Welcome to COSIGN, where I’ll present a group of fresh and invigorating talent that does more than just add to the conversation of who’s who, they advance it! There’s something intangible they possess. It’s more than just hustle. This collective group simmer on the edge of fame and notoriety not only because of their skill and ambition, but because they did more than just wish on a star.
Whatever “it” is, Fink’s got it! The beauty about this singer-songwriter is he doesn’t sound like he’s a white guy from Brighton, England (not that there’s anything wrong with sounding like a white guy from Brighton). With his band in tow, his love for folk music and the blues are apparent in his scratchy, gritty vocals. It’s his frank, yet romantic lyrics that landed him in the studio with a young Amy Winehouse and scored him a co-writing cred with Grammy winner John Legend. While on vacation, Fink took the time to speak to COSIGN (in his awesome English accent) about the his musical path and lessons learned.
How did you get your start in music?
I started in the early days by sending off demos to record companies. You send them a massive sack of tapes and some A&R intern listens to them all and you get signed. The way that I got my break as a singer/songwriter I wrote a song on my way to work and had a real impetus to record it when I got home. That’s how I got my first break as a singer-songwriter, by simply writing a track and recording it as best I could.
What was the song about?
The song “Pretty Little Things” came out on the “Biscuits For Breakfast” album. This song in particular, it’s about a girl, who may to your friends look a bit cheap or a bit nasty and you’re like ‘well I don’t care what you think. I think she looks great’ That’s kind of roughly what the song “Pretty Little Things” is about.
You’ve worked with John Legend. How did that come about?
John is a great guy. [We met] through a mutual friend. When I came over and hung out in New York and In L.A. it became pretty obvious to write songs and hang out , which we did, and was great. I ended up helping him write “Green Light” and “Set Me Free” which came out on his “Evolver” album and he helped me write, “Maker” and “Move On Me” which came out on my “Revolution” album. I do a lot of collabs and not all of them work, but when you work with someone who can sing that well and play piano that well if it doesn’t work, it’s definitely your fault.
Tell me about working with Amy Winehouse.
It was 10 years ago and she was 16 and it was before she was signed. We did four wonderful tracks together over a two-month period. She was just incredible! Just insane! Her awesomeness just isn’t captured on record. I’m one of the few people, and anyone who saw her do a good gig live show, knows how good she was. It was just mind blowing. I kept the microphone we used to record. [I said to myself] I’m just gonna keep this mic in case you turn into the new Ella Fitzgerald or the new Billie Holiday. I was friends with Amy and I can’t listen to her stuff without feeling a bit tragic.
Are you really inspired by the blues?
I really love it and unfortunately the blues is a market and a sound that’s been played and butchered and wronged for so many decades. It’s very difficult to go to the blues without sounding cheesy. But I have a strange relationship with the blues because I’m a white guy from Europe. It’s almost like if I have a relationship if I did R&B or like a lot of white rappers have a strange relationship with rap. It’s like you don’t own this, this isn’t yours.
What’s the key to being a successful songwriter?
I think the key to being a songwriter is to write lots of songs. It does sound kind of obvious, but you know a lot of songwriters don’t. They just write enough and I think just like anything else in life the more you have to choose from, the better your choices will be.
Like Giant on Facebook to keep up with the latest in Men’s Lifestyle, Entertainment and Culture!