Joanna Borne brings cinematic and ethereal elements into her genre-bending sound of pop. With her love of car-rattling bass and hip-hop production, a ferocity was built into her music, including songs “Carousel” and her latest single “My Friend.”
While in contrast, her love for raw simplicity brings an intangible, heart-wrenching aspect in her release “Lovers.” North American and international influences heighten her smoky vocal tone to tie the songs together; no matter how different they may be emotionally or musically, they are undeniably Joanna Borne.
What first got you into music?
My mom told me she found me sleeping on the steps one night instead of my bed and she asked me what I was doing sleeping on the stairs and I said I just wanted to be able to listen to Dad playing the guitar downstairs cause it helped me sleep. I did that multiple times! I’ve always struggled with anxiety in a way it’s always been hard to sleep to shut my mind off, and from the beginning of my existence music just calmed me down. When my mom got a piano I loved watching her play all the same. I was bound and determined to learn to create what I felt was helping heal my overactive mind.
In your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What’s the secret to making yourself noticed?
I think the most important thing is to create what your soul wants to create. I was bullied so much in school growing up that eventually my only coping method became really not worrying about the negative things people may think and that’s been the most freeing thing for myself and my music. Following the impulse in the moment to create and loving the process makes music that’s alive; the kind of music that gives chills. Anytime I get chills from a song as both a listener and a creator, I know it’s real and that stands out. I know the industry is technically competitive in a logical sense but I don’t feel the competitive nature in an emotional sense I just feel people creating, and it’s a beautiful thing I want to be a part of.
How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it?
I very much follow the moment. If I have a beat in front of me, I’ll usually write the melody first. If I don’t have the music in front of me yet, or in my head, but I feel something I want to express, then the lyrics come first. Sometimes I sit down to produce with a blank slate and a keyboard and the music melody and lyrics come out together in a mess that just gets put together in no particular order, which was how I wrote my 3rd release “lovers.”
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Writer’s block is the worst! I find I struggle with writer’s block the most when I find myself forcing something. Writing is like a relationship, having too many expectations is toxic, so if I find myself expecting myself to nail it right now, I have to take a minute to slow down and let go of that expectation and hold onto the feeling I’m wanting to express then the ideas usually will come through.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your current releases?
I would have to say working 2 jobs to support the costs of living and costs of this project while also making sure I have enough time to practice, get in the studio, play shows, and make enough content to keep up with multiple social media platforms, the list goes on and on and on. I frequently will go for weeks without a day off to just relax. My friends keep telling me something like “you drive to succeed regardless of how it puts you through extreme vigor” and I would say that’s true.
What’s your least favorite personality trait you like about yourself?
This may not technically be a “personality trait” but I am notorious for leaving the kitchen cupboards open!
Do you have any superstitions?
Not really but it’s been the running joke around the studio that maybe I should be. I was tracking in the studio one day and don’t ask me how but I managed to accidentally knock over a giant mirror and it shattered all over the place. Shortly after that my car broke down, so I got a new car, but then that new car got hit by a bus on the interstate. I was injured in the accident but have recovered. In all honesty, though I’m not superstitious I’m very fortunate that I’m okay! It was all just so crazy and the timing was just absurd.
What would be the ideal food to have cooked for you on a date night?
Honestly anything I’m not the best cook…my mind is always flying into space when I’m in the kitchen! I either start dancing singing and humming ideas or thinking about stuff I haven’t had time to think about in my busy life; then I start burning stuff or putting the wrong spice in the pot. So I love when I have a meal made for me. I also am not a picky eater so I’m easy to cook for haha!
You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Green. Why? I was always that kid walking into the house with a bunch of leaves and sticks in my hair. I loved playing outside and that never faded I love to be outside whenever I can be.
What would be a good theme song for your life?
Probably running with the wolves by Aurora at this point! 1 I love that song, and 2 my dad always loved wolves, we had paintings of them all over our house growing up. We happened to take one in when I was in high school and it was such a unique and amazing experience to interact with her. I have a friend that owns a wolf sanctuary as well about 30 minutes from where I grew up. I have some videos on my Tik Tok and Instagram Reels playing with one of the wolves on Sky’s sanctuary called “A Wolf adventure” located in Saskatchewan. Unexpectedly that’s become what I’m known for the most now on TikTok and Instagram.
In the world of Instagram vs Reality, Joanna Borne pleads for real human connection in her new single “My Friend.” Emotionally raw and musically lush, “My Friend” possesses a bombastic beat interlaced with diary entries depicting the era where reaching out to friends can feel like a burden rather than a safety net.
“There’s nothing that can replace being fully present with another human being… unaltered by substance, unrestricted by technology and obligations. No amount of texting or partying can ever replace that,” says the Canada-bred, Nashville artist.
Delivering cinematic, international and ethereal elements to her own genre of pop, Joanna Borne takes emotionally-dense lyricism and uniquely-phrased, smoky vocals to produce irresistible, genre-bending anthems.
For more on Joanna Borne, follow her on social media @JoannaBorne and Instagram @joannabornemusic.