Fresh off collaborating with Rick Ross on the political ‘Pinned To The Cross,’ singer Finn Matthews tells HL EXCLUSIVELY how his new song, ‘IDK,’ came to be and why the fight against ‘injustice’ isn’t over.
“I have a lot of faith that my generation is going to change the world for the better,” says Finn Matthews in an email conversation with HollywoodLife. The 20-year-old singer brings up this optimism while discussing working with Rick Ross on the politically-driven “Pinned To The Cross.” While “The Boss” takes on Terry Crews, “Karens,” and the current civil unrest over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and more Black people, Finn sings about how “some say my eyes are like brown diamonds buried in the snow / but i see pain we have in common, it’s not all beautiful / so if i cry and these brown diamonds wash along the shore / it’s cuz i know the shit you been through and you made it beautiful.”
“I’ve never been a part of anything like this before,” Finn tells HollywoodLife, “so I was really excited about it. I think the message behind the song and where I fit into it is that I am encouraging people of all races and walks of life to open their eyes to injustice.”
Eyes have been turned towards Finn since he first broke out in 2017 with his hit, “Julia.” Since then, the LA singer has continued to build a following with singles like “Catch Fire,” “Low Key,” and the song he’s released today (Aug. 28), “IDK.” With a dream-like production that mimics the summer twilight of the single’s cover, “IDK” showcases Finn’s powerful songwriting and powerful delivery. The moment he delivers the line – “But now I’m saying ‘f-ck that’ / I don’t need the stress” – it catches you off-guard, kicking in like an espresso shot for the soul. “IDK” is an energizing piece of pop, one that Finn says was inspired by a less-than-great moment in his life. While speaking with HollywoodLife, he reveals more about the track, what it was like hearing his voice during Rick Ross’s Verzuz battle against 2 Chainz, and when fans can expect his debut album Summer Daze to dawn.
HollywoodLife: Was there a specific person or moment that inspired “IDK?” The lyrics come off as personal – especially the lines “I always thought I’d had to impress everybody else/ but now I’m saying ‘fuck that’ / I don’t need the stress / of trying to be somebody that I’m not it’s exhausting.”
Finn: The song was definitely inspired by a situation I went through that made me realize my value as a person and that I don’t need to play into drama or toxic people. It made me think, “Why am I even doing this?”
Most of my childhood, I thought that being cool was doing what other people thought was cool. As I’ve grown up, I realized that doing what I want to do is the coolest possible thing because then I have no stress of caring what people think. As I went through this situation and learned from it, I realized that having your own back is the most important thing and the first step to that is being 100% yourself all the time…because when you take away everyone else and their opinions, you’re only left with yourself.
The production on “IDK” is very light, even there are some points when the lyrical content gets heavy. What would you say was the vibe you were going for with this?
I didn’t really have any specific vibe going into the song. I actually wasn’t even planning on making a song that day. I was alone in my apartment, and it started with me playing the ukulele for fun and recording that, then the whole beat just kinda fell into place, and within an hour and a half, I had the whole instrumental pretty much done.
Lyrically, I had some specific stuff I had been exploring at the time, more dark, edgy, and honest lyrics. Once I had the beat done, I just started recording, and it just flowed. The ideas had all been developing in my head for a while before that day, so writing it was so natural. I really didn’t think too much into anything when I was making it, and I think those songs end up being my best songs. The whole second verse was basically a freestyle.
Once I wrote the whole song, I didn’t think it needed any more production, so I just left it. The song was 95% done the first day. This is the first song I’m releasing that is 100% written and produced by me, so I’m hella excited.
What was your first thought the moment you were asked to sing on a Rick Ross song?
I was with Elijah Blake, who I write a lot of my songs with. He was asked by Ross’s team to write some hooks, and he was like, “Yo, wanna write these hooks with me?”. I ended up singing the demo vocal for “Pinned to the Cross,” and they liked it so much that they kept me on there. I am forever grateful to Rick Ross and his team for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of that record.
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“Pinned To The Cross” is a very politically-charged, and poignant track. Was that more of an incentive to jump on it?
I’ve never been a part of anything like this before, so I was really excited about it. I think the message behind the song and where I fit into it is that I am encouraging people of all races and walks of life to open their eyes to injustice.
As a white person, I fully recognize that I will never understand what it feels like to be black in America. That being said, I love people of every race, and I just want to remind everyone that we are all human at the end of the day. We all feel pain, and we have a lot in common. The first step towards fighting injustice is recognizing its existence and trying our best to understand each other. Once we all come together as humans, that is when I think the real change happens. I have a lot of faith that my generation is going to change the world for the better.