An Interview With The Long Beach-Based Pop-Reggae Band, 4th + Orange
Meet 4th + Orange! They are a Long Beach, CA-based pop-reggae outfit. Co-founded by longtime friends Garrett Douglas and Chris “DJ Irey” Garcia, the two merge inspiration from hometown heroes, Sublime, with their own individual style to craft 4th & Orange’s specialized California-pop reggae sound.
In Long Beach, the corner of 4th Street and Orange Avenue represents the place where Douglas’ and DJ Irey’s tumultuous, dark pasts opened the door to shed light on their future. It’s where the veil of self-doubt lifted and they harnessed previous hardships and transformed them into self-reliance.
Douglas and DJ Irey’s friendship began during high school, where they found solace in music against the troubled background of both their home lives. Eventually they parted ways to forge their own paths in the music industry, Douglas moving on under the moniker Beach Boy and becoming a songwriter, and DJ Irey moving on as a successful producer. When their paths crossed again in early 2019, they took their decade of industry
experience and put their creative energy into a project all their own.
Learn more about 4th + Orange in the following All Access interview-
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could all agree on? Where did your name come from exactly?
I’ve been making reggae music for quite some time before meeting my manager Charles Chavez, who offered me the opportunity to be the lead of this band. After one conversation with him and learned about the hits he’s responsible for, I knew I could be in this band. We opened a group chat between my producer (DJ Flict) and the boys from the band to throw around some potential band names. None of them were making us excited – not even a little bit. Flict called me and asked, “Where do you live?” I said 4th and Orange – it clicked. It sounded easy enough to remember and fitting to our song. That’s that.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? How has the music scene there changed over the years?
Well I loved Hip-Hop before I loved much of anything else. So being from Long Beach meant you knew Snoop Dogg, and he put us on to rap music from my city. It also meant he’s been a big teacher to anyone from here trying to find their own way up the ranks. I didn’t need to gang bang to be able to feel his cultural influence. I take a look around and see what’s he’s talking about every day I step out of my house. That’s relatable enough for me to become a fan. I started taking little pieces of what makes him great and mixing it with everything else I knew about bands like Sublime (also from Long Beach) and rock bands like Linkin Park – which is basically the fusion of rock and hip-hop. Sublime made it easy to love reggae yet allowed us to still be “punks.” Fast forward to today, and you’ve got 4th and Orange, a band of cultural reflections willing to walk the fine lines as we know to be “genres.” The future is now.
Let’s talk about your track, “Girl Next Door.” What was the inspiration for this song? How would you say that it compares to anything else you have released? How creatively involved were you with the making of the video for this song? What was the inspiration for your soon-to-be-released song “Only You”?
There’s a movie called “Girl Next Door” which is basically where I got the idea. The movie wasn’t ideal for everyone to relate to because the girl was a porn star. Most people probably wouldn’t run into too many of those situations, so I decided to re-write that story in a way I felt most people could relate. California is high-cost living quarters with low income people – like myself at that time – that are smashed into apartments. There it was, the material I needed to be inspired enough to write a story through song. The video followed the lyrics, so I guess you could say that between Mike Garcia (director of “Girl Next Door” official music video) and myself, there was everything we needed to get the story told visually. Our manager Charles Chavez had a conversation with Julie Greenwald (COO of Atlantic), and she mentioned something about a favorite song of hers that she’s always wanted a band to cover. Chuck played us “Only You” by Yazoo in his office and we were all for it. We write most of our music, but this song has a ring to it and I can’t wait for our listeners to hear our rendition of it.
When do you plan on putting out more new music and a full collection of new songs?
We’d love to release a new song every month, and that’s what we’ve been doing so far. We feel as if albums are only called for when the demand is there. For now, we are sticking to the plan of releasing new music with quality content attached to it until we have enough people screaming at us for a full album.
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
There’s so many ways a song can be made, so first steps don’t really exist. I’ve written so many songs alone, and so many songs with other writers. Sometimes the producer has a hook he came up with on his own beat, but nothing else to help it be completed. So I guess inspiration would have to be the first step if I was forced to choose one.
What does it mean to this band to be signed to Atlantic Records now?
It means we finally have the machine behind us that will actually take our music and ideas that we feel are creatively ready for the world to enjoy and package it up for worldwide exposure. That’s the formula: HIT MUSIC, EXPOSURE TO LARGE AUDIENCES. None of it would have been possible without the partnership Latium Artists has with Atlantic. Shout out to my manager and Craig Kallman.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
Everything lately has been lots of work, very little play. We do have our nights out, but between rehearsals and adult responsibilities, it’s hard to find the time. On occasion we will link up outside the studio and have fun – trust me when I say that there’s been some wild nights! Not as much time as I would like because I love the guys from the band. I know upcoming tours will put us together for some good memories, and then after it’s all over there will be more downtime to hang out a lot more I hope.
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same? Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I can’t speak for the boys, but I know I’m the happiest when I’m with my family. I can for a fact say that we are all thrilled to be on stage doing what we love to do. At the same time, we ultimately team up to take care of the people that could really use our immediate help. The recording studio is a beautiful place because there we get to brainstorm ways to make the best song to receive the best reaction from fans, which really means receiving the best reward. Life is great.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues lately?
Our music places us in great settings. Being a reggae band means lots of beach venues, and that’s where we feel at home because it is where we are actually from. So an ideal show would be ocean view, great sun, and people who came to enjoy the fruits of life in paradise. We performed right on the sand in Huntington Beach at Sealegs and I think by far that’s been our favorite venue to perform at. Our music went hand in hand with our surroundings.
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
We live in a virtually connected universe. Even if you try to avoid it, there’s a fat chance you’re still directly in the middle of some thousands of algorithms. Welcome to the future. I checked my active time on Instagram just the other day, and I average about an hour and fifteen minutes. I’m a musician with a lot to share, but I try to spend most of my time making sure the lights never go out in my house again. Our fans mean everything to us, so we love to communicate as much as we can by engaging whenever the spare time is given. After all, the digital world brought the rest of the band together. The band was found via Instagram hashtags when we went on our initial search for band members. All except for Irey, (producer/keyboards), who I’ve known since high school. Honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work alongside.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
Absolutely. So much so that I refuse to talk about politics, religion, and sexual orientation. I stick to what makes me a better person in today’s society and that’s making music that will one day help a young boy or girl or even an adult get through some of their most trying times. That keeps me away from all of the uproar of different opinions.
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We are all so different and alike at the same time. Even as band members. So for me Kanye, Sublime, Linkin Park, and Blink 182 are my go tos when asked who inspires me. There’s so many more to add to that list but if I did that this interview will never end. We just hope we can be the “go to” band for anyone not trying to chime into something so specific. We want to be the anytime-anywhere vibe you look for, especially when you get lost in what’s going on in the world around us. Just remember there’s always a space for self-improvement and conditioning a healthy mind. Mental illness is very scary, but we can all help prevent major issues by finding time to chill the F@&! out! That’s what we are here for. Thanks for this awesome interview. We’re here any time you need us