So casually cool with a hint of modest mystery, Garret Borns, performing under the moniker, "Borns", has not only crept into our ear canals through radio waves on the daily, but made us tap our fingers on the steering wheel in busy traffic and immediately think, "Who is this?!" With a sound that's as smooth and transcendent as his very demeanor, he's made his way onto larger tours and has earned a spot on just about every major festival lineup for the last year and a half. With his mellow falsetto and tranquil hooks, Borns seemed to come in on an immediate high. Living somewhat of a slightly nomadic lifestyle in an secluded rental that became less temporary than he had anticipated, he was inspired by the separation it gave him from the bustling and ever-changing city. Through friendly collaboration and musical experimentation over the last few years, Borns has pushed himself to more mainstream success, leaving anyone exposed to his tunes absolutely hooked.
A performer from a young age, growing up in a small town in Michigan, Borns immediately caught on to his knack for the arts, and began to acquire his artistic and musical talents.
"My folks were always kind of giving me fertile grass for creativity. They're artistic people. I grew up listening to their record collection. I went through a bunch of different permutations as for things I was into. I painted at a really young age. My dad would bring home these giant sheets of paper and we would paint together. I was always trying something new, then I would want to master it."
Shortly after turning 21, Borns moved to sunny Los Angeles to put his songwriting and talent to work. "It was sort of just me going on there on a whim to write some music for a month or two and see how it felt, and to see what a new environment would do for my songwriting."
He ended up renting an Air BnB, which was essentially a treehouse, and found that after a years passing in what seemed like no time, he realized that Los Angeles had become his home. He continued songwriting, and in the meantime worked some pretty interesting jobs that fondled his creativity.
"I actually did a few jingles. I did a cat food jingle once. I played keyboard and organ for a friend of mine's underground talk show. My friend Kennedy, who I actually write a lot of music with, I met him right when I moved to LA through a mutual song-writing friend. We became really good friends and I used to play in his variety show."
With Los Angeles' sunshine sinking into his inspiration, Borns began recording with Tommy English. Also being from the Midwest, they found common ground, and Borns was able to experience a new setting.
"There was something about being in a studio for the first time that wasn't like a dark cave. In LA I always seem to be in a studio that has these huge windows. It's nice to be conscious of the day and things that are growing around you. That just feeds the energy of the music. We'd leave the windows open and sometimes get birds on the recordings."
Three years after relocating, and post-release of his full length album, Dopamine, Borns has been on a creative journey between touring and continuing to work on his music.
"I've been on the road pretty much the last year. Most of the time it just feels like I'm on the go, living the transient life. It's exciting."
Making his way across the pond, he found that he has a very friendly and loyal following in Europe. "The first time we performed in Amsterdam, I'm sure you already know where this is going, well, we had this show, and it was our first time playing there. We didn't really know how many people were going to show up. We had some time to kill before hand and we were just walking around visiting coffee shops. And if you've been to Amsterdam before, you know what that entails, so we chilled for a bit. But then once it came time to go on, we jumped out on stage, the lights came on, and the room was full. It was sold out. It kind of shocked us. But we were like, "Oh, well." It still ended up being a great performance. Overall it was just great."
Also spending some time in Europe more recently, Borns just finished touring with Halsey. "It's been really great over there, the response has been awesome. And Scandinavia has been a lot of fun. Seems like people really know my music over there, " he says.
As for what's next, the sky seems to be the limit for this soft spoken gentleman. "There are summer shows in the US and Europe ahead. We're doing festivals over here, I'm doing a headlining run as well. I'm just kind of on the go, but it's exciting."
Written by Dakota Nate
Photography by Robiee Ziegler