FOCUS: Finn B
Since moving to Nottingham for his studies, Finn B and his dark, fractious beats have become a staple of the local experimental scene. Riding on the swell of new single Loser, the esoteric youngster talked collaborations, inspirations, and his upcoming high-concept seven-track project for this week’s FOCUS feature.
Finn B, a student of NTU’s Confetti School of Music, is deeply involved in the ongoing developments of Nottingham’s music scene. He strives, as he puts it in his latest and perhaps most energetic single, Loser, to make “tunes like you haven’t heard.” The eye in a storm of electronic instrumentation, Finn possesses the unique ability to manipulate the generic qualities of his sound; to bend the functionality of sound itself – four to the floor drum beats often find themselves alongside touching expressions of complex emotion via sampling and vocal manipulation. The importance of creating interesting and refreshing patterns of sound appears to be something Finn is conscious of in his approach to production, and he often calls on other Nottingham artists in an attempt to enrich and sustain them.
Local integration and notoriety have been of both the highest importance and opposition since Finn moved to university in 2019. The prohibition of live shows and general musical liaison mean that artists are generally restricted to themselves and those in their immediate sphere – fortunately for Confetti students like Finn, this tends to include decidedly talented musicians. Finn spoke of the importance of collaboration with vigour, asserting that “it’s less about finding people who make similar music than it is about finding people with a similar mindset… I make a lot of music with my course mates because we seem to cross over in our attitudes towards our music.” Local collaboration, particularly with artists such as Saffron, Franky Bones, and George Gretton, is an important way into Finn’s music more specifically – often, it is music by committee, by shared intention – one that seeks strengthen the intrinsic link between music and emotion.
Calling on all-time influence, Radiohead, Finn spoke of the purpose of music: “music is here to provoke emotion, to find common ground between different emotions. It’s not just my music that does that, but music as a whole. Emotion is the foundation for music; it’s the reason for it, and emotion needs to be at the forefront of the writer’s mind because it’s at the forefront of the listeners.”
Finn’s debut EP, 2019 (released in April of 2020) is perhaps the most apt expression of such an inheritance of emotional prominence. Influenced largely by Bon Iver, the EP places emphasis on sampling and a manipulation of the human voice, both of which are mysterious prisms through which emotion can be split and amplified. It is when such prisms are made electronic, or inflected by a partial experimentation, which serves as artistic stimulus for Finn: “it wasn’t until fairly recently that artists started to integrate emotion into that sort of genre, and that really fascinates me.”
Moving forward, Finn is working continuously on a high-concept seven-track project, one that he admits “will be out sooner rather than later’, a project that seeks to perpetuate his investigation of the lines separating genre, and looks to answer the question, ‘what happens when musicians blur those lines?’”
Written by: Matt Andrews
Edited by: Olivia Stock