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Michigan native BORNS influenced by '60s and '70s glam rock

Lauren Dukoff

Michigan native Garrett Borns is better known by his stage name, BORNS. He recently released his debut album, Dopamine.

Before wrapping up his U.S. tour, BORNS will be performing at The Shelter in Detroit on Wednesday. 

He explains the song Electric Love is his contemporary take on '60s and '70s glam rock. BORNS talks about the influence his favorite musicians had on him, like Michael Jackson and Prince.

“I guess just their approach to melodies and songwriting because ... they have such distinct styles. I think that’s influenced so much music that you hear today. It’s pretty crazy how many songs you can pick out on the radio that we're like, "Wow, that was influenced by Michael Jackson. Even like Britney Spears' song. If you listen to 'Hit Me Baby One More Time,' it’s basically a Michael Jackson song.”

When it comes to his vocal range, BORNS can hit some pretty high notes. But he doesn't overthink it too much.

“I just sort of sing what feels good in the studio. I think it’s really interesting with tons of stacks of harmonies because it’s like I have a choir with all of the same voice. I always found that very interesting, and some of my favorite artists layer harmonies like the Bee Gees and the Beach Boys”

Some people still have a "BORNS is a guy?" moment, but it doesn't even bother him, he actually likes it.

“Yeah, I do, I think it’s great ... I feel like music is so accessible, which is great, but also people can just ... find out everything about a musician and I kind of like how people just don’t know right away when they’re listening to it. They’re just listening to the music and it’s not gender-defined in that way, you know.”

He grew up in Grand Haven and at the age of 10 he was a paid magician, and went by the name "Garrett the Great."

“Magic was one of my, I guess, artistic outlets at the time ... and I had a regular gig at this Italian restaurant and I did magic and balloon animals, and that kind of transpired to doing kids' birthday parties and larger events, stage shows. And actually the magic capital of the world is in Michigan.”

It’s in Colon, Michigan, actually.

BORNS also talks about the beaches of Lakes Michigan and studying film at Interlochen Center for the Arts in our interview above. 

He will be performing at The Shelter in Detroit on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. 

Mercedes Mejia is a producer and director of Stateside.
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