The name BØRNS may or may not be familiar to you at first glance — after all, you’re probably here for video stuff, generally speaking — but I can almost certainly guarantee you’ve heard his music — especially Electric Love
, which hit over 20 million views on YouTube when it was released and subsequently certified platinum. BØRNS, now in Los Angeles, is from roughly the same area of Michigan as my extended family. Despite his humble midwestern roots, he’s nothing like (most) of my relatives: described as glam rock, indie pop, and everything from eccentric to exotic to enigmatic.
But underneath his falsetto synth pop, BØRNS is an artist filled with creativity, thriving in inspiring art in others. To follow that — and the release of his new album Blue Madonna
which will take him on tour and to Coachella — BØRNS is partnering with Adobe to foster visual art inspired by his new song “We Don’t Care”. The end product will be edited by BØRNS (in Premiere Pro, of course) and the winner will be featured in a music video and get the chance to come to LA to meet him.
(Hurry up and get going on the Creative Brief
— the contest ends February 6th.) Music-inspired projects that interpret lyrics and emotions are a fascinating way to explore one’s technical and storytelling skills, and participants can view other entries in a gallery to be inspired by one another as well.
I had an opportunity to speak with BØRNS about his role in editing the final product for Adobe’s contest, as well as his thoughts on creativity and visual arts.
Creative COW: Why did you want to partner with Adobe for this challenge to your fans? Can you tell me more about how this will play out and what the end result will be?
So many fans tag me in the most creative and beautiful art work and collages based on my music that when the opportunity came up to partner with Adobe, I jumped on it. The whole concept is letting everyone go wild and create a stunning universe for me to perform in.
How does inspiring art and self-expression in those around you feed your own creative process?
Art is a constant collaboration whether you admit it or not. You’re collaborating with thousands of years of ideas every day. Anyway I can change my creative process and inspire others, I’m into.
As a native midwesterner like myself, how did you learn to tap into your creativity in a place not known on the surface for such a thing?
There are so many musicians are visual artists from the midwest. It must be in the water there. I was always just trying to create my show to take on the road.
You've spoken before about the early impact of different kinds of music, but can you recall any formative experiences in visual art?
Yes, I would frequent art studios where I grew up to see what local painters were working on. I used to do a lot of painting and drawing when I was young.
Music videos are one of the best places for experimentation in video, and they're one of the first opportunities visual storytellers begin to hone their craft. What do you enjoy about music videos today? What can emerging artists (or aspiring artists) get out of the process of putting visuals to sound?
There are a plethora of formats to work with. My favorites are Super8, VHS, old iPhones. I love seeing different eras of technology side by side. It creates an interesting nostalgia. And when you put movement so sound, you’ve created a universe: You put someone into the scope of your thoughts. That is extremely powerful.
Much of creation is about risk. Does vulnerability play a role in your life as a musician?
Being vulnerable to the muse and knowing when to use your power.
Where do you find new inspiration for each album? What can we expect from your next single, and how do you hope to carry that vision through to the music video?
Inspiration just falls into place. I’m open to the world through travels and relationships. “We Don’t Care” is a song about finding someone that takes you out of a superficial world and the ironic part is the video will be the most beautiful superficial world you’ve ever experienced.