INTERVIEW: Get to Know SoCal Reggae-Pop Band, 4th & Orange
SoCal reggae-pop band, 4th & Orange have officially started summer off on the right foot with their latest single and Atlantic Records debut, “Girl Next Door.” The band, which was co-founded by longtime friends Garrett Douglas and Chris “DJ Irey” Garcia, have a knack for crafting infectiously catchy music that perfectly blends their hometown heroes Sublime, with their own individual style. The result is something that will serve as the perfect soundtrack for summer.
With “Girl Next Door” out now, and with a goal to put their combined experience in the music industry and creative energy towards even more new music, this certainly won’t be the last you hear from 4th & Orange this year. Get to know a little bit more about the band and listen to “Girl Next Door” now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about 4th & Orange for anyone who might not be familiar?
Garrett Douglas [vocals]: 4th and Orange is a Southern California/Urban Reggae band pieced together by experienced musicians from different walks of life. We're a perfect example of what happens when you grow up in such a diverse place like Los Angeles. Opposite sounds start to blend, stories range through so many relatable lessons, and differences are almost pushed aside completely so we can figure out how to come together and form a band that will reach almost every type of listener.
4th & Orange is named after the cross streets that I became dependent on music and myself to survive in downtown Long Beach. We didn't want to get too fancy with the name because after all, our lives are so simple, and I think that's where we will connect to our fans.
I know a few of you have a lot of history together prior to forming 4th & Orange. How do you feel that prior relationship has helped to shape the music you’re writing today?
DJ Irey and myself have known each other since high school. I was searching for a place to call home after my parent's lost the home I grew up in. We all just had to get up and leave, and I landed in a garage in the home of the Garcia's (DJ Irey's Last Name). His parents pretty much adopted me and always made me feel like I had somewhat of a stable household. That played a huge role in the music we are writing today because that enabled us to grow into a family that trusts and relies on each other's strengths to survive. Our music is about life lessons and the roller coaster we like to call life. Even though the other boys are new to our journey, they're certainly not new to come up from the bottom to the top in Southern California. As soon as we met them we knew we had our band members.
You also have quite a bit of combined experience in the music industry. Are there any important lessons you’ve learned over the years that you’ve been able to apply to this project?
The biggest thing we had to learn as a team was to let go of the feeling that you have to do it all yourself. Some of us are great writers and some of us are great instrumentalists. We always remind each other that our roles are very important. Our music experience prior to the band was the best thing for us because steel sharpens steel. So when we come together and each player does his part, the music just flows. We've recorded so many songs already, and that was only possible because of those reasons.
You’ve mentioned before that you’d like for your music to bring light to people in dark situations. What artists did this for you growing up?
Mr. West. Kanye West that is. When my mother was in the hospital after her car accident, I was so hurt. My life and future was so bright and then bam... Darkness. When I was battling faith and traumatic life happenings, Kanye was the one artist that told my story. Not to say other artists like Eminem didn't inspire me with his 8 Mile movie - that was more like the format to become famous. But Kanye kept me sane. He loved his mother to death the way I did and had to overcome the world's negative outlook on drop outs to succeed and take care of his family through his passion and creativity. That's was me then, and that is me now. I'd love to thank him personally for that one day.
What messages do you have for listeners who might be looking for that light?
The only message I have for listeners looking for that light? BE THE LIGHT. You can look everywhere around you not knowing you're wasting time because when you look inside yourself, all the questions can then be answered. Learn from what you're going through and think it out. Don't play yourself short like you're NOT the person that can help you out the most. You've been given the gift of life for a reason.
You guys just released your debut single, “Girl Next Door.” What inspired this track?
I'm a storyteller. Even as a kid I would have the most creative yellow notebook full of stories. Animals being personified, full dialogue between characters, even visual scenes written out in detail. If I wasn't a songwriter, I'd still be a writer of everything else. I lived in an apartment building on the Eastside of Long Beach for a big part of my life and my unit was on the third floor. Full blown lobby with mailboxes and an elevator. Just like the rest of our music, there was a story to be told there. I got to penning a dope first verse and a melodic chorus and that's all she wrote. The Girl Next Door.
It being some of the first music that many people will hear from you, what goals did you have in mind when you first started working on “Girl Next Door”? What would you like listeners to take away from it?
My goal was to keep it classy. I'm from the streets where we cuss and we mingle in the allies and at parties, and we hear about that quite often. I wanted to show another level of creativity by taking a step back and telling a story you wouldn't expect me to write. I thought to myself, "I've seen this scenario many times in movies, tv, books, let's put this scenario into the music world." Kids and/or adults have had to experience this before otherwise there wouldn't be those stories in the world already. All I want our listeners to take away from it, is FUN. Smile a little and feel some nostalgia.
With “Girl Next Door” out now, can fans expect any more new music coming soon?
We've made so much music in these last months that I can almost be sure new music will be released soon. It's such a diverse catalog and with that I know my team (LATIUM ENT, ATLANTIC RECORDS) and my manager Charles Chavez with the golden ear will know exactly where to put it. Just be on the lookout because we have so much to share with the world.
Do you have any other big plans for the summer?
The single is out, the video is done. I don't plan to plan but I sure expect things to get crazy this summer. Shows, shows, and more shows to build our fanbase and put faces to the music. That's it.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I'd really just like to thank our support teams for believing in the simple but working format we have here. We make the music, they make the calls. Getting signed to LATIUM ENT/ ATLANTIC RECORDS is a milestone for us. Let's continue to send good vibes out in every direction. Thank you for listening.