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The artists who inspired Finneas' debut solo album 'Optimist' may surprise you

Finneas
Luke Fenstermaker
/
Courtesy of the artist
Finneas

When I sat down to talk with Billie Eilish, she said this about her producer, co-writer and brother, Finneas: "When I think about it, it just makes me so grateful — that my literal job, I get to do with my brother, who is also my best friend. It's really cool."

The two have racked up all sorts of critical and commercial success, selling millions of albums and winning several Grammy Awards over the course of their meteoric rise. Now Finneas, who played in bands before teaming up with his sister, has released his full-length debut solo album, Optimist. It's a credit to his production and songwriting skills that this not a Billie Eilish album with different vocals. It's an introspective, direct album with heartfelt lyrics and, of course, impeccable production.

In this session, we talk to Finneas about making the transition to being a solo artist and why he'd time travel to the 1990s if he could. Plus, he'll share performances from when he recorded this interview from the road late in 2021.

Copyright 2022 XPN

Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.