INTERVIEW: Bipolar Sunshine | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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For Manchester’s Adio Marchant, aka Bipolar Sunshine, music is far from a one-dimensional thing. Staying ahead of the industry curve is at the top of his priority list. Ahead of his headline show in Newcastle at Riverside on the 31st, in just over a week, he caught up with Chad Male to discuss his upcoming album, the tour, and an EP with his guitarist and collaborator Jazz Purple. He also discusses music and its relationship with art, culture, and social media.

Hey Adio. How’s things? What are you up to right now?

Just about to go to rehearsals man!

Nice one. What’s been happening recently? What’s new? 

Just been rehearsing for the shows, getting some of the album songs ready, trying to work out what songs will be going on to the album. But mainly been rehearsing with the band and getting everything sounding nice

How’s the album?

Good man, it’s practically finished, just trying to pick one or two songs…

I noticed that not long ago you started promoting your own label Aesthetics Sounds…

That’s cool man, I’ve always been doing that since the beginning, I just want to make it more official. Got a few artists in mind, just wanna put up some of their own work. It was like, “let’s just create our own label man. Let’s just do our own thing.” Just trying to make something that could eventually be like Factory Records of Manchester!

Factory was massive. Tell me more about the EP you did with Jazz Purple…

We were planning it for a couple of months. We just felt like we wanted to put out some music for free, try something new, go down an avenue that we hadn’t gone down before. So that’s why we put it under Aesthetics for free, just for people to take and have it. Cause it’s opened up a few doors that we haven’t had before.

I think it definitely showed a different side to you, I really enjoyed it. So for people who’ve not heard you before, how would you describe your sound to a new listener?

I’m not going by sound, but I’d say the style is grey – and what I mean by that is that it’s looking at music, art and culture from a grey perspective cause it’s always played down in the north of England. And that’s how we’re viewing it. So if we’re looking at any particular genre they’re the eyes we’re viewing it through. So I say make one particular genre that everyone can somehow make up!

bipolar sunshine 2

“I’m not going by sound, but I’d say the style is grey”

Essentially it’s coming across as honest. It’s your natural output.

That I feel is the best way. If I was to say hip hop/indie/something then people have already got in their head an idea of what they think those things sound like. They’ll be like “that doesn’t sound like hip hop, or indie” you know what I mean?!

So if people were to pigeonhole you in any way, it’d be doing a disservice to what you’re trying to do, and achieve with your sound.

Yeah definitely. I agree. It’d be doing a disservice to those genres I like. Do you know what I mean? I like those genres of music.

Recently your single Daydreamer came out. I liked how you interweaved the song content with much of your social media. How important is it that people connect with you across your social media? Instagram, Twitter etc?

It’s the most important thing I think. Social media and music. All it’s doing is kind of like cutting the middle man. If you have a great social media presence and you put a song out, compared to someone who doesn’t – even if they were signed – you would do better. It’s about having more people engaged with what you’re doing. That’s the beauty of what’s happening now.

Especially with what you were saying about your music interweaving with art and culture. It definitely gives you a visual perspective and output which many bands and artists didn’t have before, besides album artwork/inlays and what you see on video or live. But now you’ve suddenly got this new palette to work with.

Yeah it’s great man. It’s up to you how much you use it. I know bands who only put one photo up every couple of months. It’s just whether your audience is receptive to it.

Besides Newcastle, as that’s obviously going to be your favourite show of the tour, what show are you looking forward to most?

[Laughs] I think, well, I was meant to do the tour last year, and because it got moved I feel like I’m starting again. Wherever people are gonna be at, whether it’s 200, 500, 1000, I wanna just play. Wherever people come to see me I’m gonna put on the best show I possibly can. I’m looking forward to Manchester obviously cause of friends and family etc, we’re gonna have an amazing time.

Will we be seeing you at any festivals this year? I noticed you had a Kendal Calling slot?

I’m playing Kendal Calling and Wildlife Festival. I’ve got an announcement to make for a big show I’ve been put on to as well. What I would particularly like to do is hold off the festivals for this year and then get on to them next year when I’ve got an album out so I’ve got something to actually push further than one or two new songs.

That takes us back to the social media I guess, too. What you have now is a platform to keep your fans engaged, and to win new people over until the next year, without necessarily having to go through all the festivals to push it. You can easily keep it ticking over until next year.

Yeah 100%. And it’s, like, building nicely, to set targets of where I want to be socially. Cause it feels weird having to tour that way but it’s the way music’s going. Like when Drake just streamed his album straight from Spotify, you know, like 9 million views in a week, same with Kendrick Lamar’s.

Yeah Kendrick’s just gone crazy!

Yeah! You’ve just got to embrace it. That’s what’s happening. And now streams are classed as a sale as well. If people come to your shows and get your merch, and be involved in that way… That’s where music’s going.

Many would argue that artists are now becoming the innovators of the industry and the labels are having to watch. It’s been turned on its head.

They just watch, really, and analyse and cover a few more pointers. Artists… like, I could start a page tomorrow that looks amazing. Put one or two songs on. Have an ill social media presence, you know, and they’re winning now. That’s how easy it is!

Bipolar Sunshine plays at Riverside, Newcastle on Tuesday 31st March. His single Daydreamer is out now.

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