By Adam Deane
VANCOUVER – Some artists were born into greatness, others were born with innate talents they’d realize later on, and a very small select few — one— was just Borns. Garrett Borns to be precise. A special brand of magic must have moved through Grand Haven, Michigan in the early nineties to produce a voice like Borns, more commonly referred to and stylized as Børns. The young man has a style that is all his own to boot. Picture David Bowie meets Barrie Gibb meets Gucci. Add about 10 inches of hair, a killer-falsetto and more charm than that bracelet you used to wear and you start to get the idea.
Garrett Borns’ electric heart inevitably grew too large for its Michigan roots and propelled him to become a superstar in his own right. With the initial release of his first studio album, Dopamine, the world soon realized just what he was capable of. Even Taylor Swift tweeted about him. That’s how you know you’ve made it. Though, this singer/songwriter’s imagination isn’t limited to music. Having caught up with Borns between meetings and yoga, his patient and laid-back demeanor rivaled his heart in size.
“I really feel like music is just one piece of my artistic imagination. I try to write a lot of short stories,” he says. “I have a poetic stream of consciousness in my phone, which ends up being a mess of words that eventually turns into something. I want to get into more film scores, possibly even making film.”
Borns’s career began at the ripe age of 10 as “Garrett the Great,” a stage musician working his charm in local restaurants. Three years later he’d go on to win an $8,000 art school scholarship and a Gold Key Award for the “other” bits of his artistic imagination. When asked when and how he finds the time to produce all of this magic, his answer was early and often.
“I’m a bit of a nocturnal animal at heart. There is so much that can affect you during the day, so many conversations to be had, your phone buzzing. Your conscious is shifted; it allows you to be a little more immersed in your art. Routine is a very healthy thing for creativity, and I constantly try to re-incent mine. I do a lot of yoga and try to move as much as possible, especially when I’m traveling in my capsule. Sometimes you just have to jump and shake to get the blood (and your thoughts) flowing.”
After an incredibly successful and hectic tour-run with Dopamine, playing festivals like Coachella, Austin City Limits, and even the Tonight and Late Shows, Børns will release his second studio album via Interscope Records, Blue Madonna, on January 12. The two singles released ahead of the album, “Faded Heart” and “Sweet Dreams,” have already drawn massive success and graced the charts this year.
With hits under his belt like “Electric Love,” “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “Past Lives,” he’s proved his voice to be unrivaled, intoxicating and often times his highs rocket him out of every genre society wields at him. Is he electro-pop, dream-pop, electro-funk… even psychedelic at times? Who knows, who cares? His sound slithers through a multi-coloured river of euphoria, leaving rich, magical sparkles in its wake. Borns also the only Michigan-bred human to rock a mid-driff Gucci-blouse. For that reason alone, you’ll want to catch Garrett the Great, better known as Børns, on his latest tour in support of Blue Madonna.
Børns performs at the Vogue Theatre (Vancouver) on January 20.BØRNS, The Vogue Theatre