The presence of Fourth Born’s sound, how it oscillates across your senses, is extremely stimulating (in a musical scene of course). We listened to Fourth Born once, and immediately fell in love with the alternative sound he’s able to produce with his vocalism. The lyrical aspect of Fourth Borns music is witty, honest and raw. What more can we ask from a musician? Fourth Born is another artist out of Ontario, Canada. A musician from the very start, Fourth Born relinquishes his emotion and vulnerability in his music, which can be easily understood and interpreted with the necessary kind of feel-good flow. His music is light-heartedness all the way, and we adore it. We also adore music that is relatable (but actually relatable). Fourth Born integrates messages throughout his music about the blunt truth of various life experiences. We need music like this, we want music like this, and thankfully we’ve received it once we gave a listen to Fourth Born.
What a cool and collected vibe Fourth Born presents in his most recent single “Last Cigarette”. In terms of rhythm and tempo, we’re receiving heavy elements from the sound of Shakey Graves—definitely a twist with Fourth Borns exclusive vocalism. We’re feeling loose, relaxed and tranquil—we could seriously listen to Fourth Born’s voice all day. His music is the type that can make you feel like you are mindlessly floating on a cloud. It’s amazing what some artists can blend together in their curation process. We feel sparked with a sense of joy throughout “Last Cigarette”. Fourth Born accentuates his music with how much soul he can really bring to what he’s singing about. We both seek and appreciate artists capable of bringing true soul to their music, and so we respect Fourth Born’s music incredibly. He’s the kind of indie/soul/alternative sound you want to be listening to right now. He’s trendy with the kind of wave the predominant indie/alternative music scene is wanting and needing right now. We cherished the craft Fourth Bornbrought to “Last Cigarette” and we know our BuzzMusic readers will too.
Relax with us and listen to Fourth Born's “Last Cigarette” here. Continue reading for his personalized interview.
Hey Fourth Born! Please give our readers a sense of who you are as an artist!
My name is James Stephens and the name "Fourth Born" is derived from the fact that I am the Fourth Born in my family. The youngest of four. As an artist I would say I'm very experimental. I love to write often and in different genres and styles. Typically my songs are themed around more of a dark, contrasted feel which I typically deliver using figurative language. For my upcoming album titled: "Hurricane James" - A few notable influences would be: Alabama Shakes, The Strokes, White Stripes, David Bowie, Shakey Graves, Broken Social Scene etc.
What lyrics in “Last Cigarette” would you say is the most impactful for the true meaning of the song? Why do you feel these lyrics are the most impactful?
I would say the most impactful lyrics in my opinion would be the opening lines.
"Talkin' off my ear, I want you the best.
Talk away them fears I want them to rest
Give me up like your last cigarette, stuck in your teeth"
Personally, these lyrics resonate with me because they encapsulate the feelings of being toiled and drawn as a result of an unhealthy relationship.
The contrast between wanting someone to be happy, but also wanting to escape is portrayed here. The last line then concludes that one person is smoking the cigarette, and the other person is the cigarette and is therefore being completely consumed by the other - metaphorically speaking.
While curating “Last Cigarette”, did you come across any creative blocks? If you ever come across creative blocks with creating your sound, how do you typically surpass them?
The song "Last Cigarette" was actually started a couple years back. The first two verses just flowed out, and I sat down with the third verse about a year ago. So it was on the back burner for a while. I like to write as much as I can, so often time's I will record a concept on my phone, and then leave it for when the time feels right. I think my main creative block for most of my songs, is my desire to learn about audio engineering enough to produce them independently. It has taken me a few years to be able to Produce/Audio Engineer my songs to how I generally want them to be portrayed. The balancing act of keeping up with promotions, independently producing/writing music, playing gigs, and working other jobs is real. The best way for me to surpass creative blocks, in my opinion, is to just be patient and consistent. Even if I'm just writing one line of lyrics a day, or jamming out to something on my loop pedal for just 30 minutes a day. That's enough to keep the creativity and vision going if I'm too busy to extensively write. I also find that pushing my comfort zones helps a lot with getting myself outside of the box.
Knowing your music is heavily reflected on your personal life experiences, what are some challenges you may face in writing a song?
Some of the challenges I face when writing a song based off of personal experiences is probably obscurity. As an artist I tend to gravitate more toward abstract lyric concepts. I think, in general, I find it a little harder to communicate on an emotional level in a literal way. This can make my writing a little harder to relate to sometimes. I think I consciously try to create abstract concepts for most things I feel. I recently watched that new Black Mirror episode with Miley Cyrus starring in it. The episode is about a pop star who is trying to escape the monogamy of writing pop songs for a younger audience. Anyways, her manager finds some of her personal lyric notes, and flies off the handle complaining that no one is gonna care about some obscure bulls^%$ that Leonard Cohen would write and maybe 20 people would relate to. I thought that was hilarious, but it also hit me pretty deep lol. But realistically Leonard Cohen is amazing and I'd say this quote by him sums up exactly how I feel about that perception. "People used to say my music was too difficult or too obscure, and I never set out to be difficult or obscure. I just set out to write what I felt as honestly as I could, and I am delighted when other people feel a part of themselves in the music." - Leonard Cohen
Do you have any upcoming performances you can let the BuzzMusic community know about?
This summer I am working for an organization aimed at aiding young emerging artist's to further develop their music careers. (Ontario Musicians Cooperative Inc.) I am a program coordinator for that so I am primarily working on my event managing skills for this summer. (and planning on busking a lot) However, I will be playing the Collingwood Port Festival from 12:00-12:30 PM this weekend, Saturday June 29th. And at the Horseshoe Tavern on the same day from 9-12:00 AM with Shawn Steinhart. I will also be playing a couple gigs on Saturday July 6th. - 1:00 - 4:00 PM at Northwinds in the Blue Mountains, and - 7:00 - 10:00 PM at Fire and Ice in Markdale.
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