Ahead of the release of his new album 'Beauty in your Wake', Impressed's Lilli Boisselet caught up with FINK's Fin Greenall, to talk about the high stakes of creativity, John Lennon's 'Dig A Pony' and growing up in music.


Lilli Boisselet - Whats the first thing we should know about you?

FINK - I’m all about the music basically – I have been knee deep in the music and the business of music ever since I could record the John Peel Radio show in my bedroom  as a boy and listen to it on the way to school – there is not a time where I can think I wasn’t into music….my second passion I guess is travel – so my life has kind of reflected what I have always done – listen to music and travel – it just happened that now music fuels the travel, and occasionally, vice versa….I also believe life itself is a journey, and one cannot possibly know what it has in store for you….

LB - Whats your earliest memory of music?

F - Probably watching my Dad at his gigs – he was a stalwart of the West Country Folk scene when I was growing up – music was always around us, around the house, wherever we went. My Parents didn’t have babysitters or nannies or anything like that. If they went out we came with – and often these were accompanied by guitars and musicians – the most fundamental moment for me was when my parents gave me a stack of old 7’s to play with, and my grandmothers old blue spot record player for my bedroom – everything started there – my love of radio, my love of discovery, the feel and smell and potential of vinyl….I think I was 8 probably – and already thinking about dj’ing….


LB - Tell me about growing up - how has it influenced your music? How has your approach to music changed over time? 

F - Growing up around music was annoying – mainly because it wasn’t the music I liked – I was a kid of early eighties – so for me it was all about breakdancing and electro and early rap and acid house all mixing together – my home life was very folky – so the two didn’t go together very well at all – rather predictably this led me to a life in modern music, dance music as it came to be known, and I loved it – but my journey then took me through many incarnations and eventually settled where I am now – the best fit I suppose – writer, singer, producer….my approach might seem like it’s radically changed – but at all times I am just thinking with my heart when it comes to music – whatever moves me the most will attract me to get more involved….

LB - Which rituals do you follow to promote creativity?

F - Every answer to this question that I can give will sounds preachy – I used to be under the influence – however now – my rituals are very very different – I guess when the stakes get higher maybe you need a sharper blade – but now – in order to promote my creativity I keep my eyes open for new music all the time, I am always record shopping for vintage gems to open my eyes in terms of writing and production. My physical routine has also radically changed over the years – now it revolves around meditation and physical wellbeing – especially if I am in Fink mode and writing or touring – I take it all quite seriously….before recording this record I would, for example, get up at dawn and go and swim in the sea – in October – in Cornwall – to strengthen my will power and give myself focus and power every day…


LB - Can you describe the sonic world of FINK ?

F - The Fink sonic world is always changing – I can only really describe it as it is now – which is kinda folky, deep songs, very acoustic, very grounded and honest and I try really hard to be myself – which as everyone knows – is not the easiest path to take – I also try and keep myself surrounded by artists who also are like that – I don’t really do fashion when it comes to music – I just get knocked out by quality, intensity and integrity….

LB - What are your favourite lyrics youve written and why?

F - My favourite lyrics I have ever written only made it as far as a B-side acoustic session from a few years ago on an essentially unreleased track –

She said to me

No Man can get lost 

When the path is straight

Such wisdom comes so easy

To the wise.

Why is this my fave ? – maybe because the chorus that follws it is essentially crap and that’s why the song never made it any further – this is the second verse – the first verse is also killer – but – yeah – I think thrse lyrics are the best I’v ever written – I get a lot of my inspiration from the Sufi’s ….


LB - Which lyrics do you wish youd written?

F - I wish I could have helped John Lennon finish Dig A Pony from the “Let It Be” album – the structure is genius, it’s total wonder – but just full of holding lyrics for the verses…

LB - How important is it to you to be honest and open in your lyrics? Do you ever rework older songs or do you just let them be? 

F - I often rework old songs if they haven’t been released – sometimes you get great stuff happening but the timing isn’t right y’know – maybe riffs or couplets that are just great – but you don’t have the skills or time or patience to do them justice at the time – there are two of those on the Latest Beauty In Your Wake record…honest and openness are Everything to me as a writer – vague-ness, numbness and pointlessness – there is so much of it around – I want to cut right through – that’s why I give so much I think in my writing….


LB - How does it feel when youre about to walk up on stage? 

F - It feels great these days – I used to absolutely hate it – but now I feel I’m actually quite good, at singing my own songs at least, I can’t wait to get out there and start the gig – get playing, get singing, get vibing – every show is different, every single show is different, all of them, different…


LB - How do you feel about so much of the music industry shifting online and towards streaming? 

FIt’s a natural reflection of our lives and how we consume things – monetising things like videos and promo’s I think is great – before streaming there was no income from that – just outgoings…I haven’t got a problem with it – in fact – I think it’s great that so many people are no exposed and go out to look for new music, and old music, online – in a way it doesn’t matter to the new generation out there right now WHEN something was made – its whether it’s cool or not – streaming I think has actually been good for music and the music industry despite being a total vinyl head – I listen to vinyl every day – I use Spotify every day – I can’t play a record in my car or when I’m down the gym can I …. Similarly I can’t go to a vintage mp3 shop and dig through old mp3’s to find something I didn’t know I needed in my life….one of my joys…to me, the two can live simultaneously – and hey – the streaming sites make a fortune from our blood sweat and tears and they don’t really need to do much – just replace “streaming sites” with record companies, publishing houses, high street music chains and , say 60 years of an absolute monopoly on it, it’s very hard to be surprised that artists get a raw deal – that’s kinda baked into our industry since Louis Armstrong signed the first record deal…..


LB - Style icons?

F - Christian Hosoi, Liam Maher.

LB - Whats your biggest fear? 

F - Too many to answer here – from global to micro – from Armageddon to breaking a nail onstage…


LB - Whats something that youve learnt about yourself through music that you never expected? 

F - That a mind can always be changed, that tastes can change, that your very being can change from night to night. I never thought I would find myself through music – but find my current self I have – and far from it being the disguise – now it is actually me….



LB - Finally - Vinyl or Streaming? 

F - Both – both are great at different things and at different times….i have so many records – so many – so I feel it’s ok for me to like streaming to – it’s just another way for me to discover and grow….

Essay by Lilli Boisselet

Lilli Boisselet has travelled the world as an award-winning travel and music photojournalist. Her work has been published by the likes of Vogue, National Geographic and RUSSH Magazine.



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