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Meet Ethan Fortenberry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ethan Fortenberry. 

Hi Ethan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I remember going up to the attic a good bit as a kid. I don’t know why. When I was 10 on one of my trips up there, I found my grandfather’s old acoustic from the ’70s and asked my dad if I could learn on it. Hearing ‘Dust in the Wind’ by Kansas was one of the first full songs I’d learned and what got me really into fingerpicking. A few years later Ben Howard started popping off and that’s when I knew I wanted to actually make something myself. 

I’m 25 now and have lived in Nashville for the last 6 years. Even though I knew all those years ago that I wanted to make something myself, I think it’s Nashville that taught me how to really do that. Sure I “made” things back in the day, but they were never what was in my head. I’m constantly surrounded by people who push me to be better at my craft. I love it. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I think everyone has a “something” that they spend their life dealing with. Even if they’ve overcome that “something” it’s still always a part of them/their story. For me, that was my anxiety/depression. It got really bad in 2018-2019 and I finally hit a breaking point after getting back from a wedding in Canada. It took years of retraining my brain (through therapy, medication, and my family here in Nashville) to see the world the way I see it now. I haven’t been on my medicine in roughly a year, and haven’t had a panic attack in I don’t know how long. I think the road is the smoothest it’s ever been, but I welcome whatever struggles that might come my way in the future. Welcome, welcome, welcome. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I think if I had to call myself something I’d just call myself an artist (Writing songs is usually my avenue, but I like to make visual art, write things that aren’t songs, and work on other people’s projects as well.) 

I started Ethansroom when I was 18 around the idea that your bedroom is the only place that sees every part of you. My songs are just my room. They’re where I live. 

I think I’m most proud of whatever it is I’m doing now. It’ll be an EP I think for Ethansroom (my solo project). I have all the songs written but I’m still deciding on which ones will make this first cut. Even though none of it is formally recorded yet, I know how I want it to sound in my head. And that’s a sound I’m already extremely proud of. 

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Outside of the people, my favorite thing about Nashville is without a doubt, Portland Brew. Best dirty chai in town. I always see someone I didn’t plan to see that day. I feel lighter every time I leave. 

My least favorite thing about Nashville is probably the amount of churches. It’s not as bad as my hometown, but it’s still something that worries me. People who are supposed to agree on ONE thing make it about more than one thing and try to set themselves apart because of some minor disagreement. Like, imagine not being friends with someone because they like pineapple on their pizza. It’s not my favorite but I could care less if it’s theirs. 

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @ethansroom
  • Other: TikTok @ethvnsroom

Image Credits
Landon Edwards

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