Here is a conversation I had with the lovely Julia Finnegan from Kingston! An indie folk singer with quiet confidence and depth of story in her lyrics. Inspired by Sarah Harmer, Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell, she has released a couple of records receiving national CBC airplay. The Cove welcomes Julia, yet another great, young artist emerging from the vibrant Kingston music scene. See her Friday, April 26 from 5-8pm. Call 613.273.3636 for reservations.

Q: Julia, you have a mystique surrounding you! Your affinity for focusing on the connection of the lyric and the sonics is admirable. Who has helped show you the way in this regard?

Growing up, my dad was always very musical. He always encouraged me to listen to the lyrics — which, to me, had always been kind of mystical themselves because lyrics can be ambiguous and open to interpretation. As simple as that is, it really opened up an entirely new dimension of music to me where I would hear songs with new ears.

Q: You completed a release in December of 2020. Wait, what happened that year? Oh yeah, the pandemic. How did you end up mustering the strength to pull it all together and go for it during that time, especially without being able to tour it!

I released a full-length album in December 2020. I remember feeling really unsure about releasing it at the time because everything was so uncertain. I was holding onto it for what felt like a long time, waiting for the right time to let it go and release it. I really believe that albums are very much records in time and while it was an unusual time to release music, I think releasing it at that point in my life was when those songs were most resonant to me on a personal level. I am working on new material and I look forward to releasing new music when I can better support the release with live performances.

Q: Miss Emily initially recommended you to me and of course I was happy to have her do that! Has anyone else taken you under their wing in terms of any particular facet of your creativity?

Emily is so spectacular. She is such an authentic, kind, honest person and on top of that she is boundlessly talented. She has been a mentor and a friend to me for a long time and I always cherish it when I get to see her. She is one of the busiest people I know and somehow always makes time if I have a question.

Similarly, Virginia Clark has taken me under her wing. In 2019, I completed an accelerated Music Business program at Humber College and I completed an internship with her as her assistant at Flying V Productions. I learned a lot from her about the behind-the-scenes of show promotion. It gave me an appreciation for a whole other side of the music business. Virg is a wealth of knowledge. She introduced me to Jonas Bonnetta who engineered and produced my first record. I am also working on some new songs with Jonas as well!

Q: You are definitely multi-talented, being a musician and studying painter. When you are creating, does either discipline directly inspire the other?

That is a good question! It is funny because I always deluded myself into thinking they were separate worlds but they certainly intertwine very much; I think maybe because they originate from the same side of my brain? In simple ways, when I paint, I listen to a lot of music. I think painting certainly impacts the way I write. I am a very visual person so I think when I write, I try to write in a way that elicits the imagery that I can see in my head. Sometimes when I paint, I will think of different lyrical lines.

Q: What are your latest plans as an artist? When I talk to people who have seen you, they all say you are fantastic as a singer songwriter! Are you finding that the scene is rewarding?

Thank you! The scene is really rewarding and I think the local scene has changed a lot in the last few years. It is amazing to see the Kingston music scene blossom and to see new artists arise. While my work can be often quite solitary, it is not without a lot of support; I think the opportunity to play at the Cove is proof of that. My plan right now is to play lots throughout the summer & I hope to release new music late summer/early fall!

Photo: Virginia Meeks Posted: Apr 18, 2024
In this Article Artist(s) Julia Finnegan Resource(s) The Cove Inn