• About A Band: BORNS

    After hearing the single 10,000 Emerald Pools when it was released in early October by singer/songwriter BØRNS, we were immediately hooked. The musician, born in the Midwest but currently living in L.A., has been snapping up rave reviews for his music despite only having a limited song selection available online. We spoke to the up-and-coming artist about his much buzzed about treehouse (really), what he's found inspiring in sunny California, and his recently released EP Candy.

    Hi! How are you? Where are you right now?
    I'm doing well. I am currently in sunny autumn in Los Angeles.

    Oh yeah, that’s nice. It’s not like that here in Philly right now.
    I bet! But I kind of like the cold weather and the fall. You know, I’m from the Midwest originally.

    When did you move out to California?
    I moved out here a little over a year and a half ago. I really like it a lot. I didn’t know what to expect besides sunshine and palm trees. There’s, like, a certain mystique about that, you know? There were a few months where I was driving around and palm trees were still really new to me. I was like, "This is never going to get old." I’m always going to look up at these things and be like, "Whoa. I’m living in California." I still wake up every morning like, “Where the fuck am I living?” [Laughs]

    That’s awesome. Had you visited out there a lot before you moved?
    I’d been out here a few times. Just some little trips, not too many times. The thing was, I was living in New York before this and I was traveling with just a suitcase and a guitar. I had come out here for a few weeks to do some writing and clear my head, but then I just never left. I never really told myself I was moving here either.

    We saw online that you live in a treehouse. Is it literally a treehouse?
    Literally, it is a little abode among the treetops. It’s kind of a wild little place. There’s plenty of little woodland creatures to keep me company. It’s nice until… I actually came back from New York and raccoons had broken into my place and into the food that I’d had stored in my room. [Laughs] Those raccoons can be little bandits.

    So, you’re straight up in the woods.
    Straight up. It’s like a guest house. It’s really cozy, and it’s really quiet at night. All you hear are coyotes and crickets. It’s pretty far removed from the hustle and bustle of L.A., so it’s nice that I can put myself into that if I want, but I can also have my treetop sanctuary and just chill out and write music.

    And you were really recently signed, right?
    Yeah, pretty recently! Like a month or two ago. It was definitely a big thing. For the past few years, I’ve just been writing and haven’t really released any music. Just little things here and there. I’ve been trying to be totally sold on the music I’m putting out. When everything today is so easily available, and it’s so easy to release stuff, I wanted to make sure my release was fully realized. Getting signed was really big for me because I’d never been on a major label before. My team was established before that, which was also really big for me. I wanted a solid team.

    You’ve been playing music for a long time and your music has changed over time. Was that a natural progression?
    Yeah, it’s been a natural progression. Just living on my own and traveling and experiencing new things and getting into new music and writing with different people… it’s just been a journey through music. By no means has it changed overnight. I feel like the music I’m writing now very much has to do with where I’m living and what I’m experiencing. I guess it’s mostly just growing up and coming of age. [Laughs] I feel like my music is always going to transform, even five years from now or a year from now.

    Well, we love the songs you've put out so far. Do you think the rest of the music you’re going to put out will have a similar vibe?
    I feel like it has a similar vibe. I like so many different types of music that the music I record varies in influences, but I feel like it’s definitely cohesive, because it’s all kind of woven together with my vocals. I do all my own harmonies, so I feel like that weaves all the songs together in a similar fashion. The instrumentation and genre influences vary, but I feel like it’s one body of work, for sure.

    You had so many good reviews just on your single that it’s gotta be exciting to release an EP.
    Yeah, I’m really excited. I didn’t know at all how people were going to react to the single. It was a fun song to make and my friends seemed to like it, but I didn’t know what to expect. It’s cool that everyone’s really digging it.

    You said you like to listen to a lot of genres of music. Anything you’re super into at the moment?
    It’s always changing. As far as what I was listening to while I was recording the album, I was listening to a lot of The Beach Boys and Electric Light Orchestra. A lot of ‘60s psych stuff and glam rock. I also listen to a lot of pop music of today. I love how pop music has evolved over the decades. It’s really interesting. I like having older influences but a modern production. It gives it a very unique flavor. A nostalgic feeling without it being a total throwback. [Laughs]

    What kind of pop music do you like to listen to?
    Gosh, all kinds. I’ll listen to like, you know, NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, because those songs are just so brilliantly written. When you’re just listening to them you don’t really think about it, but when you pick them apart and think about how the melodies and lyrics are all strung together with the chord progressions, they’re really brilliant songs. I’m really influenced by a lot of big Swedish pop writers, like Max Martin.

    We love when musicians talk about pop music.
    Yeah, I love the old '50s pop songs. Like Leslie Gore, the stuff she did is so amazing; the melodies are so amazing.

    So, you've kept a pretty low profile so far. Is there any one thing that you'd like to let people know about yourself?
    I kinda like the low profile. [Laughs] That's why I tuck myself away in the treetops. It's kinda nice! Let me think. I don't know. For some reason I just want to talk about food.

    Let's talk about food. What's your favorite food?
    I'm so into sweet potatoes right now. It's kind of a weird new obsession. I've been making sweet potatoes with everything. I think I actually mentioned this in another interview so people are going to think I'm fucking crazy. [Laughs] But I've just been steaming sweet potatoes, grillin' sweet potatoes, making sweet potatoes with salmon... it's been a really great fall. I cook a lot. I have an outdoor kitchen. I do yoga. That's interesting, I guess.

    A very L.A. lifestyle.
    It is very L.A. I only do it to fit in with everyone else in L.A. [Laughs] I feel like I've really gotten into meditation and yoga since I've been living out here, but I feel like it's a really good thing to do to ground yourself. When you're going out on the road every day and traveling to new cities, it's great to be able to ground yourself and find yourself in new places with new energies. I'm trying to instill that into my lifestyle right now so it'll be part of my lifestyle on the road.

    Can we expect to see you on a proper tour soon then?
    Probably in the summer. Right now I'm doing a lot of one-off shows and I'll be working on my full-length soon so there's a lot going on!

    BØRNS on Soundcloud