With a melody and a dream, Burch is seeking to make his name known. But to hear him tell it, this reality still feels like a dream. "Being born with a fatal heart condition, being born just to die – that's really shaped my entire existence," he tells REVOLT. The singer, whose "Boundless" track continues to make waves, recently filled us in on his story and musical journey.
How has your story defined you?
Being born with a fatal heart condition, being born just to die – that's really shaped my entire existence. You know, I still have the letter from the docs to my parents basically saying "We're sorry but we fear your baby won't make it" I mean, that's crazy – knowing that I'm not actually supposed to be here; and yet, here I am. That changes everything. Knowing that my life is a gift – knowing that I was given a chance to live – makes me want to do everything I can. Makes me want to do something special, do something different, do something no one else thought I could, ya know? And that's what I've been doing my whole life. Being what people said I couldn't be. Doing what people said I couldn't do. Making the most of this life that I wasn't supposed to have.
How did music become your calling?
The moment I realized what music was. The moment I realized the power music had to move people, touch people, and free people – that's when I knew. I guess it's kinda like discovering your mutant power. You always had it, but once you discover it, your life will never be the same and you can never go back. From that moment on, I knew that music was gonna be the legacy that I would leave behind.
As far as hip hop is concerned, that was next level shit. Nah, not even next level. More like top floor. Straight penthouse. Like, the first time I heard Tupac's "Changes", it was surreal. It was one of those movie moments where everything fades away around you and everything goes in slow mo as the camera zooms in on your face kinda thing. I mean, the truth, the power in that song. I never knew that something like this existed. Something that spoke to your soul, could inspire you to enact social change; a genre that could move your heart as well as your booty. I mean, I had no words. I felt like I discovered gold. Platinum. Titanium. Adamantium. Whatever. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. The rose that grew from the concrete, ya dig? And I knew that was it.
With a wide range of influences, how would you describe your sound?
Haha, I try not to man. I mean, I'm not mad at it – I get it – but I try to stay away when possible. Part of it is cuz I love making music that reaches across genres, across styles. I want to be. . ."genre-ly ambiguous". Is that a phrase? If not, I'm making it now. Genrely ambiguous. Hashtag and tweet it out! I wanna be the Anti-Trump of music – tearing down walls. I wanna be that cat that when you add me into your iTunes, you have NO idea what genre to put me in. And then you spend way too long checking Spotify and online forums to see how others characterize me and you finally throw your hands up, give up, and just create a new category. Does anyone else do this or is it just me? God, I'm so OCD.
But I love it though for real. Like "This Way" – Run DMC and Aerosmith. Is that Rap or Rock? How would you categorize that? Nelly and Tim McGrawin "Over and Over". Would that go under Hip hop or Country? Khalid and Marshello on "Silence". Is that EDM or R&B? Common's "Electric Circus" album – Electronica or Hip hop? Outkast's "Hey Ya". OMG, what the fuck would that be? That song combines like every genre in music history! I love that.
But, I mean, let's give it a try. If I were to try to describe me, I'd say I'm a modern blend of R&B, dance, hip hop, and pop. Oh, how about this! If I were a cocktail, the base ingredient would be pop, add a shot of dance (like old school Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas), another shot of hip hop, a twist of R&B, and garnish with acoustic sounds and live instruments. I'd be served up in one of those fancy, slightly iced glasses, cost $14 a pop, and the ladies would love it =P Haha, drink that up!
What impact do you hope to make in music?
Oh, that's easy. For me, I love music because it moves people – body, mind, and soul. So that's what I want to do. I want to move people. I want my music to make them dance, make them sing, make them smile, make them cry.
The thing I LOVE the most is performing live on stage. I love connecting with a huge audience, getting everyone hype, getting everyone to move together, sing together, put their lighters in the sky. I live for that. That's where I make my biggest impact.
On a larger, more social level, I hope to use my music and my clout as an artist to change the world somehow. I'd love to contribute to advancing social justice or to bring awareness to need and poverty around the world. There's no one particular cause that I'm currently dedicated to, but in the past I've done some medically and educationally related things. What I'm trying to say is that I just wanna make a real difference. I want the world to be a better and more beautiful place. I want my life to have counted for something. That's what I want.
When will be expecting to hear new music from you?
Man, my music should be dropping this summer! I'm actually in the studio right now as we speak laying down some tracks that are straight fire! I mean, hot summers need hot music right? So it's only right. Beaches, parties, girls in bikinis. Nothing but hotness, feel me? So keep a look out for my new tracks and get ready to add them to your summertime playlist. And hmu on social media! @burchbeat