FOCUS "YOUR OWN WORDS" Interview to T-FINNY
Following a string of successful releases, being published in a few well respected publications, and a few noteworthy playlists including a Spotify editorial, T-FINNY has been growing exponentially in the indie music space.
On Rotation: T-FINNY "After Party"
Hi T-FINNY. Tell us something about your professional journey so far?
First of all thank you for having me. I am a big fan of what you all are doing for independent artists around the world. I have been writing songs and making music for over decade, but it wasn't until the 2021 lockdowns, that I started producing. See, my whole life, music has been my escape and I never really even imagined that I'd ever pursue a career in it. Of course, I would fantasize and entertain the thought of playing a sold out tour and having charted songs, but it always seemed so unobtainable. At the time of the lockdowns, I was a junior in college and I was playing Ice Hockey for a University in Rhode Island. I had worked towards playing professional hockey, and that was the path I had chosen to pursue. Ironically enough, much like the path to success in music, being an athlete is a grind that comes along with many challenges, emotionally, physically, and socially. But luckily, I had my guitar to help me get my thoughts and feelings out. Before college, when I was playing for a team in New York, I had written an acoustic song for my girlfriend at the time. I played it at an open mic night, and met another musician that took a liking to my song, so we decided to produce it together. That was my first time in a studio, and being a part of the process, then finally seeing the song come alive was exhilarating. And I was hooked. The problem was that a month later, he moved out to Los Angeles, and I never heard from him again.
Oh, and we never dropped the song because it was on his computer! I told myself, that I would never let another person be in control of my music ever again, but I didn't know where to start, so naturally, I stuck to the open mic nights and writing my acoustic songs that nobody could really listen to. It was sad, but it was comfortable, plus I was prioritizing hockey. Fast forward to the lockdowns, I had so much free time and I was always writing songs. I decided to buy the free trial of logic pro x and a studio microphone, and I was off to the races. To be honest, production came pretty naturally to me, but the better I got, the more I craved to learn more, since you don't know what you don't know. I started networking and collaborating with other musicians, learning from them, and eventually found my good friend and mentor Timothy Coakley on TikTok of all places. We started working together in the midst of my first and only year of professional hockey, and by the end of the season, I knew that I was ready to start releasing my music to the world and pursuing this lifelong dream, that I had subconsciously been manifesting for over a decade. Since my first single "Rinse Cycle Repeat" in January of 2023, nearly seven months after retiring from hockey, I have released nine singles, and will have released my tenth single "After Party" by the time this interview comes out. I just want to say how grateful I am to you and all the other people that have been supporting this journey and vibing with my music.From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
How do you come up with ideas for new songs?
That's a tough question to answer, since I feel like I don't. They honestly just come to me. One of the biggest mental battles I have as an artist is trying to escape this mindset of scarcity and the idea that I might not be able to come up with any more songs, but I've come to the realization that if I just keep living life and growing as a person, the music and the stories will come to me, it's just a matter of finding the right way to express it.
What does high quality sound mean to you?
Of course there is a technical answer which is probably just along the lines of a mixed and mastered track that sounds radio-ready, but I genuinely think that the most important thing is that it sounds good. If it is pleasant to listen to and has a good meaning/message behind it, then it's high-quality.
Who or what are some of your greatest influences ?
I have such a wide array of music influences and I have been trying to blend them into one sound. It's hard to pick and choose, but I think the more music I release, it will become more apparent. If I had to pick a few artists that I constantly listen to, I really love and respect Mac Miller, he inspired me in many ways, a few others are Post Malone, Portugal The Man, Glass Animals, Still Woozy, Phoenix, Babyjake and Croosh. Of course, I am leaving a ton out, but off the top of my head, I have been listening to those artists for years and can always vibe to their music.
What role does technology play in your music-making process?
I mean, without technology, I am back to square one, writing songs on an acoustic guitar and playing songs for anyone that happens to be around. Learning to produce has given me the gift of sharing my music with the entire world. And creating music of the highest caliber, without spending thousands of dollars for professional studio time.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from being on the road as a musician that you can share with us?
I guess one story that comes to mind is also a key contributor to why I was so hungry to learn production and how to release my music to he world. I was a bit younger, and I was at a public park with my parents, when the band that was playing asked if there were any musicians in the crowd, my mom said "there's one right here." They called me up onto the stage and asked me what I want to perform. I was only confident enough to play the most recent song I had written, since it was the most recent song I'd remember how to play. So there I am, up on stage, pulling out my little iPhone, where the lyrics are. And all I can think to myself, is don't look up, just pretend you're in your room. So I played the song, and when I looked up there were like ten more people just inches away from the stage asking for another song! I was shocked... but the singer of the band was ready to get the set going again, so I handed the guitar back to her. When I walked off, a couple people came up to me and asked where they can find my music, and I was so embarrassed to say "nowhere yet." So if you're one of those people from Millburn, NJ back in 2013, you can find T-FINNY on all platforms. And thank you so much for the unintentional kick in the butt. I love you!
What are your plans for the coming months?
I am planning to start performing again soon and hoping to continue to put out more music for my growing fan base and support system. It has all been happening so fast, but I know this is only the beginning of something great, so I am just taking it one day at a time and appreciating the process as well as the progress.