By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With previous singles like “Stan’s Copycat” that have garnered worldwide praise and been featured on Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlist, Berlin-based musician Andi Fins has returned with a new album, ‘Whatever Works,’ which was unveiled on April 1, 2020 with the accompanying single “Parkin Lot.”
Fins’ music encompasses a blend of 70’s SoulPop, Gorillaz-esque lyrical playfulness and melancholy you might find on a Radiohead song. In terms of a theme, the new album leans towards the typical ups-and-downs that the daily grind can present – an emotional rollercoaster of sorts.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with Fins about his latest music and more.
Music Bugle – How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected you as a musician?
Andi Fins – The most substantial change is that there are no more shows to play, no jams with friends, no rehearsals, no recording work in a studio together with other human beings, etc.. All that usually takes a big part of every musician’s daily life, so now you have to deal with new challenges like this Zoom thing, streaming gigs which you are actually shooting by yourself with an invisible microphone and a tiny lens while you are playing like, into the nowhere and reading comments at the same time, so hopefully that’s all just temporary.
Music Bugle – How would you describe the “scene” in Berlin for your particular genre?
Andi Fins – It’s a great scene with so many gifted writers, singers and players. This is like home for everybody who is looking for kindred spirits, no matter if it’s indie, pop, electro or jazz. Okay, maybe it’s not the place to be for playing country or heavy metal, but seriously, there is a lot of stuff going on here, it’s vibrating, but the best times club-wise are maybe gone for now, not only because of Corona, but it’s a fact that smaller clubs and cool opportunities for playing have been getting rare since the last decade. Even in low budget locations, the deals get risky and in general, live business is a tougher one nowadays.
Music Bugle – Can you describe what the process of putting together your new album ‘Whatever Works’ was like? What inspired the name?
Andi Fins – It was inspired by the story of the song in the first place, but sure, I’m aware of the Woody Allen film, too. I love most of his movies, but the song idea doesn’t have anything in common with it. Let’s say it’s a coincidence. It was fun putting the album tracks together. I started writing about last year and we did two little studio sessions where we arranged and played the basics together with bass, drums, a fake keyboard track and vocals. The rest was homework, which I really love doing. It’s like putting all the flavors in, changing phrases, putting the lyrics in concrete terms, adding choirs, etc.. That’s fun and you watch everything growing. It’s always an exciting journey on which some songs can die, too. Sad but true and until the very last meters, there can suddenly arise a new one. It’s maybe because you are getting an overview and you want to get a picture of the whole album with an interesting dramaturgy somehow.
Music Bugle – How would you describe your sound to somebody who never heard of you before?
Andi Fins – I can’t answer that one, I think. For me, it’s just pop music.
Music Bugle – What is your most meaningful song or set of lyrics that you like to quote the most?
Andi Fins – Well, each is personal to me, but maybe “French Movie” is kind of a deeper thing here. It’s about hiding your feelings, about uncontrollable anger. It’s about patterns you can’t shake off. It’s about what you sound like to someone, though you have an entirely different message to send and it’s about saying goodbye to the cool poser boy who has been trying to stay on top of things all the time.
Music Bugle – What made you release “Parkin Lot” as a single in particular?
Andi Fins – The song made a big change on the travel and I started the lyrics completely from new a few weeks before releasing it. I thought it’s a funny piece cut out of a moment, just a picture with a catchy hook. Actually, I produced it straight for radio airplay, shorter than three minutes and I was hoping to launch my personal “Every Breath You Take” for a lifetime pension and a castle in the Toscana, those kind of things and it didn’t work out again. Okay, just kidding, (Laughs) but seriously, I thought it makes sense in relation to the previous release, which was a more sad and quiet one.
Music Bugle – Did you listen to any particular artists while putting together your latest work?
Andi Fins – I listened to Anderson Paak, The Devine Comedy, Niki & the Dove, Lucio Battisti, Mac DeMarco, Little Dragon…
Music Bugle – What are your future plans?
Andi Fins – I’m writing new songs and I’m planning to record the complete ‘Whatever Works’ album soon as a live session on tape and video, just me and the piano.
Music Bugle – What do you feel people should know about you?
Andi Fins – I smoke when i’m drinking.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Andi Fins – When I heard The Police from the tape recorder around the fireplace in the woods. I was 15 and a bunch of kids and I had a little wooden hut where we got wild at on weekends and got in a lot of trouble with our parents each time we got home again.