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On Location: BORN

On Location with BØRNS

A stop in Los Angeles on the musical sensation’s whirlwind tour

Garrett Borns, the 24-year-old musician who performs as BØRNS, has been touring for nearly two years in support of his debut album, Dopamine, and isn’t stopping any time soon. In fact, the coming months will take the Michigan native from Detroit to Denmark for a slew of summer dates. But on one recent night, he was in Los Angeles playing a private show at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and making the most of night in a familiar place. (A standout BØRNS song, “Electric Love,” appears in a new ad campaign for the Discover Los Angeles.)

“It’s always fun to play in L.A; I feel like I’m never there these days because I’m always out there touring,” he says. “It’s good to see my homies—and outside MOCA there was an ice-cream truck, which was really top notch.”

It was also a treat to play at the museum, in the city’s burgeoning Downtown neighborhood, instead of a traditional venue. “Every show is completely different: Recently, I went from playing in the desert to doing college shows and outdoor shows,” he says. “I’ve played so many different places under so many circumstances that I don’t know what’s normal!”

Despite the appeal of life on the road, Borns says he isn’t opposed to getting a few nights at home now and again. “I miss simple things, like sleeping in my own bed and cooking for myself,” he admits. “I miss making fish tacos; my guitarist is an avid fisherman, so he always brings home fresh yellowtail from the ocean and I make amazing fish tacos. I’m definitely looking forward to that.”

Still, touring isn’t all bad. Borns is quick to say how strong his band is—“I think as a group we’re really a tight unit,” he says, “there’s an energy there that’s definitely growing”—and he’s even found time to venture into the studio to start working on new songs. And every now and again—like before the show at MOCA—he even gets some time to himself. “I didn’t have much time,” he says, “but I managed to sneak in a hike in Griffith Park, and that was fantastic.”