From his ‘Cool Bless Safe’ cruiser to the hazy sounds of ‘Bounce’, the Shepherds Bush-hailing prodigy Finn Foxell is one of the many promising acts holding it up for West London right now. If you’re ever looking for a slice of escapism, or a feel-good bubbler, Finn Foxell is your guy. Housing a catalogue going back as far as 2015, his signature gruff tone, laid-back flow, and self-assured presence is helping to pave a new wave of sound for like-minded others.
Although summer has drawn to a close, West London’s break-through act Finn Foxell is determined to bring back that British luminosity – for what felt like two days – in his highly anticipated EP, ‘Alright Sunshine’. Stepping out of his young adulthood as we gear up for the release of his debut album, this seven-track slice of heaven marks the end of a chapter for Finn.
Calling on his fellow Elevation Meditation collective members for assisted verses, he continues to challenge his sonic boundaries with a selection of versatile tracks. Following on from his 2020 drop ‘Talk Is Cheap’, although boxed into the ‘Alternative Rap’ category alongside many boundary-breaking artists, Foxell’s witty lyricism, British charm, and effortless swagger have accumulate a cult-like following that are eager for his every move.
Clash got the chance to catch up with Finn prior to the release of his brand-new EP to talk about his journey thus far, his exceptional cooking skills, the ‘Alright Sunshine’ project, and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!
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Talk me through your introduction to music and how this whole journey began for you.
There are people in my family that have always done music; my pops, he’s a songwriter and my brother he used to do grime. Since I was the age of 10-11, I’ve always had an inclining that I wanted to try it, whenever I saw my dad, I would grill him about it; I just wanted to learn more, and I got really excited by it. When I got to the age of 15, p-rallel - who I went to Primary school with - he hit me up “yo, I’ve got a mic and I know you’ve got bars so come over to my yard”, we made a couple tunes, and it went from there man. It’s him, Lord Apex, Louis Culture and Xav, we all started a collective called Elevation Meditation off the back of that and started making music together in West London. Yeah man, five years later here we are making more music!
Let’s talk about the ‘Alright Sunshine’ EP! First of all, where did the name come from?
It’s a weird one! It’s simple but complex at the same time. I literally say the phrase myself, like, “you alright sunshine?” and the second reasoning was because I just wanted it to be a sunny EP. I’ve been playing around with the concept of animism, which is the appreciation of the divine in nature. You know how people used to give gods to certain rivers, places, and mountains? That’s kind of the gist of it. If we look far back enough, we all used to worship the sun. In my head, I just thought it was a cool double meaning, just getting up and being human.
It’s such a British saying as well!
Yeah yeah! (laughs) I was really happy with it because as well as it saying something a little deeper, it’s quintessentially British as well which is something that I always want to capture in my music.
What were your intentions behind this project? Was there anything in particular that you wanted to get across?
So, on the project I’ve got all of Elevation Meditation featuring on it, which is something I didn’t have on my last project. None of them featured. It was really nice to have them all involved this time around because, with my album being the next project after this, I’m going to be stepping into new territory. This just felt perfect. It’s a nod to everything I’ve been doing leading up to this and makes sense with where I’m at now. It’s the first step towards my album and the last step of my career leading up to now before I get super vulnerable with it.
All the songs embody the playfulness of my late teens and early 20s, with my friends in London. Short, sweet, and simple. When it gets to the album, I’m going to convey a lot more!
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What’s your favourite track from the EP and why? I know it’s a hard question!
Yeah that’s tricky! I think ‘Golden Nuggets’ featuring Lord Apex is just a wholesome as fuck. When I listen to that, it just reminds me of being a kid that was my intent when I was making it. Any song that reminds you of that is the one!
Hopefully there is a bunch of late 90’s and early 00’s kids who can listen to that and relate to it on the same level. My other favourite is called ‘Figment’ which is like the unofficial first single, that one really embodies the themes throughout the whole EP just through what it’s saying and sounds like. I would say that’s the most defining song of the project.
What’s your creative process like?
