For Finn Foxell, music has always been second nature. Growing up in Shepherd’s Bush, West London with a songwriter dad and a brother who was heavily involved in the grime scene might have had something to do with that. But Foxell’s been writing lyrics on his own since he was just eight years-old.
Now 23, the musician recently released his single Leaders, a punky, antagonistic rebuke to the UK’s sorry state of affairs. On it, Foxell laments the “rich, pompous pricks who judge when all of their kids wanna be like us,” over captivating guitar riffs, evoking Panic Prevention-era Jamie T and slowthai. It’s a much-needed anthem for disenfranchised youth.
“I started working with Jacob Manson, a good friend of mine, a couple of years ago,” Foxell says of the song’s inception. “He was the first person who put me in a space to try out real, guitar-driven music. I’d grown up listening to The Clash and Sex Pistols, but I had no idea where to start if I was to ever do that kind of thing. Jacob helped me make my first football stadium belter.
“Leaders is a record about class, which can get quite tricky,” he continues, “but I still want it to represent the majority and how we’re all fucking feeling, that frustration. I wanted to be inclusive while still making points.”
The track marks a sonic departure from his previous work, though it’s still just as energetic as his more rap-driven releases. Being a part of London music collective Elevation Meditation collective since Year 11, alongside the likes of DJ-producer P‑rallel and rapper Lord Apex, has had an immeasurable impact on Foxell’s journey so far, both musically and personally.
“We were all mutuals – a couple of the boys had gone to dance together, some of us went to primary together,” he continues. “Then we started listening to music, recording at P‑rallel’s who had a mic under his bunk bed. It solidified really quick, and from there we’ve built up this collective mind about where we want to go. It’s like a little brotherhood.”
Since working with Manson, though, Foxell’s “whole creative process has changed”. Before, he’d write lyrics on public transport and polish them up in the studio. “Now, I only hit the studio when I’ve really got something to say,” he says. “It’s been a really satisfying process for me. I feel like I’m becoming more of a songwriter.”
Below, we caught up with Foxell to talk about the latest (and scariest) AI technology, his favourite herbal tea and the importance of being “fucking kind”.