You may know her from her infectious single, “River”, which has made its way around commercial radio stations nationwide. What you may not know is that the 24 year-old London native and LA based artist, Bishop Briggs, is a budding star. Her live shows are uniquely energetic despite her often dark lyrics. Listen to what she had to say when I caught up with her just after her electric set at Shaky Knees Festival.
You were once know as an unheard of Bishop, then you became Bishop Briggs. You started to get attention for “Wild Horses” shortly after, and then once “River” came out you took off. This all happened within a year or so. How exciting has that been?
It’s been the craziest year of my life. It honestly has been so different than anything I’ve ever experienced. Yeah it’s been amazing.
You don’t even have a full length album out, but yet you’re on your first headlining tour. How awesome must that be?
Yes, this is my first headlining tour! I’m really loving it. It’s really cool because now we have these VIP packages where I can meet the fans before each show, these little meet and greets. To be able to have that connection and that moment with the people that brought me there is so amazing.
I see you interact with your fans on social media pretty regularly. Not every artist does that, and that’s pretty special for your fans.
Oh my gosh, of course! They’re my love. I love them so much. There’s so many great moments, and that’s why I want to snap every one of them. It goes by so quick.
Good set by the way. You had a very large crowd, perhaps one of the largest on that stage today. You told them that Shaky Knees is your favorite festival, although this is your first time here. Why is that?
I have been playing some amazing festivals. I’ve been really enjoying them, but this has to be one of my favorites. To be playing it was such a huge honor, so I had to mention that on stage. It was a really cool moment. So many of the bands here today are great. Cage the Elephant. Lewis Del Mar. I’m going to be going crazy.
Do you have any free time this weekend to catch any of those sets?
Oh yes! Oh yes! We actually have the day off tomorrow, in Orlando. What up?!? So, today, we have the opportunity to go see a few bands. I really want to see X Ambassadors. I really want to see Lewis Del Mar. I think I missed Cage the Elephant, which I’m so bummed about.
Yeah, they played last night. They were excellent.
Oh my gosh, they’re amazing! Yes, huge fan.
So, you opened for Coldplay last year during a portion of their stadium tour. That must be an amazing experience. How awesome was it?
It’s such a huge just a dream come true. They’re such an iconic band.
Was that even a dream though? I, mean, opening for a band like Coldplay at this stage of your career?
Yes! Well, totally. One hundred percent. That’s the thing about these crazy dreams, is that they really exceed your expectations. That’s why I think it’s important to just focus on your craft. Write every day. Try and be kind to people. Not try. Be kind to people. I could have never expected that phone call. It was truly out of my wildest dreams for an opportunity like that.
Who called you?
It was actually my manager, and I’ve never heard him sound like that. He just said “we need to me up”, and I was like “okay”. And then when we met up, that was when he revealed the news. I was, it’s that weird thing where you’re laughing and crying because you just can’t believe that it’s happening. So yeah, dream come true.
You’re based in LA right now, but you’ve grown up all over the world. Does the extensive moving and unique places you’ve lived influence your writing and music any differently?
Well, I’ve been living in LA. This is year 6 and before that, I was born in London and I grew up in Japan and Hong Kong. I think a combination of so many different factors makes you who you are, but for me, it was what was being played in my living room. My parents were playing Motown music, Janis Joplin, and the Beatles. So, that was the biggest inspiration of all of it.
Listening to Motown music in your living as a child in Hong Kong? That sounds so cool.
Yes, well it was in Japan. Yes, I was even younger.
I feel like I know the answer to this, but have you noticed any cities or places that have been more responsive to your music over the past year or so?
It honestly is so hard to say. I know you knew I was going to say that. Every place that we’ve been going has just surpassed any expectation I could ever have, and it really is that dream thing where, in my wildest dreams, people were singing my songs. In my wildest dreams. It’s just been a whirlwind, and I’m so thankful for it all. Truly.
How many times have you been to Atlanta, musically speaking?
Twice. The first time was opening for Kaleo, at Centerstage. They’re amazing live.
So, I take it you don’t know Atlanta too well. I’ve been asking everyone this weekend what is their go to spot in Atlanta given just 1 night in town. Do you have one?
I can’t say that I know Atlanta too well, but as of right now, I’d say it’s Shaky Knees Festival. There’s even a tattoo booth here. I don’t know where, but my sister told me this morning. They’re giving tattoos, at the festival.
Did you know there was a Popeyes fried chicken simulator here?
No! Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.
Yeah, it’s like a virtual reality simulator that marinates you inside of a giant fried chicken leg.
So, moving on. 5 years ago… What were you doing? 5 years from now…. What will you be doing?
Hmmm, great question. 5 years ago, I was grinding and hustling in LA, playing shows every couple nights. I was writing everyday.
Were you known as Bishop at this time?
Well, so this was just under my first name, which is Sarah. And, yeah, I was just hustling and trying to write every single day and just hustling. 5 years from now I hope to be doing the exact same.
Any hard goals for Bishop Briggs?
The goal is always to wake up every single day and just do music, and with that has come so many blessings.
Was there any ‘aha’ moment where you woke up one day and realized you have made, or are going to make it?
No. None of this still feels real. It honestly is a dream that I’m just living in and hoping it won’t end.