29 January, 2020
Harper Finn: inspired by Devonport’s musical hub
Young musician Harper Finn is in the studio putting the finishing touches to his latest single Sun Down, still buzzing about performing at Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne.
Finn played to a crowd of 600-plus at the festival as a soloist, backed by old Takapuna Grammar (TGS) mates Elijah Whyte and Karl Svensen.
The trio had won $100 when they placed first at the 2015 TGS talent show, recalled Finn: “$33 each.”
“At Rhythm and Vines, we were all thinking we should be spending less time in the studio and more time out playing.”
The feeling of having a crowd “right in your face” is hard to replicate, he said.
“The time goes really fast – you are in the moment but not in the moment – it is kind of an in-between state.”
Sun Down has been developed for around a year and melded into a “festival pop song”, ideal for the Rhythm and Vines set.
Finn (21) has put out half a dozen singles over the past year on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming sites.
Longer term, he hopes to get enough quality material together to put out an EP and a “cohesive” album.
Finn has converted a wine cellar at his parents’ Cheltenham home into a studio.
He composes on the computer and piano, but, of the two, prefers the piano.
“If it works on the piano, you know it’s going to be a good song.”
He describes dad Tim Finn, a legendary member of Split Enz and prominent solo artist, as an “important background figure”.
“We are doing different things – I’m a soloist and he’s now into musical theatre.
“We have a lot of musical conversations and there’s always music in the house, which keeps the creativity going.”
Last week, Finn was in at the Depot sound studio putting the final touches to Sun Down with engineer Morgan Allen, a co-member of Lakes and the Magic Band, which has put out an album and toured nationally.
Takapuna Grammar – and the wider Devonport community – has been a great musical hub: a place of inspiration and collaboration, said Finn. “A typical Saturday in Devonport is going round to a mate’s place and playing music.”
This article originally appeared in the 31 January edition of the Devonport Flagstaff. Download PDF.