Being a massive fan of Shoreditch’s XOYO, I was already excited just to be coming back. However, as I have usually come to the underground venue for heavy bass nights, it was refreshing to hear some live music at the venue. Not only are the acoustics great but the small venue gave off a cosy vibe which was perfect for an artist such as Bipolar Sunshine who performed there last week.
Creating music that he described to me as “left of centre pop music”, Bipolar Sunshine tries to create music that speaks to everyone. “I’m a hopeless romantic. I talk about every day life. Break ups . Everyone goes through break ups. Loss. When I lost my Granddad, I could sympathise with and understand those type of feelings. So it’s just put down in words what people understand and gravitate towards because those are the type of artists I like. When they say something, I understand what they mean. That’s what music is!”
In such an intimate venue such as XOYO, the feelings were easy felt through the audience. However, the performance inexplicably began with the opening credits of “Gone With The Wind”, simply described as an ‘awesome film’ by Bipolar Sunshine. Starting off his performance with Drowning Butterflies, off his latest EP of the same name which he talked to me about: “Drowning Butterflies’s songs sounded a lot more of a cross over. I wanted people to see a different side of me. To let people know the different styles I can come with. It’s nice that people have accepted both EPs and are now starting to see the movement and understand the sentiment.”
Growing up in Manchester, his influences consisted of artists such as The Carpenters, a lot of Reggae music and Top of the Pops. “I listen to pop music but also I listen to left music as well that also carries that same sentiment. Like the best artists that I enjoy listening to are the Morriseys, the Coldplays, the Kanyes; they all make left of centre pop music where it’s great for everyone to get into but it’s just not as direct.” He would most like to collaborate with Andre 3000 telling me, “He’s probably the most all rounded person I’d love to work with. I think a studio session with Andree 3000 would be amazing.”
Experimenting with a range of different styles of music, I asked whether he found it frustrating to have people constantly trying to fit him in to a particular genre: “I think it’s something that people always feel they need to do. But artists don’t really feel the need to do that. There may be a juxtaposition of seeing me and not understanding what I make. There’s a couple of people who come to see me perform and thought I was going to be white. I just think we’re moving at a time in society where there’s new people of different ethnicities that have grown up here and they’re hearing different music and different attitudes. I just see it as enjoying making music. I don’t see it in any particular category. I’m not thinking of what a guy of my ethnicity, should or shouldn’t do.”
The Mancunian artist’s real name is Adio Marchant, so where did this solo project name, Bipolar Sunshine, come from? “I wanted something that was going to sum up my character but it also allowed me to write in different styles and different ends of the spectrum, the highs and lows without anyone really questioning that. I wanted to be able to write within anything I wanted. Sunshine was always the light at the end of the tunnel. Bipolar Sunshine together just summed up how I wanted the whole ideology of double meaning to be.”
Having performed at venues such as Lovebox, Latitude Festival, iTunes Festival and most recently, South by Southwest in Texas, I asked Adio what his craziest fan had been. His response was an unexpected one: “When we played in Texas, a girl came to the front of the show and told me how her Mum is dying of an illness and she just broke down on me and started crying. She said, ‘I’m going through certain situations and your music is really helping me through it.’ It was really emotional because I’ve never had that before; to have someone come up to you and just feel so compelled to let it all out. But that is one of the reasons why I make music. For something to touch someone else in that type of way is a beautiful thing. It can only be a beautiful thing. I was blown away.”
Having been in the industry for some time, I thought it only right to ask Adio what advice he can give to fellow QM students who may be aiming to break into the music industry: “Really hone in on your craft. Take your time. There’s no rush. Music is going nowhere. It’s not going to disappear. It’s always going to be there so you may as well hone your craft and make sure when you do come out, you come out all guns blazing. Be the full package you want to be. There’s always going to be knock backs but it’s up to you as you understand your own abilities.”
Bipolar Sunshine recently performed a well received cover of A$AP Rocky’s ‘Long Live A$AP’ for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, which I was glad that he performed at XOYO once again, to a very attentive audience. Other songs performed included Trouble, Are You Happy, Fire and ended with Love More Worry Less; a perfect song to end a great show.
And what is the future looking like for Bipolar Sunshine? “I’ll be working on my album, getting more singles out and just maintaining this level of music. If I can continue putting out good music then I’m doing the right thing. Thats my main concern. With he people liking my stuff, I need keep feeding them music because that’s the aim of the game. I want to make songs that are timeless. Things I could listen to for years to come and people will be able to listen to for years to come.”
Bipolar Sunshine is performing once again in London on October 17th at the Shepherds Bush Empire. To find out more info visit: http://bipolarsunshine.com/