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Fin Greenall, who is the voice and heart behind Fink, often gets mistaken for other people. 

At the BMI Awards in the US, a ‘roomful of gangstas and playas’ were convinced the Cornwall-born, Bristol-raised Englishman was a lawyer, and not a songwriter picking up an ‘American Urban’ gong – one of three BMIs he received for his work with John Legend on the soul singer’s Evolver album.

In Berlin, clubbing capital of the world, they think he helps run a small minimal techno label. In certain London circles he’s known as the hardworking insider whose past roles at DefJam, Sony Music, Talkin’ Loud, and Source saw him work with a range of artists longer than the horizon. At the BBC, they imagine Fink as perhaps the only musician who has played both the Electric Proms and the actual Proms (was that really the same guy leading a 120-piece orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in an ‘immense’ cover of Roy Ayers’ Everybody Loves The Sunshine?). 

In record company circles, he’s the producer who worked on the first demos by Amy Winehouse and the writer who’s been crafting hooks for Professor Green. In big-room booths around the world, he’s the internationally-renowned DJ and Ninja Tune stalwart who finally hung up his Sennheisers with a valedictory set at London’s Fabric in 2003. ‘My skillset just seemed so old compared to these guys that could DJ for six hours without one high-hat out of place using Ableton or something,’ he notes admiringly.

Who is Fin Greenall? All of the above. 

Yes, the now-Brighton-based musician acknowledges, he has done – does do – all of those things. ‘But none of that is as important as how I feel when I write songs like "Fear is Like Fire" and "Perfect Darkness". The Fink thing is my main thing.’

As a kid, the one thing of his dad’s that Fin Greenall wasn’t allowed to touch was the old Martin acoustic guitar. ‘It was his one possession where he said, “everything in this house is owned by everybody – apart from that.”’ But with age – and the burgeoning of his son’s skills as a player – came a relaxation of the exclusion zone: Greenall plays the Martin on the punchy, Jeff Buckley-covering-Radiohead-esque "Fear Is Like Fire". It’s sure to become a live stand-out on Fink’s upcoming, 18-month-long world tour. ‘It’s all about trying to look at fear and be optimistic – you can be really negative or fucking embrace it and use it. 

‘The great thing about growing up in a house where music is a big factor,’ he continues, ‘was the fact that music being part of your life was a perfectly natural thing.’ 

Music, it seems, became more than that: it was Greenall’s life. He hoovered up the sounds he heard on John Peel: ‘The Cure, The Smiths, The Orb, African music, Japanese hardcore’. He embraced skateboarding, the music and the fashion – ‘it was an awesome way to grow your own culture’. At university in Leeds, electronic and dance music became everything. 

‘It was definitely about wanting to be part of a revolution that I could call my own,’ he recalls. ‘A couple of friends and I clubbed together our student loans and bought equipment to make ambient techno – we were really inspired by Aphex Twin and The Orb and Moby. We were amazed at how fucking easy it was to make ambient techno. It wasn’t easy to make good ambient techno,’ he laughs. ‘But it was easy enough to make techno good enough to get us signed after six months of mucking around at uni.’ 

The young techno warrior was messianic. 

‘I thought the song was dead, the chorus was dead, playing drums and guitar and bass was so old-school and outdated and why would you want to do that? Dylan did that 50 years ago! We should be part of this new revolution, instrumentalism, acid house, rave culture, techno – this stuff is a brave new avant-garde frontier and you should be involved.’ 

His ardour and his skills saw Greenall become part of the Ninja Tune family – first signed on the back of a cassette-tape demo - as artist, DJ, writer, producer, and remixer. 

‘Brilliant times,’ he sighs nostalgically. ‘Sometimes you’d just have to pinch yourself. Then, other times, you wake up in Bratislava on a Tuesday morning and you’re reminded that there is hard work to all of this.’ All that crate-digging wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be either: ‘You can’t be shit!’ Greenall grins. ‘And because of the community that Ninja has worldwide, if you are shit everybody knows about it the next day. Eight years of DJing have given me an obscenely huge record collection. I just cleared out the breaks section – four crates of twelves that were total pony!’ 

So the wheels of steel started to fall off. 

‘It wasn’t until I’d run that right the way through to its natural conclusion – I’m an international DJ on the biggest DJ label in the world – that I thought: I’m kinda over it. And it was actually working with a young artist straight out of school called Amy Winehouse that inspired me to go, “wow, songs are great! Now I get how difficult it is, and how much talent there is involved in this. It’s more of a challenge than clubbing.”’ 