It’s switched up a bit more now! I used to try and write songs every day, here there and everywhere. Whereas now, I have access to better studios and working with different producers, I feel like I can go about my day-to-day, see my friends etc for a few weeks and then I like to book myself loads of sessions or get in the studio for a week straight and vent out all the energy that I have been building up. That’s been my pattern recently. It’s nice letting myself charge up and going to release it all, rather than expecting something from myself every day.
The ‘Alternative Rap’ category is where a lot of you guys that are deemed more “underground” are boxed in to. Do you think that is something you fit into, or does it frustrate you when people put you into it?
You know what, I understand it. 90% of the music that I have dropped so far have been very rap orientated, there has been UKG, house, trap and other genres but I do get it! As an artist, we usually know the audience or the publics current perception of us is always a little bit behind from where we are at.
So, I acknowledge that it’s OK for people to perceive me this way for a little while longer whilst I get all this other stuff ready for them because once it drops, it’s going to be completely my own lane. People won’t be able to pigeonhole me into the same group as others, they’ll be like “Nah Finn, he’s his own lane, his own kettle”.
I’ve just been buying more time and becoming more certain of that fact whilst the labels keep running in the background! (laughs) Pigeonholes and labels, they all exist. We can let ourselves be put in them or we can grow out of them and break the boundaries.
You tend to have quite a cult following in comparison to the more mainstream audience which are just fans of the time. Why do you think artists like yourself, find it harder to reach a more “mainstream” level?
I think there’s a slow and sure journey and then there’s a catapult journey. Both of which are equally valid, for some people getting put in the limelight quickly works; putting something out that blows up and has to win over the public on a long-term basis. I’m very happy that I’ve taken the time.
My fanbase are happy to grow with me, rather than taking a step backward or forward depending on they feel I am doing in that specific moment. I think that’s mad valuable. It can take a bit longer but it’s a much sweeter journey in the long run; rather than being pedestalled on a stage where only some people are going to know your shit, you’d rather take the time and wait for the next stage when every person is fucking with it. For any young artist, just be reassured the long journey is often the most gratifying even if it feels like it’s more unnerving and daunting.
Putting the music aside, what do you like to do for fun?
Damn man! I like cooking, I’ve been doing that a fair bit recently.
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Do you consider yourself a good chef?
You know what, to myself, my girlfriend and my family! (laughs) I wouldn’t want to go flex on TikTok or some shit! I thoroughly enjoy it though; I like taking the time to make a banging meal and give it bare love. But yeah, cooking, making music, reading; I’m obsessed with anything that’s pretty much mysterious. I love alternative sciences and history, all of those topics where no one is quite sure about them!
Like conspiracy theories?
Yeah! The questions in life that we can’t usually answer, I find myself researching and looking into stuff like that. I got back into skateboarding recently which has been cool. I like going to cool places around London with my friends, I’ve been trying to do more wholesome shit rather than jobless little yob antics! (laughs) I’m 23 now so I am trying to do more grown-up shit!
What’s something in your playlist that fans wouldn’t expect you to listen to?
If they saw my playlist, most of it they wouldn’t expect! (laughs) There’s The Wombats, Brent Faiyaz, Gwen Stefani, Jesse Royal – a bunch of random ones! My favourite song that I’ve been bumping for a few months now is, ‘Only A Fool Would Say That’ by Steely Dan, they’re a band from the 70’s but that song is a BANGER! I feel like most people would say, “He fucks with that song? Mad!”, but that’s my jam at the moment!
You’re into your fashions! What brands are you fucking with at the minute?
Corteiz, Wall Street Mafia, Phuggers, and Almost Civilian – they’re all brands that I personally love, as well as them being people that I know behind it. I know what the brand is coming from and what they are all about, they are all really good people. I’ve been wearing a lot of Clarks over the last couple years, they’ve been my main shoe; wallabees or desert boots. My main thing is green colours, like Army green and shit like that!
Would you ever come out with your own brand?
Yeah man! I’d run it as though it’s a lifestyle page which is something I’ve done over the past few years, cannabis culture and alternative sciences. Just really fun stuff! That’s the aim for the future, with ultra-sustainability, that’s how I would like to incorporate more, me as an artist and identifying with a brand that sells something. I want it to be more lifestyle and solution based rather than just selling a t-shirt with a graphic.
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Words: Elle Evans
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