IfeFinch is back with his hybrid of sounds on his new EP Lauded. His music engages listeners with infectious melodies, diverse beats and a gliding flow. He covers every detail of his work from writing, performing, producing, mixing, engineering as well as the artwork. His latest project is notably darker than previous releases so we caught up with IfeFinch to find out about the making of Lauded, who he would love to work with, the challenges he has faced during COVID-19 and what he has plans for next.
Tell me about your new EP Lauded
Lauded is a project that took me over a year to start and finish, which is the longest I have ever worked on a project before. With the project, I wanted to dig more within myself to express how I feel about different things musically. The concept of the project changed a few times, even the name of the project changed a few times too. However, I chose to go with ‘Lauded’ because I felt it perfectly described the project in one single word. I also decided to take a different approach to how I recorded vocals and how I produced, mixed and mastered the project as well.
Some of the tracks are darker than previous releases, can you tell me what influenced you?
With that, I felt that I had to go for more of a darker sound with some of the tracks on Lauded because of the topics I was talking about in the songs. For example, with ‘Another Black’, I was highlighting the current issues with EndSars, the government cutting free school meals and also the ‘normalisation’ of black people being killed in today’s society – through a musical approach. I could not make a meaningful song about all these topics without the song having a dark sound to it. What influenced me with the darker sounds to some of the tracks on Lauded, is current topics and issues and also how I feel about it.
Which song and what lyrics from your EP particularly resonates with you and why?
‘Another Black’ is the song that resonates with me the most from Lauded. This is because it was not a track I planned to make or felt that I should even make. However, when I recorded the chorus, I had a completed different idea as to how the song was going to be topically. But I stopped and kept playing the lyrics to the chorus. After about 6 minutes, I started recording the verses. The song itself is special to me because it wrote itself, I was not thinking about the lyrics whilst I was recording the song. It was only after I finished recording, I understood the importance of the song and how powerful the lyrics are. The lyrics that resonate with me the most is the chorus from ‘Another Black’ – “I’m the type of leader that will lead you to the lake, by the look of your eyes I can tell that you’re fake, what another black man got killed for his race, another black man got killed in his place”. Also, on the track ‘Everything Around’, I said: “pray to Lord before I blow, cos this is my year”. These lyrics resonate with me a lot because I really felt those specific lyrics whilst I was recording them – I still feel them each time I listen to the song.
What was the most gratifying part of putting the EP together for you? Was it one particular song or the whole project – what really fulfilled you while you were putting it together?
The most gratifying part of putting the EP together was completing the project. This is because I had a clear idea of what I wanted the project to be, and I did not compromise on the vision that I had for the project. Even when I was lacking inspiration or I felt that the songs I was making were not good enough for the standard I had set myself for the project, I did not settle. I kept recording, producing instrumentals, re-mixing and re-mastering songs until I finished the project. I created 2 other artworks for the project before I created the official artwork. It was tiring at times, but I did not compromise on anything for this project. The thing that fulfilled me whilst I was making the project was that I was making sure everything was how I wanted it to be and I was giving/gave it my all. That is the most gratifying part of the putting the EP together too.
Why the title Lauded?
Because I wanted to use one unique word that sums up the project perfectly. Lauded was just that for me. Also, I wanted a word that would make people have to search what it means because it was not an everyday word. The most important reason for the why I titled the project Lauded, is because of the meaning of the word – ‘praised’. I know that my music will be global, and I will be praised for being a musical genius one day – not in an arrogant way, but in a confident and grounded way. I am sure of myself as an artist now, more than I have ever been before.
How would you describe your musical style to new listeners and how do you think it has evolved over the last few years?
My musical style finds its root in Hip-Hop, but confidently explores other genres of music. I have a unique tone of voice, that has been mature since the age of 15. As I produce, mix and master my songs, I have been able to create my own unique musical style. I would not describe myself as a rapper or a singer or both, I’m just an artist that enjoys making music for the world. My musical style has evolved over the years, as I have become more open with my lyrics and I have started to talk about topics other than surface-level lyrics from my music from the last few years. This is not to take away from my older catalogue of music, it is just me highlighting the growth within myself as an artist.
During our last interview, we discussed your tag line becky and you said all would be explained later on – can you divulge any more information now?
[Laughs] All I can say about that is, it’s a representation of me. More information will be given later on in my music career. When I do it, it’ll make perfect sense.
If you could work with any music artist, songwriter or producer, who would it be?
Nipsey Hussle is my number one pick. Rest in peace to him. I know he has unreleased music; I would love to have a verse or chorus on one of the songs. I’m speaking it into existence, either I’m going to feature on one of Nipsey’s song or Nipsey is going to feature on one of my songs; God willing. I’m also going to work with Skepta, Maleek Berry, Nyge, Sam Wise, Hardy Caprio, Jake One, A2, and Future; just to name a few, God willing.
What challenges do you face in the music industry today, especially in light of COVID-19?
The biggest challenge has been the cut on live performances. I love performing my music live and engaging with the crowd. Hopefully, things will calm down soon with COVID-19 and live shows will become a thing again.
What have been your biggest highlights of the past few years?
My biggest highlights of the past few years musically have been maturing my sound and being more open in my music, officially creating my own imprint called One Never Folds and constantly pushing myself to create the best music I can possibly create.
Which music artists influenced you while growing up?
I have been influenced by any music artist that has created a song or body of work that I like. But to more specific Nipsey Hussle, Skepta, Future, Maleek Berry, Hardy Caprio and myself. Sometimes, I listen to my own music and I am filled with inspiration, which then influences me to create more music.
Nipsey Hussle, Skepta, Future, Maleek Berry, Hardy Caprio, myself and any artist that makes great music that influences me to get up and work harder and make more music.
3 things you cannot live without?
In this order: God, family and music.
The last track on your new EP is called The Journey So Far…how would you describe your musical journey so far?
The best way I can describe my musical journey so far is growth. If you were to listen to my first official single ‘W.E.T.’ and then everything I have released after that, you will hear the growth with my music and also me as a person. With my music, I have always been (and will always be) me; I will never compromise on that.
What’s next for IfeFinch?
Growth. As I build a bigger fan base and a strong team around me, my growth as an artist will be shown to the world on the highest level. More visuals and more content that relates back to the music. Also, I will be releasing my official merch sometime next year.
With One Never Folds, I will be creating a music hub for the services of IfeFinch and also other artists, producers, engineers and so on. The main thing that is next for IfeFinch will be me embracing my leadership position more. I know I am a natural-born leader; I have always kept myself away from leading, but I’m ready now.
Lauded is out now on all streaming platforms.