviewed. “It’s as if being at a fulcrum between communities has given UMI the confidence to be something completely different: herself.” What began as a series of questions, evolved into sonic epiphanies and UMI’s proudest work yet. Stay tuned for more news around Forest in the City.