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Interview With Kayley Bishop

How would you describe your music to any person who may have never heard it before?

Kayley: I’m a little Holy Spirit soul. A little rock and roll and a country highway that takes you home where the Dolly Parton real talk storytellin’ meets the put-it-on-repeat Bob Seger anthems, and the goosebumps from a gut-born Aretha Franklin howl.

Press shot for singer-songwriter Kayley Bishop.

What are your musical influences?

K: Good music. Not trash that surfaces the internet in search of likes.

What are your musical inspirations?

K: Apart from the aforementioned artists, I’ve always found the charm of Michale Buble to be captivating, the liberty of Stevie Nicks to be levitating, the precision of Alison Krauss to be practice-inducing, and the boldness of Billy Joel to be passionately motivating.

If ever given the chance, what musician(s) would you like to collaborate with?

K: Chris Stapleton, Bob Seger, Dolly Parton, Michael Buble, Bonnie Raitt. If I could sing on stage, write a song, or belt it out on a record with any of these people, consider me having lived large.

What’s the latest single about? K: “Hold On Honey” is about perseverance through a hard thing in order to find the flower in the valley, the fruit in the labor, the manifestation of your brightest self, the vision of who you dream to be, all while understanding that finding the sunny spots is due to knowing what darkness is like. Written as a letter to my younger self, it’s my encouragement to that younger me to push through and hold on to heaven tight because if the young me does, she’ll taste the best victory possible.

What’s something you hope people take away from the new song?

K: I hope they take away the courage to persevere a little longer, a call to dream a little bigger, and the desire to start that today.

Which songs on the album were the most fun to write and which were the most challenging to write? K: Sometimes writing hard concepts like heartbreak is easier when you’ve moved out of the pain of it. If you’re writing something fun, I’ve also found writing in the thick of the feeling is also beneficial. Some of the songs took years if you think about the life experience it took to write them, but if only talking about the writing process alone, a painstaking song on the record is “Potential.” That one took a bit of thinking to figure out but we got it and I’m super proud about that.

A fun one was “Boy, Amen,” my nod to Aretha and somewhat of a Donny Hathaway moment. Perhaps the happiest and easiest of all is my acapella piece that I sang with a choir but wrote in my kitchen scrambling eggs. The melody and words washed over me to the point where my kitchen island became the audience to my silly stomp claps for the better part of 30 minutes. The album is called, Little Dove, and will be released as singles throughout 2024.

Do you have any favourite songs off the upcoming album? K: My anthem, “Hold On Honey,” likely has to take the prize.

Overall, what is Little Dove about? Does it have a concept or? K: I didn’t intend for the record to be a concept, but it sort of turned out that way. It starts with a song about taking care of what you love in order to keep it, then phases into what happens if it falls apart anyway, which leads to diagnosing the greater problem, which then culminates in self-discovery and a promise to do better because you learned better. The finale is the hope that you should hold in having gone through a hard thing that actually changed your life for the better, now that you know what true love is and where it comes from.

Do you have any favourite songs to perform live? Could be your own music or even a cover. Any reason why?

K: I love performing “Hold On Honey” live. It always seems to transform and move people. Another would be my version of “You Are My Sunshine,” where I commission the crowd to sing along, even to the people next to them because it’s a good and healing thing to make a joyful noise. And, what better thing to sing than “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when clouds are gray.”

If you could perform a show this very second anywhere in the world, where would it be?

K: The Ryman Auditorium - the mother church, sold out, the audience singing along.

Is there any particular venue(s) or city/cities that comes to mind? K: It’s a bucket list dream to perform at Red Rocks, in my hometown of Bristol’s Paramount Theatre, and so many others.

What do you currently have planned for the remainder of the year - even though it did just start? K: The plan is to sing my butt off for as many hungry crowds as I can, write the best songs of my life, and release the ones that I faithfully recorded.

Thanks for the time today, Kayley. Is there anything else you may want to add before you go?

K: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25. 

Because the problem too many of us have is getting caught up in what people think of us. Go serve who you are authentically and steward that gift, because that’s where happiness is. Speaking from experience.

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