John Forté ships “StyleFREE the EP”, offers free track

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer John Forté is releasing ‘Stylefree The Ep’, his first collection of new music in eight years, via EMI Label Services.

The EP will be distributed to digital retailers in the US this week, marking the 9th year anniversary of Forté’s arrest on charges of drug trafficking. The first single from the EP, “Play My Cards for Me,” is available as a free download at

Having served seven and a half years of a fourteen-year federal prison sentence before receiving a historic commutation from President Bush and being released from prison in December 2008, Forté’s talent as a lyricist and musician has grown during his incarcaration. His new songs couple social commentary with hope and inspiration.

The EP sees Forté deliver an eclectic group of songs, including tracks reminiscent of mixtape culture and throwbacks from Forte’s childhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn, such as the title track, “Stylefree The Ep”. The EP also contains powerful ballads like “More Beautiful Now,“ and the self-affirming “There We Are” – each track being equally honest, poetic and creatively expressed.

Best known for producing and co-writing tracks for The Fugees’ multi-platinum album The Score, as well as recording two solo albums, Poly-Sci (Columbia; 1998) and I, John (Transparent; 2002), which featured guest appearances by Herbie Hancock, Esthero and Tricky, and included a duet with Carly Simon, Forté dropped several MP3s into the blogosphere, including “Life Has Just Begun (Returning Home),” “Homecoming” (featuring Talib Kweli) and a remake of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”, all of which can be heard at, shortly upon his return from prison.

In addition to recording, Forté has been writing (he signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster for his memoir), touring (he recently joined fellow artists Talib Kweli, Chrisette Michelle, and Pharoahe Monch on stage as special guests of The Roots at Highline Ballroom, showcased at SXSW, and returned from Ireland having performed with Ben Taylor and David Saw) and is actively working with at-risk youth at In Arms Reach, a Harlem-based initiative for children of incarcerated parents.

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