The Bishops Talk Sibling Artistry, SXSW, And "Blood Ring"
Plenty pairs are marked with the double trouble moniker, but it’s time to add a third: meet The Bishops, Austin’s own hip hop sibling trio pushing the boundaries of genre, one shape-shifting single a time. With over 400,000 streams on their debut single “Blood Ring”, The Bishops are undoubtedly making their mark as one of the most promising millennial talents to date. Crowned one of Austin’s Bands to Watch by Austin Monthly, these hometown heroes are about to take SXSW by storm.
Chris, Troy, and Cara (24, 20, and 18-years-old, respectively) kicked off their collaborative music project in late December of 2015 with a debut single “Blood Ring”, followed by a second single, “Mr. Scatterbrained”. With influences from J Dilla, 9th Wonder, and Flume, producer Troy has composed some of the most profound and eclectic combinations of beats to date, led by conscious, heavy lyrics from brother Chris, and embellished with the sweet savory voice of sister, Cara. What results is a wholly unique sound, drawing from electronic, hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and pop genres to create a traction that is bound to turn heads (case in point—it already has).
With only two songs in their catalog thus far and a host of live shows scheduled to feed the hype (catch them March 12 at Empire Control Room, March 16 at Vinyl, March 18, at The Scoot Inn, and March 19 at The Blackheart), The Bishops are on everyone’s must-see list this SXSW. We sat down with the crew to get a peek inside this family affair; peep the “Blood Ring” single below, then keep scrolling for the full interview with this trio.
When did you guys start making music? Has music always been something you guys wanted to do?
Chris: I was 16 years old and I was bored one summer and downloaded FL studio, trying to pick up a new hobby. Unfortunately, music production wasn’t my thing. So I passed it along to my brother, Troy who picked it up instantly. It wasn’t surprising at all; when Troy was super young he could play music by ear. It wasn’t until me and Troy rapped and made music together for a few years for Cara to eventually ask to tag along at a studio session. We had never heard her sing—it was definitely a hidden talent. It may have been cause it was hard growing up around three bold brothers. But when she got in the booth, our jaws dropped and it was straight chills. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
What was it like growing up in a household of musicians?
Troy: Growing up in a household of musicians was dope and loud.
Cara: Mom always said, “Turn it down.”
What’s it like creating music and working with your siblings?
Troy: Working with my siblings is cool except Cara smells…just kidding. It really is a bonding experience, there’s nothing like it or words to really articulate the feeling. It’s cool to watch it all pay off together.
Cara: Plus we understand each other; it makes it easy.
What are some challenges?
Troy: Some challenges are finding time in our busy-ass lives to bring shit together. Another big problem is we get put in a weird-ass box as far as what our music sounds like.
Cara: Yeah…I’m not sure we can be put in a specific genre. Similar to Anderson Paak.
Troy: Or Kid Cudi. We play some ignorant-ass rap shows where people just mosh and get fucked up… That’s dope but our music isn’t really there.
What is the writing process like? Do you guys each write your own parts?
Chris: It’s pretty fluid. Usually Troy makes the beat first and sends it to Cara and I. We either create a theme and write on our own or sit in a room together and build; it really varies on how we’re feeling. The process is always evolving and interchanging. Cara and I started out writing individually, so we continue to do that, but now we’ll trade lines here and there. Just the other day Cara and I were writing together and we ended up trading each other lines.
How did “Blood Ring” come together? What was it inspired by?
Chris: So Troy created the beat initially and I came over one day and I was so moved by it. It was the newest and freshest sound he had ever created. I got together with Cara and she came up with making the premise of the song a family thing. So I decided to make my verse more of an intro. “Blood Ring” serves as an intro for our collaborative family project.
Growing up in Austin—the Live Music Capital of The World—how does it feel to be part of the scene?
Chris: I never imagined being so embedded in a such talented pool. I grew up a huge fan first. I owe it all to my mom and my step dad for exposing me to ATX legends such as Bob Schneider, Alejandro Escovedo, and Willie Nelson. It’s still hard to grasp that we’re really a part of the scene now.
Any dream projects? Goals?
Chris: For me it’s got to be Isaiah Rashad, Kali Uchis, and Pharrell.
Cara: I’d like to write for some amazing artists, earn enough to pay for a small apartment, and have a studio at my availability; somewhere I can go make tunes when it’s 3 am with my siblings. And I want to continue impacting others around me through our music; evoking emotions through art is so valuable to us.
Troy: I just want to live comfortably, travel the world, and also make music with artists I’m inspired by. As far as projects though, I want to produce for a lot of rappers and singers.
Cara: I also would like to direct music videos and create clothing. Tyler the Creator inspires me to go beyond just my music. He’s also funny as hell, like Troy.
What’s next for you guys in 2017, and more long term?
Troy: We plan on dropping a bunch of new music, merch, and possibly a debut project.
Chris: Long term, I just hope to make this career, keep having fun, and creating with my family.
Troy: We finna watch our dreams manifest together and that’s pretty fuckin’ holy.
Featured image courtesy of Mary Kang
Stay tuned to Milk for more from the front lines of SXSW.