Making Art Come to Life: A Conversation with FINNEAS
FINNEAS is a voice beyond this industry. A valiant producer, songwriter, and musician overall, his melodies are a sort of symphony that you unconsciously play over and over in the back of your head throughout the day, and his words the sort of truth you may hide, but seem to escape your lungs so easily when you sing along. Even if you do not know of him, he may be another brain behind some of the songs composed by your favorite artists. Talent is a word that is thrown around often, but talent is real in the art of music, and a lot of it exists in the sheer form of FINNEAS. Get to know his brilliant mind in our chat with him below, and if you have not already, tune into his most recently released premiered today, “College”!
You are undoubtedly a jack-of-all-trades and dare I say, master at them too. How do you manage having your hand in both production, songwriting, performing, playing instruments, and even dancing [in reference to small routines with Billie during her performances]? And out of all of these, is there one that you prefer doing the most?
I genuinely feel like doing every different thing makes me like all the others more. My attention/drive/excitement seems to oscillate pretty regularly between the many different creative outlets I have at my disposal. I like it like that.
The behind the scenes work is immensely overlooked at times, and I think you showcase just how important individuals who work behind the scenes are with all of the songwriting and producing credits you have ranging from Khalid, Billie Eilish, and Sabrina Claudio just to name a few. What helps you to sort of adapt to their strengths/talents, merge them with your own, and create something beautiful?
When I’m writing for myself, I want my music to feel like I’m the only one that could have made it. I don’t worry about whether it sounds like what’s already popular or not, I just want it to sound like me. I try to only work with artists who have a very distinct feel artistically and a vision I believe in. After that, I just to try to be a good therapist and listen to what they have to say and help them put that across. Production wise, I just try to service the song to the best of my abilities whatever that entails.
What would you say your favorite aspect of songwriting is?
The lightening in a bottle moment when a blurry idea pulls into clear focus and you already know what the song will be. Doesn’t happen every time I write but when it does it’s priceless. Everybody high fives.
Have you ever come to a point where a song you have written has rendered you completely vulnerable and you have chosen not to release it? Or in another sense, what is the most difficult part about unveiling your emotions to the world not knowing how they will perceive it?
Those are always the ones I know I have to release. If it scares me, it’s probably the right thing to say. I think the most daunting part at the end of the day is that you don’t want to upset anyone but hopefully, if your song is really truly honest, you’re just telling the world how you feel.
I recently saw you take on both Agenda Fest and Outside Lands with your sister Billie, with an added solo performance of “NEW GIRL” from you during her set at Outside Lands. How would you describe the experience of sharing a stage with your sister, and overall just having someone that you have an undeniable bond with musically?
She teaches me so much every time we perform. She has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard and she always delivers live. Plus her interaction with the crowd just gets better and better I think. I just try to keep up.
This may be a particularly vague question, but where do you think this energy that you two have stems from? Every aspect of your music is heavy, but I feel like it’s a weight that people have yet to realize they’re missing, and not many artists are able to create this feeling.
I love vague questions! I think we’re just locked into the same frequency. We work in a way live and in the studio where we barely have to tell eachother what we’re thinking. We both just know. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that we have the same parents and we have so much of the same life experience. She’s also my best friend and she makes me laugh harder than anyone
I am genuinely interested to know both where you draw some of your inspiration from, along with some of your favorite artists that you listen to.
The Beatles, Rob Dickinson, My Chemical Romance and Lana Del Rey are probably my biggest influences and I think billie shares all of those.
Tell me a little bit about Groupies Have Feelings Too. How fun has this been for you to work on?
DREAM COME TRUE. I listen to podcasts obsessively and I’ve always wanted to make one but I just don’t think my hot take on shit is worth listening to an hour a week. But doing this show has been an incredible excuse to scratch that itch
Now you have a new single, “College,” dropping, and outside of me being a senior in college, I am without a doubt looking forward to hearing it. What can you tell us about this track?
I dated a girl all through high school and she moved away to New York to college and we broke up. It sucked but that’s not exactly a unique story. Most people breakup when they start living three thousand miles from each other. Anyway, I started dating someone else in LA and my ex and all her friends started subtweeting me these really hurtful things and saying really mean shit about the girl I had started seeing. I wrote the whole chorus of the song as a response and put it to music. The verses give the relationship and fallout some context
You have already worked with some truly incredible artists and I am not surprised at all given your talent, but is there anyone that you have not worked with yet that you would like to work with?
Working with people I’ve always looked up to is obviously such a treat. Mainly because it’s so wonderful to get to tell the artists who’ve influenced you most how important they are to you. But I get the most excited by things that don’t exist yet. I’ve been writing songs with this artist named Dominic Fike and I can’t get enough of his voice or his lyricism. The first time I heard him, I just thought “wow, the world is gonna love this”
What else does the rest of this year hold for you?
LOTS of touring and finishing up my own album and my sister’s and lending a hand to a couple friends who’s music I love
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
I’m in Osaka Japan right now and the pillows in this hotel are full of rocks I’m pretty sure