An Emerging Folk-Pop Singer-Songwriter Phin Tempts You With Songs About His Beachside Life

Phin is an indie pop-folk singer-songwriter from Sunshine Coast.
National Music Editor, based in Brisbane, Australia.
'Passionate about true crime docos, the Swannies, golf and sleep, I’ve been writing about music for 20-plus years. What I’ve learnt? There’s two types of music – good and bad.’

An indie musician hailing from the Sunshine Coast, Phin's music is washed in acoustic folk, pop flavours and rinsed through an electronic soul lens.

Although still in the embryonic stages of his music career, Phin has a natural knack for composing lyrics that connects listeners to his relaxed, beachside lifestyle.

After a sustained gap not releasing any music this year following the success of 2019 singles 'Losing My Doubts' and 'Where I Belong' (both of which have clocked up 30k streams on Spotify), Phin recently released 'Mistakes' – the first track from his forthcoming 'Wasting Time' EP.

"I started writing the songs for this EP in my last year of high school and into 2020, around the time the pandemic hit," Phin says.

"When I first took my songs to my producer, I hadn't even started writing 'Mistakes'. I hadn't felt 'the feeling' with a song for months and one night I just sat down and played the chords for it out of nowhere.

"I threw in a solid four-to-the-floor, came up with the break riff and sorted the lyrics and structure out over the next few months.

"The song is about how sometimes you go through sh.t times and make mistakes, but everybody does it. You make them to grow."

Your songs have already accumulated 60,000-plus streams; to have that level of engagement must give you a massive confidence boost to know you're on the right creative path?
Yeah, it was a massive encouragement especially since 'Losing My Doubts' was my first release.

Although with my recent releases things haven't been taking off as fast, but I know pursuing a career in making and releasing music is what I want for my life and it's all just a mad journey; who knows what is to come right?

How does 'Mistakes' showcase the current incarnation of Phin?
'Mistakes' is quite a different vibe to what I've made and released in the past. Over the last year, I've started experimenting with different genres, trying to find where I want my music to go and 'Mistakes' is a first step in that direction.

So if you're a fan of my music, be ready for some more alternative indie pop and indie rock tunes, as well as my indie folk music in my next EP.

What can listeners expect from your forthcoming 'Wasting Time' EP?
Besides 'Mistakes', listeners can expect some indie folk and acoustic indie pop tunes with raw lyrics that tell a story.

These songs were written back when I was 17 and early 18, when I was going through some heavy heartbreaks, but I've never been one for releasing cheesy heartbreak songs because I'd rather throw myself off a cliff than do that – so expect some well written, beautiful tunes.

The creative aspect of songwriting; what attracts your attention the most (melody, riff, tone) that draws you in then consumes you to write a song?
Ah, this is a proper hard question. I'd say if I've come up with a solid chord progression or lick/ riff then I couldn't help myself but jump into it. No matter what, I always have to get some spicy chords first before I can start writing.

Is there a similar process/ template you engage with each new song or is each their own adventure that deserve your full attention to bring them to life?
Each song is always a different process, but my most used process is probably chords first, then find myself a melody, lyrics, riff. . . then sometimes it takes me a week to make the whole song (disregarding edits) and some times it takes me eight months.

Lyrics: do you write from a personal perspective with your songwriting?
Every song in my 'Wasting Time' EP is about an experience I've gone through.

I guess as a 17 year old going through a lot, writing was a way of venting, but now that I'm a bit older and I've had a moment to step back, I'm starting to write about circumstances my friends and family are going through, and having a lot more fun with the way I write.

You first released music during the pandemic, so haven't had the ability to tour and do all the normal stuff associated with releasing new music. . . what are you looking forward to with your music career as borders open and travel becomes an everyday thing once more?
I would love to get out and play some shows honestly.

Until now, I've been doing the solo artist loop pedal thing, but from next year onwards I'm putting a band together and we're gonna start pursuing every live show we can get our hands on.

Influences; are there specific artists or genres/ scenes that impact/ guide your own creations?
When I was creating my 'Wasting Time' EP, my influences were definitely names like JP Saxe, Ed Sheeran, James Bay, Bright Eyes. I loved and listened to a lot of different genres, but indie folk and that heartfelt acoustic music is what I loved the most.

However, lately I've been having a lot of fun on my electric guitar and composing with the band so expect some more upbeat songs in the near future.

The Sunshine Coast has quickly become a budding nursery for so many emerging indie artists; how have you found the local music scene in terms of its inclusivity as well as the number of venues providing space for live, original music to prosper?
Growing up on the Sunshine Coast there were always open mics happening at different venues and I got some great experience from that.

And over the last couple years, I've played at some restaurants and cafés around the Sunny Coast and gotten some good cash and even better experiences. One of my goals is to be able to play at the Night Quarter.

We're told that when you're not focused on music, skating and surfing takes up the majority of your time; best SC surf spot that's not exactly a secret but isn't super busy all the time either?
Yeah, you would be correct; although I did just recently move to Brisbane so not as much surfing going on now and a lot more studying.

The best spot would have to be Point Cartwright. When the swell is up on the Sunny Coast it really hits Point Cartwright. I've surfed some six to eight foot waves there (very rare by the way) and because it's rocky you have to be game to go out, so it doesn't get too crowded. Even when it's not massive, if you're getting a good offshore breeze it's a lot of fun.

Similar to last question, best skate park on the Sunny Coast?
My main is the Alexandra Heads skatepark. Rolled some ankles and fractured some bones there, but it's still my favourite park.

If any surfing/ skating companies are reading, what would be the ultimate endorsement you'd sign in heartbeat?
Honestly, I'mma turn them down because I do them both for fun and aren't really pro level at either aha. Get me in contact with a record label and we'll see what happens. ;)

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