One of the best things about the music scene is how it changes over the years; constantly feeding your mind’s curiosity. This was one of the driving forces of Charlie Finlay’s interest in the music industry. In high school, he loved performing and playing in different groups because it was both exciting and very fun. Following graduation, the next step in pursuing his passion was going to Humber College for jazz performance and composition, and then studying post production a year afterward. This is where his interests in the music in film and TV were taken to a new level, bringing him further into a career of working on music for different movies and television shows.
In the beginning, music was really about the rush of performing to Charlie. He was part of every music group and course we had to offer him, picking up many different instruments to gain some new experience and learning from his seniors. This helped him a great deal in his career because he now knows how musical groups may function having played so many instruments in so many different ensembles, developing a thorough understanding of different musical environments. This has helped with composing pieces with many parts and answering the specific questions that make him so talented at his job. Among the many instruments he learned at Markham District, one of them was cello.
Charlie says it is valuable to learn as many different areas in music as possible because even though he wasn’t the greatest cello player, he learned how to write for string instruments. Doing music for film and TV has broadened his horizons and opened up his mind to new styles, making him less picky with work and taking more opportunities in his career.
Although performance is important, he believes that there are so many other skills beyond that that are important to having a healthy career in music. One of the things that allowed him to make a living in music is doing many different things. When he has less upcoming work for film and TV music, he has performance. Even though the pandemic has hindered his ability to perform, he has teaching. Because of his diverse knowledge surrounding the music industry, he always has something to focus his talents on. He has had more time to learn new things because of the pandemic, so he’s tried his hand at some new things as well. For example, he’s been working hard on a 24 track album filled with short, catchy tunes that can be used by anyone, mostly directed towards the popular social media platform Tik Tok. He’s realized that when making music for others it should revolve around what they think and how they’ll interpret it, not necessarily what he alone is looking for. He says “It’s more what music means to the person listening and how to enhance those moments for them.”
Charlie feels that his greatest achievement in his professional career is making it a professional career, despite the discouragement he’s faced. He’s always been told “don’t do this,” or “don’t go into this,” but he did it anyway and now his name can be found in the credits of many famous TV shows and movies, including Murdoch Mysteries. He’s also done work for Pretty Hard Cases, and Letterkenny which you may have heard of as well.
We would like to thank Charlie for his time and brilliant answers to our questions, and we’d like to wish him luck as he continues to add to his repertoire of musical experience!