Greenall melted down his turntables and recast them as a guitar and a stool. Metaphorically speaking. His parents were pleased. ‘My career only made sense to them when I picked up a guitar and started to sing,’ he says. ‘All of a sudden I was doing music, I wasn’t just mucking around. But in my rave days, DJing techno and breaks, they didn’t get that at all. That’s probably why I did it in the first place. 

‘But I realised: if your music had songs in it, it had a much greater reach. Not in business terms, but if a singer of, say, Amy’s calibre sings over this beat, it becomes so much bigger than just a beat. I can’t get rid of my clubbing past, not that I’d want to. But the linear nature of some of my music is definitely because of all those years spent clubbing and DJing, when a very simple idea can make the best club record. And it’s the same with songs – I’m after a really simple riff or really simple lyric or melody. And it’s about keeping that beautiful moment going for as long as you can.’

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Fink Website

Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud

[image_upload_id] => 19785 [label_id] => 13 [twitter_username] => Finkmusic [instagram_id] => [instagram_username] => [link] => [listed] => 1 [sortname] => Fink [created] => 2010-07-17 22:15:58 [modified] => 2014-08-11 14:09:15 [slug] => fink [fuga_id] => [description_clean] =>

Fin Greenall, who is the voice and heart behind Fink, often gets mistaken for other people. 

At the BMI Awards in the US, a ‘roomful of gangstas and playas’ were convinced the Cornwall-born, Bristol-raised Englishman was a lawyer, and not a songwriter picking up an ‘American Urban’ gong – one of three BMIs he received for his work with John Legend on the soul singer’s Evolver album.

In Berlin, clubbing capital of the world, they think he helps run a small minimal techno label. In certain London circles he’s known as the hardworking insider whose past roles at DefJam, Sony Music, Talkin’ Loud, and Source saw him work with a range of artists longer than the horizon. At the BBC, they imagine Fink as perhaps the only musician who has played both the Electric Proms and the actual Proms (was that really the same guy leading a 120-piece orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in an ‘immense’ cover of Roy Ayers’ Everybody Loves The Sunshine?). 

In record company circles, he’s the producer who worked on the first demos by Amy Winehouse and the writer who’s been crafting hooks for Professor Green. In big-room booths around the world, he’s the internationally-renowned DJ and Ninja Tune stalwart who finally hung up his Sennheisers with a valedictory set at London’s Fabric in 2003. ‘My skillset just seemed so old compared to these guys that could DJ for six hours without one high-hat out of place using Ableton or something,’ he notes admiringly.

Who is Fin Greenall? All of the above. 

Yes, the now-Brighton-based musician acknowledges, he has done – does do – all of those things. ‘But none of that is as important as how I feel when I write songs like "Fear is Like Fire" and "Perfect Darkness". The Fink thing is my main thing.’

As a kid, the one thing of his dad’s that Fin Greenall wasn’t allowed to touch was the old Martin acoustic guitar. ‘It was his one possession where he said, “everything in this house is owned by everybody – apart from that.”’ But with age – and the burgeoning of his son’s skills as a player – came a relaxation of the exclusion zone: Greenall plays the Martin on the punchy, Jeff Buckley-covering-Radiohead-esque "Fear Is Like Fire". It’s sure to become a live stand-out on Fink’s upcoming, 18-month-long world tour. ‘It’s all about trying to look at fear and be optimistic – you can be really negative or fucking embrace it and use it. 

‘The great thing about growing up in a house where music is a big factor,’ he continues, ‘was the fact that music being part of your life was a perfectly natural thing.’ 

Music, it seems, became more than that: it was Greenall’s life. He hoovered up the sounds he heard on John Peel: ‘The Cure, The Smiths, The Orb, African music, Japanese hardcore’. He embraced skateboarding, the music and the fashion – ‘it was an awesome way to grow your own culture’. At university in Leeds, electronic and dance music became everything. 

‘It was definitely about wanting to be part of a revolution that I could call my own,’ he recalls. ‘A couple of friends and I clubbed together our student loans and bought equipment to make ambient techno – we were really inspired by Aphex Twin and The Orb and Moby. We were amazed at how fucking easy it was to make ambient techno. It wasn’t easy to make good ambient techno,’ he laughs. ‘But it was easy enough to make techno good enough to get us signed after six months of mucking around at uni.’ 

The young techno warrior was messianic. 

