HAWLEY - Fashioned from her own life experiences, Gabby Borges makes her music. Borges, who is a 19-year-old local musician and college student released her first album this summer, “Linoleum Complex” and was a featured artist on DNH Discovered throughout July.
Writing music based on what she knows, is “easier” than making the story up she said; in part because talking to people can be challenging. Generally, Borges doesn’t sit and focus on the song, but rather the lyrics come to her and then she writes.
Borges feels her music is different because of how she focuses on the words in her songs which she believes are used differently since they are her own “thoughts” that she puts in her own “unique way,” she explained.
When Borges learned she was going to be a featured artist, she wondered about how people would hear her music on the radio. Every day throughout the month, her one song “Honesty” was played twice a day.
Putting the album together, Borges said was “frustrating” because each instrument had to be recorded separately which was time consuming. But, by the end as she learned how to record, it became easier.
All total, there are 14 songs on “Linoleum Complex” that she started recording in January, but didn’t finish until April. While she didn’t have a set deadline, Borges did want the album complete for an open mic in her hometown of Hawley.
If she were to compare her music to a mainstream artist, Borges feels her songs are like her favorite band, the Front Bottoms that have toured with Blink 182 as they are a “punkie band focused on their words.” Borges has always liked Bob Dylan and Amy Winehouse because of the messages within the songs, which is what she tries to share with her own music.
Considering herself to be an alternative folk-rock artist, Borges said the genre gives music a “certain feeling” because her own “songs are stories” just like Bob Dylan. It was when she was in the sixth grade and had a fight with a friend that Borges wrote one of her first songs because it’s her way of “responding to drama” she said. But it was an older brother who inspired Borges to learn how to play the guitar.
Borges describes her style as “funky” that is more than music as people will bob their head and hear something “profound,” that may make a listener laugh because her music is more than “catchy” words.
It wasn’t until she performed at an open mic a year ago, that Borges first shared her love with others. To go on and release “Linoleum Complex,” wasn’t something she ever imagined since she hadn’t shared before, she said.
A friend and local musician Jason Merrill encouraged Borges to create her album. Borges called Merrill an “inspiration” that she admires because he made her realize that if she didn’t do an album now, then her songs would’ve been wasted since they can be timely.
Merrill said songs are a “snapshot” of a person’s life at a specific time and so, they’re relative to the present time.
On her album, “Hounds” is Borges’s favorite song because she created the riffs, which are a guitar part of the song. Borges explained that when she wrote the song, she thought it was done, until she played it again and realized something more was needed.
Her songs, Borges said are up for “interpretation” because they have a certain meaning to her, because they are based on her own experiences and consequently, what a listener takes from the song might be different.
Finishing an album, Borges described as “surreal,” because she worked on it for three months and then that was it, she was done.
Aside from singing and playing guitar, Borges has also played the drums since she was 10-years-old and she can be found playing around the Lake Region with Rare Form and Stove Top. But, she taught herself how to play the guitar, which she primarily plays for herself. During the summer, she had a gig in Manhattan as well.
With one album complete, Borges said she is ready to “tackle the next one” since she is more confident in the production process now. She is currently focusing on shows.
Music, Borges said is the best way she can express herself because it’s always available since she can play whenever she feels. From her music, Borges hopes people can connect with the lyrics and it helps them through whatever they’re going through. Music, simply is about the “connection.”
Although she is currently studying criminal justice, for the time being Borges wants to play her music and “see where that goes,” she said. While being a musician can be a challenging livelihood, Borges is “down” since she doesn’t mind “crashing on some couches” so she can play wherever.
Borges’s album can be found online at various music sites such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon or her own website http://gabbyborges.com/ or Facebook page.
To those with dreams, Borges says people should “do what you love” since she is doing just that and is happy.