Finlay (real name Fin Henderson) is an extremely talented singer-songwriter who just released his latest single “Strange” that comes with a music video that is scary accurate for the time that we are experiencing.
This week Finlay’s previous single ‘Evolution’ jumped nineteen places and landed at number five on our weekly chart. As well, we featured the song on our apocalyptic playlist Wasteland.
Tell us about the journey up until the release of your latest single “Strange”
When I was writing ‘Strange’ around the start of 2019, I couldn’t have imagined the global context it would be now released into!
To be honest, I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the world at the time. I was struggling to make any sense of the scale and oddity of human activity, including my own. We have this crazy and mostly unexplainable temporary span of time on the Earth with no absolute clarity in the purpose and what we should be doing. As far as we know, we could be the only civilization to exist anywhere in the Universe which means that what we’re experiencing is so magnificently and frighteningly bizarre, yet here we are with fast food, social media and Amazon prime.
This existential disconnect inspired ‘Strange’. It’s not intended to be a big point of the finger either, I’m totally aware of my involvement in all of it too – I still love a bit of McDonald’s and Fifa!
‘Strange’ is just my response to us being flooded by the news, information, advertising, ideologies, politics, technology and trying to make sense of life in amongst it all.FINLAY
I suppose this is how I found myself in pyjamas, sitting at a piano, attempting to express just how immense everything is. ‘Strange’ is my best go at saying “Hey everyone, check out how weird this all is!?”
How would you describe ‘Strange’?
I hope it feels like a journey within a song. I’d hope it feels like the song to hold people’s hand through these weird times!
Can you tell us about the idea behind the music video? You mentioned that you started working on it before COVID-19 pandemic. What do you think of it in today’s context?
When it came to visually represent the song, I felt I needed to come up with a concept that would illustrate my thinking.
I hope the video does a great job of showing the majesty of the planet, whilst demonstrating the speed and impact of modern human life.Finlay
Stealing from hours of great documentary footage, my label and I pieced together our own visual narrative that ebbs and flows with the song.
How would you describe your sound?
I’m never really sure to be honest, something like Intimate indie-pop music with barbed wire. Maybe. 🙂
Who are your biggest music influences?
A real mix, I really try to listen to as much music as I can. I always have an album on rotation. At the moment I’m actually ploughing through Kanye Wests stuff. But for my songwriting, it’s along the lines of Radiohead, Muse, Leonard Cohen. I feel like everybody comes back to the same sources, but there’s a reason for that. They’re just so full of character that it’s easy to find inspiration in amongst their bodies of work. Another one is Chopin and his use of melody!
Music to me is a way of making sense of the world. It is the glue in between all the gaps in the logic of life that paints it all together into something you can feel.FINLAY
What does your creative process look like?
Most of the time it looks a lot like me and a piano! But all the best things usually stem from an idea from everyday life that I will then take to the piano. I like to sing about the way the world and our lives change and influence who we are and the pitfalls of being alive! Something will strike me that I feel I need to put in a song, or I will be at a piano playing for a long time and will stumble across something I am keen to use and then I just go from there. You sort of just experiment a song into existence – which can be quite un-glamorous!
What are some of the most difficult challenges you face as an artist working in the music industry?
I’d say that nothing feels concrete. My better subjects when I was young were always things like Maths where there was a right and wrong answer.
In the world of creativity, nothing is ever certain and you just have to get used to how that can affect your decision making.Finlay
It can feel like a wilderness sometimes, but that’s exactly why I’m into it I suppose. It’s really interesting seeing it all piece together.
Do you have a song, that when you hear it, you’d say, “I wish I’d written that”?
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but who doesn’t say that. That and ‘Paranoid Android’. They’re absolute juggernauts of ‘pop’ music over the last few decades. Maybe ‘Take Me to Church’ by Hozier. So many great songs!
If we’d hack your Spotify account, what artists would we find?
Kasabian, The Kinks, Radiohead, Weyes Blood, Foster The People, Tame Impala, Lana del Rey, Rufus Wainwright.
Do you think there’s anything artists or fans can do to support each other during these strange times of Covid19?
Just to stay connected and keep going I guess. It’s been pretty cool to see so many people doing the online gigs but it makes so much sense. It’s interesting when the world comes to a bit of a stop how much people need art to get them through. Whether it’s films and TV or to hear some music. I suppose it brings everyone closer.
What is a song that makes you happy?
What is your biggest achievement to date?
What have you got planned for 2020 and have any of your plans been impacted?
We had so much planned and are having to have a little bit of a rethink. We had my debut show for the 7th of April, which has just been cancelled. But I’m aware that people have made much bigger sacrifices at the moment so I’m just grateful for them and happy to adapt to whatever will keep the ship sailing!
I’m just going to do what I can from home to keep connected and keep that momentum going. There’s probably a bit more Netflix on my schedule very suddenly.