We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Bishop Ivy. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Bishop below.
Hi Bishop, thanks for joining us today. One of the toughest things about progressing in your creative career is that there are almost always unexpected problems that come up – problems that you often can’t read about in advance, can’t prepare for, etc. Have you had such and experience and if so, can you tell us the story of one of those unexpected problems you’ve encountered?
When I was a freshman in college, I was determined to continue to pursue a music career while keeping up with school, studying electrical engineering and computer science. The two goals seemed completely at odds with each other, and I struggled to keep up with both simultaneously. I hated that I spent most of my waking hours studying things that seemed to have nothing to do with music. I was desperate to find some creative use for my technical skills, so I started applying them to my own art. I created a custom-made electronic glove that I use to control instruments while performing. I designed my own Instagram filters. I’m currently using artificial intelligence to make new music. What seemed like a giant obstacle to my growth as a musician may actually turn out to be what sets me apart from other artists.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
At 14 I was a one-man-band of sorts playing guitar and singing on the streets of Boston. I didn’t exactly play 5 instruments at once, but used electronics to record and playback multiple recordings of myself on the spot. 6 years later, still obsessed with music technology, my latest show is a spatial audio installation with 12 speakers, which are controlled by my own custom-made electronic glove. I’m also using A.I. to create new music. Specifically pop music. I like to write indie ballads (inspired by the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver), paired with hard-hitting electropop beats. Everything is made and recorded at home, with the exception of the myriad of non-musical sounds that come from my portable audio-recorder. I’ve recorded camera clicks, train noises – there’s even a printer solo in one of my songs. I promise that last one is cooler than it sounds. My music is definitely headphone music; my melancholy sound and lyrics lend themselves to solitary, introspective listening. I hope to write the most futuristic lullaby.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
My favorite part is finding inspiration in other art. I think I’m more of a music fan than a musician. I love deep diving into my favorite records and discovering all of the details. The fact that I’ve dedicated myself to being a musician has led me to discover amazing artists, songs, albums, etc. that I probably wouldn’t have bothered to listen to if I wasn’t so serious about music. And as volatile as being in a creative profession can be, music has been a much-appreciated constant in my life. No matter where I am or whom I’m around, I am always thinking about and am surrounded with music.
Are there any books, videos or other content that you feel have meaningfully impacted your thinking?
Ari Herstand’s book, How to Make It in the New Music Business, is my blueprint for navigating the industry. That book was eye-opening for me, and answered a lot of questions that I had about how to exist as a musician. Another music book I really enjoyed with David Byrne’s book How Music Works, which goes more into the artistic side of things.
- Website: https://bishopivy.com
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Jake Wangner, Vondre Clark, Jadon Donaldson