Before Fin Argus was starring in the Disney+ film Clouds and the Queer As Folk reboot, they were singing. In 2017, Fin released a collection of predominately ukulele-driven songs on their Lost at Sea EP, then hit the pause button on music as their acting career took off. The 23-year-old, who uses they/them pronouns, had been in the entertainment industry since they were 12 and consequently needed time to mature. After all, you can’t make soul-barring music like Fin does if you’re not being yourself.
Five years after Lost At Sea, Argus is returning to music with a clear idea of who they are. On Aug. 5, Fin dropped the single “Exposure.” It’s an impressive stream-of-consciousness pop-rock song about the anxiety of digitally scrolling and liking one’s way to adulthood.
Fin wrote “Exposure” in 2019 while driving to the beach after leaving a therapy session and feeling an urge to post a selfie online. This stress of growing up on social media is crystallized in Fin’s haunting “Exposure” music video, directed by Ramón J. Goñi. Think of a David Bowie spirit with a Twenty One Pilots sound and a dash of The Matrix style. Fin shot the music video in October 2020, but work on Queer as Folk delayed the release. Now, over two years later, Fin is finally releasing “Exposure,” and it’s a project that’s increasingly relatable.
“Exposure” is also a time capsule into Fin’s life when they were actualizing their genderqueer identity. “This is my first true, honest, artistic depiction of myself. It feels really aligned with who I am,” Fin tells Elite Daily.
In a wide-ranging interview, Fin talks about returning to their musical roots, working on a new EP (yes, it’s coming), and considering the possibility of Queer as Folk Season 2.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
Elite Daily: You're from the Chicago area, right?
Fin Argus: Yeah, born and raised in the northwest suburbs.
ED: I’m from the Chicago area too.
FA: I miss it. I miss Culver’s. I miss Potbelly. It's truly just the fast food chains that have my heart.
ED: Enough about Chicago. Onto “Exposure.” When did you first start writing the song?
FA: It's actually a funny story. I wrote this song immediately after leaving a therapy session … I've been using social media since I was a child, straight up, and I don't know adulthood without social media. So it's just this weird thing that I've always grappled with and that so many people do. I was talking about that [at therapy]. It was funny because as soon as I left the therapy session, I straight up had the inclination to post a selfie, like, welp, you know? And then I'm like, wait, where does that come from?
ED: Was there a specific reason that you wanted to go with spoken word on the song?
FA: With Lost at Sea, you can hear in the lyrics there are a lot of metaphors and fantastical analogies, which I love. I appreciate that period of my life. But the fact of the matter is, I wasn't comfortable being blunt with my lyrics. I wasn't comfortable saying what was really going on in my life because at the time I was still... I mean, in terms of like public perception, I was closeted. I was out to everyone in my life, but it wasn't something that I had started to feel comfortable talking about publicly. And I hid behind those metaphors, straight up.
ED: To me, “Exposure” is about having no choice but to be online these days, so how do you make the best of it?
FA: Exactly. I started acting when I was 12, so I have spent my whole life curating my identity to be palatable and to also not be so specific that it'll inhibit a casting director from casting me in any type of role, you know what I mean? So that's another reason why my music was so ambiguous, because I didn't want to pigeonhole myself. And that's the word that I would hear all the time. Then I started hearing that word [regarding] my own queerness. Like my queerness is going to pigeonhole me. Honestly, I can't do anything but be myself [and] be honest. I think I hit a point where I realized that my voice and my truest self are entirely an asset in everything that I do, and it's just time that other people catch up.
ED: In the song, you sing about having to take your shirt off to promote yourself. That’s also what you did in the music video.
FA: Well, here's the thing, I'm not saying that I'm immune to what I'm commenting on. In fact, I'm saying the exact opposite. I find that I do give into these patterns and these algorithms all the time. It's super difficult to avoid, and I have jobs that encourage me to do that.
ED: It's been about two years since you shot the “Exposure” music video. Does it still resonate?
FA: I do resonate with it. I think I've changed a ton, of course. There's a line in the song where I say I'll make sure I'm straight passing to guarantee my fame. That line is outdated, and it already was when I wrote this song. It's funny to see how far I've come into my queerness or even just the fact that I'm wearing, like, suits in the music video. I still do wear suits sometimes, but I'm rocking dresses [now]. I've really come into my genderqueerness.
ED: Had you come out as genderqueer publicly when recording the video?
FA: I never really had a coming out. It just sort of was, “This is who I am,” and people kind of keyed into it. But, I mean, I talk about my queerness all the time, so I guess there was a moment. I just can't really remember.
ED: You have an EP coming up.
FA: Yeah, so “Exposure” is my first single. It's not a part of the EP, but I will have an EP that's coming out. Hopefully, it's going to come out within the next many months. And I have a single ... and music video for that EP that is ready to be released also very soon.
ED: Switching gears, do you know about the possibility of a Queer As Folk Season 2?
FA: I don't know yet, but all I can say is that the outpouring of love for the first season has been really cool to witness. I've had a lot of people tell me that watching Queer As Folk and seeing my character Mingus be so self-assured and self-actualized at a young age in their own genderqueerness has helped them understand themselves and helped them along in their journey of understanding their gender. So those conversations have been really exciting for me. It makes me really emotional. Because when I think about having that sort of character to see myself reflected in, I mean that could have changed everything for me when I was a kid.
ED: Back to your music, what will your EP sound like?
FA: It leans a little more rock, a little more like indie-rock. That EP will sort of lead into the next project. My writing is constantly evolving, and now I'm at a place in my writing where it's more Phoebe Bridgers-style. There's a song at the end of the EP that hints toward that trajectory.
ED: I’m excited to hear that song.
FA: Oh yeah. I've been writing a lot of that style: singer-songwriter stuff. It's very queer, and it is just delicious. I cannot wait to put it out.
ED: I imagine there is some kid in the Chicago suburbs that will be listening to it on their way to Culver’s.
FA: I hope so.