Early tracks like “Rags to Riches” and “AGGRO” started a buzz for Borgeous, but it was the collaboration with DVBBS
that launched him into the spotlight. A stream of club and dance radio hits followed, with “Invincible” and “Wildfire” becoming massive chart hits. With a massive touring schedule, Borgore (real name John Borgore) made a radical decision to dedicate time to create an artist album. The resulting album 13, which contains fifteen tracks, garnered intense critical buzz with its diverse lineup of collaborators and styles. With the support of his massive ARMY of fans, Borgeous might just be the next big EDM producer/DJ to cross over to international superstardom.
RS: Every time I turn on XM I swear I hear “Wanna Lose You.” Congratulations!
Borgeous: Thank you so much, I love that song.
RS: We love it too. What was it like working with tyDi on that song?
Borgeous: It was good, it was easy and I love working with tyDi on records. We did two songs on the album, “Over The Edge” and “Wanna Lose you.” He sent a rough version of that song over to me and we went back and forth on it for quite some time and finally got it to where it needed to be. I really wanted to put that out as the first single but we decided to do it as the second single. We did the music video in LA and everything turned out great.
RS: Is that him singing?
Borgeous: No, that was Quazy.
RS: Your album is pretty freaking incredible. What was in your mind when you started working on it?
Borgeous: I was just doing singles and it kind of all started to come together. About five songs in, I decided that I was just going to do an album because I always wanted to do one. I decided to go for it and the next thing I knew we had 15 songs.
RS: Well there are 15 tracks, why did you decide to call the album 13?
Borgeous: Originally there was 13 songs but at the very end I started working on a song with Karmin and then I worked on the Lil Jon song and I fell in love with both of the songs. I didn’t want to get rid of any songs because I loved them all so I just went ahead with 15 songs even though it was supposed to be 13.
RS: Every song sounds completely different and I love that. When you sit down to work on a track do you think that you are going to make a certain kind of track or what is your work flow?
Borgeous: It just depends. For the Neon Hitch songs, we sat in the studio and lyrically put those together on the spot. It really just all depends on what we are doing. For the Lil Jon song, I did the instrumental first and then I sent it to Lil Jon and then he recorded the vocals and sent it back. I didn’t really like where it was so I sent it to Riggi & Piros and they put their little twist on it and it turned out really good. It just depends, sometimes I work on the vocals first or I work on the beat first.
RS: I noticed that every track has a collaborator, why do you prefer to work with others than work on your own?
Borgeous: I would say that a feature is probably a little different than a collaborator. There are three or four songs that are just me but I tend to like vocal features. I like to get a different twist, you can put your own spin on it and then people can put their own production style on it and it turns out to be something that you normally wouldn’t do. I think that it is really cool to work with people.
RS: Being part Jamaican what was it like to work with Sean Paul?
Borgeous: Sean Paul is awesome, him and his team are some of the nicest people ever. The first time that I actually met him was when we shot the video in Miami. When we worked on the song I hadn’t even met him. We got to hang out that whole day and he is super easy to work with and down to earth. He is a legend and his whole team of people are super cool.
RS: We also love Neon Hitch and we noticed that she is the only singer in more than one track, what about her inspires you so much?
Borgeous: That came about through my tour manager, he is really good friends with her and grew up with her. As I was working on the album he mentioned Neon Hitch and I was like oh cool because I loved her stuff. I started listening to her stuff a lot more and we worked on one track, she flew out from LA that day and we worked on it here in Vegas. She went back home and as I was working on the album she said to send her a demo of another song which was “Wrong Places.” I loved the vocals and was like we have to do another song together so there ended up being two songs with her.
RS: I was wondering why songs like “Wildfire” or “Souls” and “Invincible” aren’t on 13?
Borgeous: Those were on Spinnin’ records which is a different label. I was going to put those on there but I decided that I wanted to do a clean break with the other label as opposed to getting them involved and the politics of the music world. I just decided to do a fresh start with something and someone new.
RS: This question may not be so relevant these days since everyone has MP3 players but what was your thought process with regards to sequencing the songs on the album?
Borgeous: The first song has a little bit of a trap vibe to it but as the album goes on it kind of starts off very low end and then as the album continues it gets a little harder. I wanted to have a flow about it where people could drive in their car and just listen to the whole thing through without having to skip through songs or have to listen to head banging music and hard 128 BPM banger songs in the car. That was kind of the purpose of the flow that I picked for the album.
RS: Nice. Switching from your album to your live shows, how much of the music you play is your original productions and mashups versus music from others?
Borgeous: It depends on how long of a set I am playing. An hour and a half set is typical and I would say that about 45 minutes of it is my original stuff and maybe 15 minutes of it is my songs but mashed up with different drops and then 30 minutes of it is other people’s stuff.
RS: I am a big fan of your House of Borgeous show on XM, how do you keep it fresh doing a new show every week and where do you find your music?
Borgeous: All of the labels send out promos so I just sort through all of those every week. I also sort through a lot of stuff on DJ City and emails that bands send out and demos that aspiring producers and DJs are wanting to get out. I go through all that stuff and put it together and then I throw my music in there as well and try to keep it fresh and new every time.
RS: Your fans are insanely loyal, where did the name Army come from?
Borgeous: I don’t know, I think that one day somebody said it on one of my social media platforms and I thought it was a cool idea and so we kind of formed a social media army and I started just saying that and it kind of just stuck.
RS: What is the most unique gift that one of them has given you?
Borgeous: I have gotten cakes and cookies with my face on it, people take magazine articles and cut them out and do framing art to it and people have done paintings of me and given them to me at the airport, all sorts of stuff.
RS: Just curious, do you ever get confused with Borgore?
Borgeous: Yeah, it happens sometimes.
RS: How about a collab with Borgore, you could call it Borg Squared! What would that sound like?
Borgeous: That would be funny. We have talked about working on a song together, I think that we might do it next year actually.
RS: Awesome. If you could rework any Bob Marley song which would it be?
Borgeous: The live free, happy one, I forgot the name of the song!
RS: When they make the movie of your life what actor will play you?
Borgeous: Ryan Gosling
RS: If you were a furry, what animal would you be?
Borgeous: I would be a badger.
RS: I totally see that, that makes sense, with a fuzzy tail. What would you like to say to all of your fans out there listening?
Borgeous: Thank you guys for all the love and support. Let’s keep the album going this year and I have a bunch of new stuff that I am working on already for next year.
Interview conducted October 2016.