Blood, Sweat, and Beats – The Story of Austin’s Hip-Hop Trio ‘The Bishops’
In early April 2017 I stood at Carson Creek Ranch waiting for The Bishops to kick off Euphoria Music Festival on Thursday night. I had listened to their music before but had never seen them live. This family trio consists of 2 brothers and a sister: Luv (Chris) Bishop (24), Troy Bishop (20), Cara Bishop (19).
The young family took the stage and introduced the Euphoria crowd to their unique blend of Hip-hop, R&B, and Electronic production.
The Bishops put on quite a unique show. It’s clear they are siblings, and they have an amazing on stage chemistry with one another. Even though they are young, they are mature and grounded in their music. Their lyrics and personalities blend together perfectly on stage for a great live performance.
I introduced myself after the show and a couple months later I was fortunate enough to sit down with The Bishops before their set at the Mohawk for Solstice Fest 2017.
This local Austin family is young, hungry, and humble. They have already had twp singles take off on Spotify, and they are getting ready to release more new music.
Check out our interview with The Bishops below as well as their live version of ‘Scatterbrained’ performed at Solstice Fest 2017.
How long have y’all been making music together, and independently?
LB: Well I’m 24, and I’ve been making music since I was 16. Me and Troy started as a duo, like a rapper and beats duo. Cara came along and joined us a few years later.
Cara, were you singing much before you joined them in the group?
CB: I would sing around the house and in the shower, but I saw my brothers form a group and I was kind of jealous that they were in a band together, so I made it a thing to learn how to sing.
What do you mean by made it a thing? Did you teach yourself?
CB: Ya, I thought myself in a way. I really just wrote a lot and worked on perfecting my craft. I know I still have a lot to learn, but its much better than it was when I started.
LB: For me it was pretty surprising, because it wasn’t like she grew up doing it her whole life.
Wow, I would not have thought that you picked up singing so late, you sound like you’ve been singing your whole life, and your voice sounds a lot older than a girl who just turned 19.
CB: (Laughs and blushes) Thank you.
So were all of you born and raised in Austin?
CB: I was born here.
CB: Me and Troy were born in Houston. Our families are from Houston, but we moved here when I was 4, so we are Austinites. Been here for a couple decades now.
Has Houston hip-hop been a big influence on your music?
TB: Ya Zero is DOPE!
(everybody laughs and agrees)
LB: Our family kind of knows Zero actually. They housed him for a little bit and have some good stories about him.
That is super awesome. Are your parents musicians, or where did yalls early music influence come from?
TB: Ummmm, Soulja Boy Tell Em!
(everybody laughs again and agrees)
CB: Seriously though…he is the reason.
LB: We were already hip hop fans at that point, but that was it.
TB: the point where we were like, “We can do make this. We can be YouTube stars, haha.”
How old were all of you when that song came out?
TB: I was 11.
LB: I was in early high school
CB: Elementary school
LB: That kind of got us our media influence.
TB: Ya, the way he did everything all on a cell phone. That whole do it yourself thing.
LB: That’s why we ended up forming the group.
TB: The dude is a legend. He’s still going.
(I figured it was necessary to post the ‘Soulja Boy Tell Em’ video for everyone to watch again and reminisce on the good old days. You’re welcome.)
Alright, lets talk about Euphoria Fest this year. That is where I met all of you for the first time, and the first live set I saw you play. The set was a great start to the Euphoric weekend, and I was very impressed with your show, especially for how young yall were. Was Euphoria the first festival yall played?
LB: No, we actually played Solstice Festival here in Austin last year, and we played Oaktopia Festival in Denton, TX too.
Congrats on playing all of those. Getting plugged into the festival circuit is huge for upcoming artists.
Lets talk about some of yall singles out. Lets start with Blood Ring – was this the first song y’all officially wrote together? Chorus is catchy, but its also personal about you and your family, which I love. Was that the goal of the first single, to introduce The Bishops to the music world? Tell us the story about how the first single took off on Spotify, and the making of the video?