‘I thought the song was dead, the chorus was dead, playing drums and guitar and bass was so old-school and outdated and why would you want to do that? Dylan did that 50 years ago! We should be part of this new revolution, instrumentalism, acid house, rave culture, techno – this stuff is a brave new avant-garde frontier and you should be involved.’ 

His ardour and his skills saw Greenall become part of the Ninja Tune family – first signed on the back of a cassette-tape demo - as artist, DJ, writer, producer, and remixer. 

‘Brilliant times,’ he sighs nostalgically. ‘Sometimes you’d just have to pinch yourself. Then, other times, you wake up in Bratislava on a Tuesday morning and you’re reminded that there is hard work to all of this.’ All that crate-digging wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be either: ‘You can’t be shit!’ Greenall grins. ‘And because of the community that Ninja has worldwide, if you are shit everybody knows about it the next day. Eight years of DJing have given me an obscenely huge record collection. I just cleared out the breaks section – four crates of twelves that were total pony!’ 

So the wheels of steel started to fall off. 

‘It wasn’t until I’d run that right the way through to its natural conclusion – I’m an international DJ on the biggest DJ label in the world – that I thought: I’m kinda over it. And it was actually working with a young artist straight out of school called Amy Winehouse that inspired me to go, “wow, songs are great! Now I get how difficult it is, and how much talent there is involved in this. It’s more of a challenge than clubbing.”’ 

Greenall melted down his turntables and recast them as a guitar and a stool. Metaphorically speaking. His parents were pleased. ‘My career only made sense to them when I picked up a guitar and started to sing,’ he says. ‘All of a sudden I was doing music, I wasn’t just mucking around. But in my rave days, DJing techno and breaks, they didn’t get that at all. That’s probably why I did it in the first place. 

‘But I realised: if your music had songs in it, it had a much greater reach. Not in business terms, but if a singer of, say, Amy’s calibre sings over this beat, it becomes so much bigger than just a beat. I can’t get rid of my clubbing past, not that I’d want to. But the linear nature of some of my music is definitely because of all those years spent clubbing and DJing, when a very simple idea can make the best club record. And it’s the same with songs – I’m after a really simple riff or really simple lyric or melody. And it’s about keeping that beautiful moment going for as long as you can.’

[links_clean] =>

Fink Website

Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud

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From the UK via Liberia, Nigeria and Scotland, Young Fathers have pursued a unique trajectory, from mid-teen hip hop trio via psych-pop rap to where they are now, on their own original island thrown up by a pop volcano, tectonic plates of genres rubbing up against each other like under-sea dirty party-people; seams of molten pop history spewing lava more fertile than guano, upon which the rich foliage of hook, rhythm and bass grow immodestly in the sun.

Along the way, they have dropped pearls:  Straight Back On It, from their unreleased debut album Inconceivable Child... Conceived, is the telescoping of Tommy Boy into the 21st century.  Featured performances with Simian Mobile Disco and Stanton Warriors gave glimpses of the kind of light bulb shattering energy they are capable of.  Several tours, many festivals, honing a live presence which often looked like the vision of a boy band through the bottom of a glass of crystal meth.

Finally, having left their original production company and moved out on their own, Young Fathers dropped their first mixtape/mini album at the end of 2011.  TAPE ONE showed them in a darker place, a natural pop progression, the kind documented in the David Essex films, That'll Be The Day and Stardust, reaching shamanistic levels of call, response, lyrical invocations.  Wildly urban.

Signing to American west coast pulse-finder label, Anticon in 2012 they released TAPE TWO, even dirtier and louder than TAPE ONE (of course!) but also its natural side two.  With tracks like Queen Is Dead (which had the honour of being temporarily 'banned by the BBC' - literally, 'in case the Queen of Britain died') tapping into a Swazi initiation ceremony cut up by Gyson's scissors, to I Heard, full of that sweet, soul pain, holding hands with Curtis and Marvin over a dystopic beatbox.

2013 saw them venture to America, a natural target, where they mystified and blew away jaded SXSW regulars, then more tours around Europe and the UK, each time touching a few more innocents, passing through Reading and Leeds and creating thunder at the In The Woods festival.

Here they are then, alternating spells in the basement creating with alchemy massive bass on sheets of flash and mantronik steel, forged in an African fire, their new full length album entitled DEAD, due out on Anticon and Big Dada in the new year.

