by Alice Hingley
Finn Foxell has proven himself to be one of the most talented vocalists coming out of the West London music scene. His undisputedly smooth flow combined with his distinct wit and charm has meant that the Shepherds Bush native has won himself a loyal fan base. His latest release Alright Sunshine, which came out last month, has been met with critical acclaim and seems to mark the beginning of a bright future for Finn. We spoke over Zoom about the importance of creative surroundings, motivation routines and his vision for his future.
What influenced the Alright Sunshine EP?
The EP was made over the course of the last few years. It was an amalgamation of everyone around me, everything I was on, leading up to where I am now. It's not too deep. It's just Alright Sunshine, man. Just a playful little love letter to Brits in their late teens, I was trying to keep it wholesome.
Musically it sounds quite light compared to your earlier singles and the Talk is Cheap EP, are you transitioning into a new era with your music?
I'm taking myself a bit less seriously than I used to. Having fun with it, getting more wholesome. Not trying to act a certain way - I just want to make good music for people to enjoy. There's a whole bunch of new lanes we're going to explore in upcoming singles and albums, so Alright Sunshine was a real transition piece for me to show you a taste of some of the other stuff that I can do. Hopefully it makes you grin a bit.
It's definitely a feel-good EP. So wholesome, especially ‘Golden Nuggets’, talking about CITV and CBBC - I feel it’s so nostalgic.
Yeah man, for a ‘99 baby or anyone in or around that, that's bang on. Hopefully the audience can relate and be like, ”Damn, I really used to argue with my sister to change the channel, eat my Golden Nuggets.” I wanted to imprint a certain level of nostalgia, especially relating to all of the rap music I've made in the past, and just imprint a bit more wholesomeness on top of it. ‘Golden Nuggets’ was my first self produced track as well, I was really proud of that one.
Did you enjoy producing? Do you think that's something you'll do more of in the future?
100%. I’m just scratching the surface. I made a bunch of beats before which were terrible. Then when Lord Apex was recording his project in the studio, I was just sitting on my laptop going at it in the corner, and I realised I was on to something. When ‘Golden Nuggets’ ended up hitting the EP, I was so happy. Producing is something I've always wanted to do but it’s something I’ve felt out of my depth with; It'd be great to show people more Foxell production.
What’s it like being part of Elevation Meditation? At your Village Underground gig you seemed so supportive of each other.
That's family! Me and P-rallel had the most wonderful cuddle on stage when my set was done. It was just like: Oh my god we did it! We've all pushed each other in certain ways from the very jump. P-rallel has always been on it with production, Louis Culture is a great producer as well - he produced a lot of the Smile Soundsystem project. They definitely helped me get here.
How did it feel to see everyone receiving the EP so positively at the Village Underground show?
Amazing. In plain terms the best night of my life, for sure... best night yet! It was such a milestone. The people who’ve been enjoying my music for ages and the people who have just got into it recently are all there just having a big dance, singing along. I couldn't put that feeling into words. I can't wait to just do more of that.
You’re doing bits at 22, how do you stay motivated?
I'm lucky I’ve always had hard-working people around me, reminding me to stay on track. If you want something enough - and Lord knows I want this - if you enjoy it, it rewards you, gives you an outlook, and can potentially pay your bills. Graft your socks off for it! The only reason you're gonna be pissed is if you don't take the risk.
"If you want something enough - and Lord knows I want this - if you enjoy it, it rewards you, gives you an outlook, and can potentially pay your bills."
What makes West London so special?
West is just a melting pot of different types of people. There's a different level of wholesomeness and openness in musical circles. There's NiNE8 Collective and Elevation Meditation, we all created that energy. There's lesser egos than other musical situations, it was always very wholesome. Also, the sonics of it, if you listen to what the people of West are on, it's so different man! The same reflects in the clothing brands that are coming out of West, Corteiz and Phuggers, there's just a different sauce. Just like a lot of other places around the UK have their own, I think West has its own, and it's been really solidifying over the last few years.
What’s the music you’re working on at the moment like?
It's a weird mishmash craziness of Britpop, rock, indie, rap, punk and folk - it's nuts! I'm so excited about it. Equally, I'm so happy to have Alright Sunshine out. It's still a whole chunk of me that is representative of the past couple of years. It's such a milestone thing because it's that transition. Before I make a move into a whole other like territory, musically, to give a nod to just everything I've been on until now.
This sounds like such a mix of sounds - I love it! Do you feel music doesn’t need to conform to one genre?
It’s a whole new direction, but it's still in every way a bit of me. I've always wanted to make music you can mosh to, and then a lot of guitar-driven music, and then a whole lot of vulnerable music as well. There's only so much you can do when you're working in a pigeonhole mindset. I couldn't recommend more to any young artists, just make anything and everything for the fun of it. Experimentation is so key. It's a privilege now that we don't have to be stuck to one genre.
When can we expect to see you on tour?
We just announced our UK tour. So the tickets are live now! We're doing eight dates in May. Eight cities around the UK, Dublin as well. We may well be coming to a city near you! Go grab a ticket. See you there!
Alright Sunshine is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music now.