Charlie Finch Interview
Thank you, Charlie, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions to help to inspire and influence our Creative Young Souls.
The Crew: At what age did you start music and why?
Charlie Finch: I started writing music as a means of expressing myself at the age of 15 but when I “actually” started learning how to play guitar and sing is a bit of a blur, as I grew up in an incredibly musical family surrounded by instruments.
The Crew: What instruments do you play?
Charlie Finch: I play the guitar and percussion instruments when I perform, but at university, I studied voice, drums and basic keyboard harmony. I experimented with many different instruments growing up including the Ukulele, Banjo and Mandolin.
The Crew: Who were your first music teachers? Did/Do you have a mentor?
Charlie Finch: I would have to say my Dad was my first “music teacher” showing me basic chords and scales on the guitar. In high school, a lady who went by the name of Miss Kendall at the time was the one who persuaded me to start taking singing lessons.
The Crew: What kind of music did you listen to growing up, and what do you listen to now?
Charlie Finch: I listened to a vast range of music growing up anything from Blink 182 to City and Colour. Nowadays I’m still listening to a wide range of music from bluegrass bands such as the Punch Brothers through to bands like Coldplay and Mumford & Sons.
The Crew: How did you get into the music industry?
Charlie Finch: While I was studying music I would perform at local venues around Port Elizabeth, and this led to me wanting to pursue music as a career. A friend saw me performing one day and told me I should really consider recording my songs, which later led to me recording my album with Little Big Studio.
The Crew: What advice were you given as a breakthrough artist?
Charlie Finch: So many people have shared good advice with me over the years but what really stood out was this “No one is going to fight for your career as hard as you are, so you better be willing to give it everything you’ve got.”
The Crew: Tell us a bit about your debut album, “Life’s Journey”. Did you write your own songs or collaborate with others?
Charlie Finch: So everything on “Life’s Journey” was written by me and it’s really just me telling the stories and lessons that I’ve learnt throughout my life. While the album has some upbeat songs, it also has a couple of quieter songs which I’m very excited for everyone to hear.
The Crew: How do you feel about the very positive reception your debut single, “If I Ever Let You Down” has had? How does it feel to hear your music on the radio?
Charlie Finch: The response to “If I Ever Let You Down” has been incredible. I’m just grateful people like it. The first time I heard my song on the radio was completely surreal. I didn’t even know it was going to be played. I just started getting calls and messages from friends saying I was on the radio.
The Crew: Please tell us about your music making process, and what inspires your creativity?
Charlie Finch: I usually start writing a song because of an experience I’ve had or something I’ve witnessed. So I’ll sit down with a guitar and write about whatever has happened, I’ve always enjoyed telling a story through music.
The Crew: How has growing up in South Africa influenced your music?
Charlie Finch: South Africa has definitely influenced my music in certain aspects- I would say the main example I can think of is the way I pronounce words. I like to sing my words as we would pronounce them as if we were talking in our accent. I don’t like to use American pronunciation, such as the word “Dance”, not “Daaaaaance.”
The Crew: Which South African musical artists inspire you?
Charlie Finch: I think South Africa is filled with incredible musicians of all different genres. I’m inspired by many different artists in SA, but I’d have to say the musicians that have personally inspired me are guys like Stuart Reece, Matthew Mole and Gangs of Ballet.
The Crew: Who are your international musical inspirations?
Charlie Finch: I’m a massive fan of Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay. I love musicians who can not only perform well but also compose their own material.
The Crew: Which local or international artists would you like to collaborate with and why?
Charlie Finch: I would love to write a song with Ed Sheeran. I just think it would be amazing to sit down and write a song with someone I consider to be one of the best modern day composers around.
The Crew: What impact has technology, the internet, and social media had on your career so far?
Charlie Finch: I believe the internet and social media have had a massive impact on my career. The fact that I can upload a video on Youtube and it can be seen around the world is incredible. It’s also great to be able to connect with the South African population so easily just by “liking” a music Facebook or Instagram page – it lets you engage with people in a way you would never have been able too.
The Crew: What do you dislike about the music world?
Charlie Finch: I think in every industry there are pros and cons. For me, it can be a bit sad to see incredibly talented people not get anywhere in the music industry because they don’t know the right people or have the right backing behind them.
The Crew: What projects are you working on now?
Charlie Finch: My biggest focus is currently on my debut album and everything it entails. The next big thing I’ll be working on is the music video for the albums title track “Life’s journey”.
The Crew: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Charlie Finch: In ten years I’d like to have a couple of albums under my belt and hopefully having had the opportunity to tour overseas.
The Crew: Do you think fame and fortune will change you as person?
Charlie Finch: If I had to reach that potential I would hope that it wouldn’t. For me making music has always been source of Joy and I would hope that fame and fortune would never change that.
The Crew: Do you see yourself staying in South Africa?
Charlie Finch: Yes I’d love to stay in South Africa, for me this is home.
The Crew: What advice would you give to all the Creative Young Souls out there?
Charlie Finch: My advice would be to work hard and never stop dreaming.
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