Rees Finley

During his four years in the Thornton School of Music’s popular music program, Rees Finley established himself as one of the most prolific and versatile singer-songwriters in the USC community. His material ranges from angsty, somewhat illicit songs performed for final exams that have become “legendary” in songwriting classes, to playful jingles for musical plush toys. Rees is particularly proud to have been chosen as the first ever recipient of the “Chris Sampson Scholarship for Popular Music,” which is named for one of his primary mentors and influences.

Rees’ songwriting talents have led to diverse opportunities, including the selection of his original song “American Champagne” to open for the Beach Boys at Bovard Auditorium in 2013. A multi-instrumentalist, Rees works as a commissioned songwriter, composing, recording and producing music for commercials, film scores and theme songs for web series.

Rees’ project, dale, has recorded 2 EPs and produced several music videos. With Rees at the helm as primary songwriter and front-man, dale has opened for Crash Kings and was the featured student band for USC Springfest 2014, sharing the main stage with artists such as Diplo and New Politics. The band has received praise from many print and web publications, with Music Connection magazine writing that “when it comes to the pop-rock equation dale just gets it” and noting that, “dale combines some hard rock roots with superb hooks and a conservatory education; a formula that churns out good tune after good tune.”

Rees is currently dividing his time between solo music, experimenting with some new songs for dale and pursuing new co-writing opportunities.