An Insight into Liza Finn
East London singer/songwriter Liza Finn talks to Student Times about taking the plunge into music from classical training to her début folk inspired EP Insight.
Liza Finn is the rather beautiful East London singer who brings her soft dulcet vocals with her debut EP Insight. From her initial beginnings as a classically trained vocalist to now with her folk inspired sound, Liza brings an EP that does what all good music does and that is bring an Insight to her as a person, woman and artist.
Student Times got to talk to her about music, life and her emotions.
You are classically trained so give a bit of history on your musical journey.
I studied music throughout school and I had a broad musical training from a young age. While I was keen to pursue my own music career straight out of school, I felt I needed to study my craft more so I applied to universities and got a place to study BA in Musical Performance at University of Exeter where I studied for 3 years-it was three hours of practice a day it was intense.
Give a bit of info on this whole open mic journey.
When I graduated I was initially looking to pursue my classical career but I desperately wanted to do something with my own songs. A friend who I knew from school had started running an open mic night, at short notice one of his acts pulled out and so he begged me to help him out. I’d never performed my songs in front of anyone so I was terrified but I thought, ‘here’s your chance, take it’. It went so they asked me back to perform and before I knew it I was being booked to do gigs all over London. I guess things could be quite different now if I hadn’t taken that call and agreed to do it. I’ve always thought that was a good lesson and now I always say yes to opportunities because you never know what will come from them.
Who has influenced you musically?
I grew up with hippies for parents. They played a lot of music they grew up with in the 60s and 70s, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cream. Predominantly they played a lot of records by American and Canadian singer/songwriter like, Joanie Mitchell, Suzanne Vega, Carole King, James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkel, so my love of storytelling developed from a young age.
Would you say you are folk/pop?
I think like a lot of singer/songwriters we don’t always fall so easily into a genre, my inspirations are varied and I am a songwriter first and a singer second. The core of my music however is very pure, stripped back folk style, but I write in a traditional pop structure (verse, choruses, middle 8) so I think folk/pop describes me well.
Your release Insight so give me some insight!
Where to start!? I think as a songwriter I like to think that I learn and evolve as a person from my experiences. Most of my songs are about journeys, people changing, becoming wiser from their experiences so I guess that is where the idea for the title came from. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. My songs are full of hope, because without it I don’t think I would continue to put myself through this grueling career of ups and downs and constant hurdles. I want my listeners to know that whilst life can be tough at times, there is so much to live and to be grateful for.
Selina is supposed to be partly influenced by Afghanistan please elaborate.
I got my inspiration for Selina after watching a documentary about young men and women training at Sandhurst, most of who were destined for tours of Afghanistan and most of them were only kids. Most of them had never even been in love, let alone lived long enough to really understand what they were getting themselves into. While the song is not about being in favor or against the war, I think we often forget we are at war because it doesn’t have any impact on our day-to-day lives. Selina was a prayer for them and anyone fighting abroad, I wanted them to know that regardless of my opinion about why they were fighting, I wanted them to know that I was thinking about them, that they were in my mind and thoughts, and that I hoped that in thinking of them it would keep them safe.
What’s the future plans then?
Well, I am at a really exciting and new juncture in my career. I’m releasing my single Saviour on 2nd June along with my music video. It’s pretty dark and scary which is a first for me, the Teaser which went out last week got an interesting reaction so who knows what people will say about the full video. I had such a great time filming it last week with Bullet Media TV. Following this, my EP Insight is out on 16th June and then I’ll be performing around the UK on a mini tour to promote it and also as thanks to my fans who made this EP possible. My next gig is likely to be at The Troubadour in London, my favourite venue to perform at, but check my website www.lizafinn.com for up to date news on gigs.
Single Saviour out 2nd June
Insight released 16th June