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'It Bathes The Pleasure Centers': BORNS Channels 'Dopamine'

BORNS' new album, <em>Dopamine</em>, is out now.
Lauren Dukoff
Courtesy of the artist
BORNS' new album, Dopamine, is out now.

Pop singer Garrett Borns, known more commonly by his stage name BORNS, became an instant sensation when his song "Electric Love" went viral earlier this year. The song, hailed as an "instant classic" by Taylor Swift, catapulted BORNS into the national spotlight before he'd even started to prep his debut album. Now, that album, Dopamine, is out. Much like his breakout hit, it looks to capture pleasure, longing and fantasy.

"Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released to give you, you know — it bathes the pleasure centers, basically," he says. "I feel like Dopamine comes out when you are longing for something or just the fantasy of something, and that's what a lot of the songs on the album are about. It's kind of like the fantasy of what you wish you had, or that you had and you don't have anymore."

BORNS is a born performer. At age 10, he picked up magic, doing restaurant shows for tips in his small hometown on the edge of Lake Michigan. In high school, he was a standout voice in his choir. He says he hopes to continue to achieve new heights as an entertainer.

"I feel like I'm always just trying to write better music and keep tapping myself," he says. "I remember seeing an interview from the Bee Gees and they were like, 'The biggest competition to the Bee Gees is the Bee Gees.' They just kept trying to top themselves and write better songs, and I'm just always trying to do that. It's all about the art, really, at the end of the day."

BORNS' debut album, Dopamine, is out now. Hear more of his conversation with NPR's Ari Shapiro, and snippets from the album, at the audio link.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR Staff
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