We had the good fortune of connecting with Finnix and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Finnix, how do you think about risk?
Risk-taking is the easiest thing to throw yourself into, and the hardest thing to push yourself to do. I need to make sure my intentions are right, that the goal I’m trying to achieve is THE goal. It’s about short-term vs. long term. I think it’s important to be clear about who you are and who you want to be, and what it is you hope for. It’s a game of balance between reality and optimism that all creatives learn to play over and over again. Being honest with yourself about what you want is where I think a lot of people lose themselves. That’s why anyone out there doing what they love, unabashedly and unashamedly, no matter the challenges and judgment, is already taking a massive risk. Moving to Los Angeles in 2019 was a huge risk, but it exposed me to a world of creativity, inspiration, grind and opportunity. I met doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I didn’t move to LA to become a singer, but I lived in an artist hostel with a recording studio and made friends that pushed me start recording music again. I met producers, singers, actors, all working as hard as they could, all completely dedicated to their craft with zero embarrassment. I think until your exposed to this kind of environment, and actively step into it, you don’t know just how possible things are. You watch, you learn, you feel the weight of the task and fall in love with the journey.
Risk is is how you constantly grow, and learn, and become yourself more and more. Creating Finnix felt risky at the time, but she feels natural now. Finnix is like wearing a second layer of protective skin, one through which I can explore every part of me with no shame or fear, completely untethered from the unspoken rules of society. Growing up as a woman forces you to internalize ideas of ‘respectability’ that are bullshit. Searching for a way to step beyond these is scary, and messy, and ultimately lifesaving; I liberated myself. Sometimes in my everyday life I think, ‘Okay, what would Finnix do? She wouldn’t tolerate this shit.’ I didn’t understand why people created alter-personas before I did. But Finnix is just a vocalization of who I am and want to be. There’s a reason why some of the greatest artists threw themselves into the creation of an expanded identity. Lady Gaga did it, David Bowie did it. It’s freedom. Creative freedom. I’m not afraid to sing about sex, or heartbreak. I’m not afraid to swear and be completely vulnerable and transparent. Finnix is a risk that makes all other risks feel accessible and justified. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, about unashamed self-respect, courage, and self-love. I’m fucking awesome. This doesn’t come from ego, or pride. It’s a fact.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Any artist that delves deeply within themselves and finds their own sound, their own words, their own person on and off stage, immediately sets themselves apart. Think of Tame Impala, of Harry Styles, of Phoebe Bridgers. Only they could make their music. I’m Finnix, and I am trying to make music and shares stories only I can, and resonate in my own unique way with peoples’ own experiences. That’s what sets me apart. I hate binaries – sane/insane, Madonna/whore complex, happy/sad, good/bad. I don’t want to be one thing- women and their bodies are often diminished to one-dimensional metaphors that rarely benefit or consider the actual person. I want to empower women to fully embrace every shade in their identity. People should never be ashamed of themselves. My own tribulations with mental health, body image and self-confidence make it so that I actively challenge my inner issues in the public arena. I learnt long ago that being open and going against the expected will make all the difference.
I’m excited about my EP coming out this Summer. I feel like, up until this point, it’s the most ‘me’ work of music I’ve ever released. I got to work with a producer who had his own sound and touch but also truly listened to me and respected my own musicality. Within this, I’m most proud of having opened up artistically to the world, and musically to a handful of friends I trust. These are people whose opinions are different from mine, who I’ve known for years. They’re never afraid of telling me the absolute truth, and I’m learning to see the line between personal taste and objectivity, and how to actively listen and not take things personally.
Getting to where I am today took failure, opportunity and determination. Failure has redirected me multiple times in my life to the right opportunities, and I’ve always come back and found myself in music. I’m determined and I have goals that have kept me going through doubts, and anxiety, and pain. Failure is never easy, set-backs are never easy, but they’ve later revealed themselves as blessings in disguise, and I’m truly grateful for that. Knowing who you are, who you want to be, helps overcome. Remembering what’s important to you, what truly matters. Sometimes life does that for you, and something you have to put in the work to remind yourself of that. I also just love learning- academically, socially, personally- and studying up, broadening your mind, helps enormously when challenges and opportunities come up. At some point, you realize you’re living your one life. What will make it a happy one? You have to say: this is what I want and go for it. I’ve learnt that I don’t really have a choice in this- music is what I have to do. I’m choosing happiness. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For me, whenever I go somewhere, it’s all about the food. And if anyone ever tells you LA isn’t a culinary experience, they’re fucking lying. I’d make any visitor try all the Mexican and Vegan food I could. Homestate and Tacos Tu Madre are incredible, every taco truck you run into is delicious, the Salt and Straw ice creams are non-par (it’s the honey lavender for me), and Café Gratitude is so, so good. LA also has some great Chicago deep-dish pizza places, like Black Bird. For an extra kick, I’d probably take them to the Cannabis Cafe for a psychedelic/gastronomic trip. If someone had never been to America, I’d give them an hour-long tour of any one Trader Joes haha. Along the same lines, Grand Central Market is a must, and all the LA farmer’s markets are so much fun (I really enjoyed the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market, pre-COVID). More obvious to many, The Getty and Broad museums are wonderful places to spend hours and hours in.
The two things I’ve always loved are bookstores and coffee shops. LA has so many of these. There’s this one tiny coffee shop called Balcony Coffee and Tea, that’s surrounded by plants and has a tiny waterfall that I really enjoy. I’d also suggest Verve Coffee Roasters, The Assembly, and Day Glow to sip and to write. I’d have to force whoever visited me to take me to Dinosaur Coffee and Bourgeouis Pig, which I’ve still never been to! The Last Bookstore and Skylight Books are such beautiful places to check out, whether you enjoy compulsively buying books like me, or not. Beyond that, LA is famously insane when it comes to entertainment. Comedy Clubs (the Laugh Factory is a good one), concerts, film festivals (AFI Fest, HUMP!), movie and series premieres you can go with the click of an app. I’d take my best friend to an Arclight Theatre night screening of any movie, just because there’s something wonderful about being in a packed movie theatre with a bunch of strangers at 2am. At night, aside from hitting WeHo, I’d take them to this really small cozy, moody bar called Know Where I love, or to bigger ones like Apotheke or Spare Room. Finally, I’d probably take them to get a tattoo, because if you’re going to get one, LA is the place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, my best friend M. For years I sent music, demos, terrible low-quality recordings to her. She’d give me her input, she’d lift me up. She supported me. When I first created Finnix, she was the one that made me feel like I could do it. We call each other ‘soulmate,’ because we are. My friend S, who I’ve developed a musical partnership with that means a lot to me. And obviously my friends from my LA hostel days. They know who they are. Friendship is family. Having their laughter and support… I mean wow, to think if I hadn’t met them. How much I would’ve missed out on. They heard me sing once, and made me actively go back to pursuing music. I have no words for how much they mean to me.
And I have to mention Lady Gaga. From the get-go she was different, she was bold. She fucking worked to get her foot in the door, and once she was in she owned the room. An artist through and through. I must’ve been thirteen when I became absolutely enamored with her. People judged her without any care for the woman beneath, the absolute genius and creativity behind her ideas, her clothes, her music videos. And she always, always showed kindness. I genuinely think the world would be a worst place if Gaga hadn’t risen the way she has. She’s my inspiration.