Today’s Featured Artist – INTERVIEW – Bishop Ivy

Tell Us about:

Your latest single you have released:

My new single “STAND UP” is my most upbeat and anthemic track that I’ve put out in years. The lyrics are meant to encourage myself (or anyone listening) to stand up for themselves more often. Most of the verses are me complaining about how little I’ve done it in the past. I wrote and recorded it over a year ago during summer or 2020. Because of COVID, I had been spending most of my time alone, and so the topic of prioritizing myself became relevant.

Your first single and how you felt when it was released:

My first single (as Bishop Ivy) was “15” in 2019. At the time of the release, it was the best sounding song I had ever made. I was really proud of what I had put together, but I had no idea how many people it might reach. It has since gotten over a million streams, so seeing the song grow has been even more exciting than releasing it.

Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:

Maybe my favorite track that I didn’t release as a single would be “Where You Are”. It’s hard to pick, though. Most of my songs have been released as singles. I technically don’t have an album. For my next EP, I’ve tried to save my favorite for the full release, so that might actually be my favorite “album” track. 

Your favourite song to play live:

Right now it’s “tunnel vision” because for that song I’ve implemented some new, exciting tech for my live show, like my electronic glove that controls the sound system.

Your most emotional track:

I’d say either “the park” or “tunnel vision”, some of my latest singles. Every EP I put out tends to be more emotional than the last one. I especially like “tunnel vision” for its production

The best lyric you have ever written:

I think I’ve gotten the most compliments on the “crossover movie” line from “In Spring” (“you don’t complete me, you augment me, like a crossover movie”) or the rowing line from “Ivy Dreams” (“At least my parents didn’t photoshop me rowing right?” [for college applications]). The ones I get the most praise for tend to be the obvious ones like that. I go back and forth on what my personal favorite is. I like this line from “the park”: “Every night I have to relive / the photos I deleted”

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:

To me it feels like letting go. There are so many things that can go wrong during a performance, and once I start, there’s no turning back. I’m letting go of control in that sense. So I’m diving into something unknown – I don’t know what will go wrong or right. 

The hardest track to play live:

“Bleeding Too” just has this stupid drum line that is really hard to play in time along with the backtrack. If I mess up a song, it will probably be when playing the drums, since I’m not really a drummer. I’m thinking about ditching trying to play them myself. In regards to a song being emotionally difficult to play… I’m pretty used to playing sad songs live. I separate myself from the actual subject matter and just dive into the feeling.

Essential items you always take on tour with you?

I’ve honestly never gone on a proper tour. I’m not sure what I’d make sure to take… Probably this disposable camera I like to carry around. And a field-recorder for new songs.

Describe your fans in three words:

Amazing, wonderful, dedicated. I’ve seen some fans continue to listen to my music for years and it blows me away. 

A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:

I don’t think there’s anything I wish had written as opposed to another artist. I can only write from my own experience, so if it’s not mine, then it’s not mine. That being said, I think James Blake’s “Into The Red” is really special, and I try to make a lot of my new songs sound like that one. And Frank Ocean’s “Nikes”.

What we can look forward to from your band this year:

I’m putting out a new EP “parasocial” which is out today! I’ll be putting together an experimental listening event in Pittsburgh, PA. Details on my socials soon.

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