Genres Don't Apply to Bryce Bishop

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Music has always brought Bryce Bishop joy. Growing up in California, the holidays, especially Christmas, were always scored by the sounds of his family and friends. “When we’d go visit family in Spain,” shared Bishop, “there would be almost forty of us singing Christmas carols and Galician folk songs, and that is still my favorite musical experience. Just a gang of people belting the same song is incredible."  

The anti-pop artist began by writing songs on guitar and eventually started producing music  electronically when he was 16. This morphed into him creating music that seamlessly blends electronic, alternative R&B percussion, and melodies of the growing anti-pop wave intermingled with guitar lines and sensitive vocal stylings of Midwest emo, the fusion of which officially made their debut in 2018 with the release of Bishop's debut EP, Poison Oak.

The four-track record was their first attempt at writing hip hop, inspired by artists like Post Malone and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. era. "I only started listening to hip-hop consistently in 2018 when Drake released Views,   Bishop tells Under the Rug. "Until then, hip hop had been music I listened to as a way to get amped up, but Views presented a more emotional side of the genre that I hadn’t seen before.” When DAMN. came out, Bishop stated that he started listening to hip-hop for an emotional release, one he couldn't find in any other genre, and that the nail in the coffin was the release of Post Malone’s Stoney. “That album made it clear to me that you could mix emotional guitar music with hip-hop beats without making it sound like a Frankenstein of a song.”

Poison Oak hinted at the artist’s potential, but the turning point for Bishop would arrive alongside his 2019 EP, You’ve Been Getting Better. “I think the first catalyst for starting to take uploading music seriously was noticing that other people actually liked the songs I’d make,” explains Bishop. “I had submitted the song, ‘you’ve been getting better,’ to Llusion Music to review back when he only had a Youtube channel and watching his genuinely positive reaction flipped a switch in my brain."  

According to Bishop, that effect started compounding as his music started doing better. "I wish I could say that I’ve always been hyper-confident in the vision and knew I could do this, but I’ve recently realized I need a lot of external validation.” Bishop topped off the year with the release of his most popular song to date, “Como.” The chillhop single oozes a laid-back cool and hits listeners with brief moments of intensity, earning over two million streams on Spotify alone.

During 2020, aka the year we all stayed inside making bread, the now Australia-based artist released a flurry of singles, including “Winter” and “You.” On “You,” Bishop pushed himself further as an artist by integrating sampling and producing alongside his friends within the anti-pop scene and adding guitar patterns derived from Midwest emo and drums inspired by the synthesized percussion of hip-hop. “I think that was the last time I was able to accurately put what was in my head into a song without getting in my own way and overthinking things,” he shares about “You.” “I let my imagination ride the song out, I had fun making it, and I ended up liking the song, which is a huge bonus.”

In September 2021, Bishop further pushed his creative boundaries with the release of “Spite.” The track is full of hyperpop energy, blaring guitar lines, and devastating lyrics, essentially disguising a panic attack as a grand pop number with his signature emo vocal tone. Asking questions like “Is this progress? Are you happy?,” the song is gut-wrenching  story of a relationship that ultimately ends in defeat, exploring feelings of effort and failure.

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