Loquacious Alloysious Massaquoi, lithe and graceful on stage, can take it from down and dirty to beatified choir boy in a musical phrase; growling and whispering 'G', gazing into the spotlight, transfixed by his own rhythms, pleading with the crowd to just, get it; exploding Kayus, whose overproof rapping can rip holes in walls without a microphone, hinting at dark deeds known and done, Ole Dirty Bastard's bastard son.

A stream of self-conceived and directed videos, a tie-in with Ch4 and Lemonade Money for the short films broadcast in 2013 featuring them and their music, hosting a friday night tombstone slot through October on BBC R1xtra, curating a monthly night in Glasgow at Broadcast (Back Off Devil), this plus upcoming tours of France, where TAPE TWO has been greeted with the classic Gallic understanding of all things dark-rocknroll (where Jim Morrison is apparently buried), touring the UK and the rest of Europe in the new year, all means that Young Fathers will hardly have time to think, let alone roam the gothic streets of old Edinburgh, hanging with friends.  

They are committed, on course, irrefutably aligned with the stars, set to sail the globe like a ghost ship, bringing dread and joy to safe harbours and dangerous docks.  Traveling with sails tattered and billowing from a mistral, channeled from the west coast of Africa to the east and the north of Britain, unfettered and multinational.  Without passports.

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From the UK via Liberia, Nigeria and Scotland, Young Fathers have pursued a unique trajectory, from mid-teen hip hop trio via psych-pop rap to where they are now, on their own original island thrown up by a pop volcano, tectonic plates of genres rubbing up against each other like under-sea dirty party-people; seams of molten pop history spewing lava more fertile than guano, upon which the rich foliage of hook, rhythm and bass grow immodestly in the sun.

Along the way, they have dropped pearls:  Straight Back On It, from their unreleased debut album Inconceivable Child... Conceived, is the telescoping of Tommy Boy into the 21st century.  Featured performances with Simian Mobile Disco and Stanton Warriors gave glimpses of the kind of light bulb shattering energy they are capable of.  Several tours, many festivals, honing a live presence which often looked like the vision of a boy band through the bottom of a glass of crystal meth.

Finally, having left their original production company and moved out on their own, Young Fathers dropped their first mixtape/mini album at the end of 2011.  TAPE ONE showed them in a darker place, a natural pop progression, the kind documented in the David Essex films, That'll Be The Day and Stardust, reaching shamanistic levels of call, response, lyrical invocations.  Wildly urban.

Signing to American west coast pulse-finder label, Anticon in 2012 they released TAPE TWO, even dirtier and louder than TAPE ONE (of course!) but also its natural side two.  With tracks like Queen Is Dead (which had the honour of being temporarily 'banned by the BBC' - literally, 'in case the Queen of Britain died') tapping into a Swazi initiation ceremony cut up by Gyson's scissors, to I Heard, full of that sweet, soul pain, holding hands with Curtis and Marvin over a dystopic beatbox.

2013 saw them venture to America, a natural target, where they mystified and blew away jaded SXSW regulars, then more tours around Europe and the UK, each time touching a few more innocents, passing through Reading and Leeds and creating thunder at the In The Woods festival.

Here they are then, alternating spells in the basement creating with alchemy massive bass on sheets of flash and mantronik steel, forged in an African fire, their new full length album entitled DEAD, due out on Anticon and Big Dada in the new year.

Loquacious Alloysious Massaquoi, lithe and graceful on stage, can take it from down and dirty to beatified choir boy in a musical phrase; growling and whispering 'G', gazing into the spotlight, transfixed by his own rhythms, pleading with the crowd to just, get it; exploding Kayus, whose overproof rapping can rip holes in walls without a microphone, hinting at dark deeds known and done, Ole Dirty Bastard's bastard son.

A stream of self-conceived and directed videos, a tie-in with Ch4 and Lemonade Money for the short films broadcast in 2013 featuring them and their music, hosting a friday night tombstone slot through October on BBC R1xtra, curating a monthly night in Glasgow at Broadcast (Back Off Devil), this plus upcoming tours of France, where TAPE TWO has been greeted with the classic Gallic understanding of all things dark-rocknroll (where Jim Morrison is apparently buried), touring the UK and the rest of Europe in the new year, all means that Young Fathers will hardly have time to think, let alone roam the gothic streets of old Edinburgh, hanging with friends.  

They are committed, on course, irrefutably aligned with the stars, set to sail the globe like a ghost ship, bringing dread and joy to safe harbours and dangerous docks.  Traveling with sails tattered and billowing from a mistral, channeled from the west coast of Africa to the east and the north of Britain, unfettered and multinational.  Without passports.

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