TB: It wasn’t the first song we made together, but it was the first one we released. We had a bunch of ‘test trials’ I guess you’d say before this. We had been working on stuff for about 2 years. We didn’t release anything, but just passed around each other and were really honing our sound.
LB: Once we made Blood Ring, we were like yep, thats the introduction right there. Then we made a video for it too.
So how many singles have you officially released as The Bishops?
TB: Only two. But we all have some solo stuff too.
LB: Ya, because we all started solo. The Bishops is kind of like a super group in a way, but more like a family group.
Tell us about the Spotify growth on Blood Ring? Over 500,000 streams as of now.
CB: Literally one night we got a bunch of streams, and that got us on Spotify’s Viral 50. Once that happened we got even more plays and got on a couple other Spotify playlists as well.
TB: We got on an Urban Outfitters playlist or osmething too.
LB: We had a little bit of buzz locally in Austin going on before this, but once we hit that Spotify Viral 50 playlist, our managers were hitting us up about how quickly the number was escalating. One thousand, five thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand. It just goes to show that if you put anything on the internet, it might pop up. The right person at the right time can get your sound out quickly.
That’s incredible. Congrats on that success so far. Definitely is a good feeling when you know lots of people are listening to your music you created. So did you only have Blood Ring out at the time. Or was your other single Scatterbrained up there as well?
LB: Scatterbrained was up there as well.
I love this track as well, and really felt like it just validated your sound after Blood Ring. I can’t say I like it more than Blood Ring yet, but it’s creeping up there. The more I listen to it, the more it’s becoming my favorite Bishops song.
(Troy nods his head with a big smile confirming his views)
LB: Troy’s like yaaa, haha.
It’s got more unique production, smooth vocals by both Luv and Cara. I love how y’all switch off on the verses in the song and join each other. Tell me where this song came from and what its about to you?
CB: When I wrote Blood Ring, we were trying to write a song that would speak to everyone and that would be for them to enjoy. When I wrote Scatterbrained, we just did what we felt.
LB: Ya it was more about us.
CB: Ya we experimented with this one a lot more, and tried going back and forth with our voices and stuff. We tried some new things on that one.
Your production style and sound is unique on that track as well too. Troy, where did your production style come from? Who influenced you growing up?
TB: Well, its hard to put it on just anyone, cause I have a lot of different influences. I listened to mostly hip hop growing up. So guys like Kanya, J Dilla, and all of them. The samplers…I just really liked sampling.
But then electronic music started coming out more, and so those DJ’s started influencing me more now. Like Flume and shit.
Very cool. I love the mix of electronic and hip hop and I think that fusion of music is starting to happen more and more. I’ve seen Chali2na of Jurassic 5 doing some awesome stuff with The Funk Hunters, and Big Boi’s ‘Big Grams’ with Phantogram is an awesome show as well.
Lets transition into talking about independent music. You guys are currently still independent right?
LB: Ya we are.
How has someone like Chance the Rapper influenced your approach on wanting to sign with a label vs doing it your own way?
CB: I think he’s incredible.
TB: He did a lot of other stuff too though, like working with a PR firm before. An artist like Chance is kind of hard to compare to, just because its not normal. But what he represents as far as independent is awesome.
LB: Ya, its great for artists.
TB: At the same time, if there was a right label that was a good fit, it could definitely work.
CB: Ya, definitely.
Totally, there’s nothing wrong with a good deal.
TB: Ya, imagine f Kid Cudi came around…
CB: Ya! Kid Cudi we would definitely jump on that.
LB: Ya Cudi is the man…
Ok, we only have a few minutes left, but can you tell us if there is any new music coming out soon from The Bishops?
LB: Ya, definintely.
Singles? Album? EP?
LB: Singles for sure. And an EP on the way.
Can we get any dates or numbers on these yet?
LB: Na, not yet, haha. (smiles and laughs)
END OF INTERVIEW
I guess we will have to wait and see what new singles The Bishops with drop soon. Make sure you follow The Bishops on the JamFeed App to get real-time updates with they drop their new music!
Also keep an eye out for their upcoming Studio Session with Austin360 on July 6 at 12pm CST!