When Fintan O’Brien was nine years old, he struggled to find his place in a house full of musicians.
The youngest of three siblings, O’Brien felt his older brother and sister were much more musically talented and smarter than he was. His brother Cormack was a singer, played bass and picked up things quickly, while his sister Millie was a beautiful singer. His father, Paul, was also a singer/songwriter and was in a band in the U.K.
In an effort to find his place in the musical world, O’Brien picked up a pen and began writing songs.
“When you start playing music at a young age, it becomes your identity. I was an insecure kid and not sure who I was. When I started writing songs, it was really obvious to me that this is who I am, this is what I want to do the rest of my life,” O’Brien said, adding he’s not sure the type of person he would be if he didn’t find music.
“It’s been the most important thing in cultivating who I am as a person. It’s so rewarding, that feeling of creating something.”
The first song he wrote was called Crazy Love, one he describes as a “cheesy love song” and from there the lyrics and chords continued to flow.
O’Brien went on to write countless songs, creating music almost daily. As he grew older, he began to develop his own sound and the rate at which he wrote songs decreased, resulting in more thoughtful, powerful music.
Now, at 19 years old, the Victoria resident describes his sound as pop with a mix of folk and alternative, often finding inspiration from relationships.
O’Brien believes music helped shape him into the person he is today. Now he’s giving back in hopes music will do the same for other youth.
O’Brien, along with help from his brother and father, has organized weekly gigs at The Mint where he performs in support of Power of Hope, a local organization that empowers youth through arts.
“If you have an event where people are donating to a singular cause, off the bat it creates a really nice vibe because everyone there knows they’re there for that reason,” said O’Brien, who hits the stage alongside his brother. “Helping kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to go (to camp) and find themselves through music hits home for me.”
The gig also gives young performers an opportunity to perform as the opening act before O’Brien hits the stage every Monday night until the end of August. All donations go towards the Power of Hope.
O’Brien is using the weekly gigs in preparation to hit an even bigger stage later this summer. He is also performing at Rock the Shores later this month and Rifflandia in September.
For more information about O’Brien’s performances at The Mint, visit the Facebook page Fintan O’Brien.