Artist of Day: Familiarize Yourself With the Alt-Rock Soundings of Fourth Born

James Stephens is a Toronto-based artist who has created the very project that is Fourth Born. Fourth Born curates music that mostly adheres to the Alternative/Rock community, but sometimes he likes to throw in a little twist, which is undeniably strategic. We can't say we'll always know what to expect from Fourth Born as an artist, but that's half the fun of listening to his music. What is Fourth Born all about?  His sound is smooth and cultured.  Fourth Born brings back a rustic sound, but with a sound that contains a modern flow. A memorable aspect of almost all of his music is the sophistication. Listeners notice how crafted his instrumentals are, and how well they combine with light-hearted vocalism. Qualities like this are present in one of Fourth Born's track, "Last Cigarette", which displays an alternative environment that keeps up with an almost robust tune. 

"Cross Thread" is another track that we've seen from artist Fourth Born, which is similar to a heavier alt/rock track. Here, we get to indulge in the deeper vocalism of Fourth Born, which is inevitably filled with jagged and striking emotions.  Here, it's easy to compare Fourth Born to the vocal elements that bands such as The Arctic Monkey are able to produce. There's nothing more intriguing than an artist who is able to effortlessly gain the attention and interest of listeners, and this is definitely something that Fourth Born is capable of doing. His talent is there, and that's easily demonstratable through his songs. We feel that giving a chance of listening to the music of Fourth Born will leave you happy with the results! If you're an alt/rock fan, Fourth Born is the new wave to hop on. 

Listen to "Cross Thread" here.

Hey, Fourth Born! It's great to talk about your music and what you've been up to artistically. Can you tell us more about your journey through the music world so far?

For sure, my journey through the industry has been eye-opening. I’ve met a lot of creative and hardworking people, 2019 was a busy year for myself working primarily as a musician. I did mostly cover gigs, independent small studio productions, live sound, and worked with an emerging artist program called OMCI. (Ontario Musicians Cooperative Inc.) I am now in Toronto performing a lot, working part-time, networking and interning with a producer.

Your release of "Cross Thread" greatly showcased your true alt/rock side of your artistry. Compared to "Last Cigarette", this track contains more of that vigor and robust passion. How do you personally think the songs compare, and how did the creative process differ across the two?

These songs share similar messages but each offered in a different light. They’re both break up songs. The last cigarette offers the message of kind of an ironic blissful acceptance. Accepting the fact that you ignored all the warning signs but it’s not too late to quit.

Whereas Cross thread takes on a bit more of a direct and cutting tone. The vibe of this song is about truly coming to terms that there’s too much that’s broken. Like a cross-threaded bolt that you need to break off and let go of. I don’t know, I guess metaphors are fun.

The all-encompassing message I’m trying to portray with both of these songs is to let things go. Particularly things that are broken, or unhealthy. Sometimes breakups feel like they last forever. But I think boundaries are important and people need to move on in their own ways.

Cross thread definitely just flowed out of me all at once, whereas last cigarette was on the back burner for around 2-3 years before it was fully written and released.

As a multi-instrumentalist, do you think your knowledge and experience with this side of music aided in the creation of your current releases?

Knowing how to play multiple instruments has definitely helped with my current releases. I like to play different instruments as a source of creativity. And to gain from the perspective of whatever instruments I’ve picked up over the years. It allows me to get at least a glimpse inside the minds of well-trained drummers or bass/piano composers.

In regards to my education in music, I think about music in a very practical way. I learned to do it by basically picking stuff up by ear and running with it. I find it easier to think outside of the box when I’m not thinking about time signatures, and chord structures or scales when I’m trying to vibe out to a new track. Cross thread is a great example of a song that is theoretically written pretty well but without a conscious thought of what the theory of the song was while I was writing it.

The chorus part is 4/4 timing. And the verses jump into 14/8 or something like that? I don’t know.. it’s a weird song. But it’s cool because naturally, the time signature changeup creates an unstable effect in the verses. And then when that chorus drops in the more stable 4/4 time signature change shed more light on the initial message of the song.

Are there any sounds and/or genres that you're unfamiliar with, but would like to incorporate into the sound of your music in the near future?

For sure, I’m always trying to get inspired by different sounds and genres. I do want to attempt to incorporate electronic vibes into my music eventually. I also like industrial type sounds. Maybe like reverb tank pops and falling guitars or something. Typewriters and stuff like that. To create a scene has always been an appealing concept to me. And hopefully something I can learn to do effectively as my production knowledge develops further.

We appreciate the time, Fourth Born! Can our readers expect any new releases in the near future?!

Thank you! The next release will be a song called “Masters of disguise” which will be released to streaming services on February 14th.