Monday, January 21, 2013

Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight - Derek Bishop

Photo by Wanda Winn
Welcome to the fifth Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight. Today, we're featuring eclectic NYC singer/songwriter Derek Bishop. Derek's songwriting spans a myriad of styles and eras, which he coolly pulls off behind his trusty keyboard. Your New Favorite Song readers, get to know Derek Bishop.

THE BIO (ripped off from his website)

Derek Bishop's music is a time-capsule of pop stylings, evoking sounds and memories from 50s doo-wop to 80s synth pop -- while still sounding fresh and contemporary. His off-beat, often dark lyrics are paired with piano-driven melodies and sprinkled with quirky electronics and horns, creating a dynamic and colorful soundscape, all while getting your toes tapping and your ears delighting to his instantly-catchy tunes.

Derek's debut full-length debut CD, "Resistance is Beautiful," melds vintage keyboards, the occasional big band, marching band, Broadway orchestra pit, a suitcase-full of percussion, and of course a rock band into a rich tapestry that eclipses the description of a "singer/songwriter's piano album," though it's that too. The record's 12 songs draw from the past six decades of music for inspiration, calling to mind The Beach Boys' airy harmonies, Fleetwood Mac's musical anger management, Phil Spector's wall of wonders, and the Muppet Show -- as if hosted by Fiona Apple.


Your New Favorite Song: It’s time to get the party started, what are you asking the bartender to make for you?

Derek Bishop: Vodka and Soda with Pomegranate seeds floating in the bubbles.

YNFS: Describe your music in a single Haiku.

DB: I play piano
and sing ├╝ber-catchy tunes
and happy sad odes

YNFS: What are five bands/performers that you simply cannot stop listening to?

DB: The Feeling, The Kin, Fleetwood Mac, Butch Walker and The Killers

YNFS: OK. We’re all friends here. There’s no judging. We all have them. Why don’t you tell me your five “guilty pleasure” bands/artists that you cannot stop listening to?

Cover art by Ken Moore
DB: Olivia Newton-John, Abba, The Motels, Captain and Tennille and ELO

YNFS: It’s the 1800s, whose novel do you wait in line for to get it at midnight on its release date?

DB: In a past life I was book designer. So regardless of if its 1990 or 1890, you would most likely find me at the printing press. So I wouldn't be waiting in line, I would have already seen the galleys. I’d probably be busy at the bindery or the foundry trying to get the elements of the next big release looking perfect.

YNFS: Cats or Dogs?

DB: Eh...Neither. I do like them both -- but only if they live outside.

YNFS: Who’s the most famous musician/artist/actor you’ve ever had the pleasure to meet? Paint the picture. What happened?

DB: By “meet” do you mean stalk? I don’t meet famous people, I hunt them. Well, Stevie Nicks in particular. But only when she’s in and around New York. Pretty much wherever she’ll be popping up in the city -- I’ll be there. I have my spies! Stevie and I sing the same songs together -- sometimes we just happen to be walking down the street together. When she’s in town, we have such fun together. Though I don’t think she’s noticed me just yet.

YNFS: Every performer has had “those moments” on stage. So, you choose (but feel free to answer both): What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on stage? AND/OR What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?

DB: Well, I am ALWAYS forgetting the lyrics to certain songs. Often on stage I’ll just go blank without a clue as to what comes next. Luckily someone either on stage or in the audience knows the lyrics better than me -- and they will help me out. But the worst time it happened was when I was on Lance Bass’s radio show. It was probably my biggest audience ever and a chance to really grab some new fans. But instead, my brain not only opted to forget the song I was playing LIVE on the radio, it also sent mumble-jumble non-words out of my mouth in place of the lyrics. One second I’m singing along and playing piano...the next I’m going, “kurdenblomblem blupe bloa peedinkong.” It was a train wreck and I couldn’t stop the debris of syllables spilling from my mouth. Luckily it only lasted for one line of lyrics -- but I was so horrified of what just happened, that I just started to sweat profusely. All I can say is thank goodness it wasn’t a TV show! I didn’t look pretty afterward.

YNFS: Seeing that we’re entering 2013 what are your musical goals for the year?

DB: First off is an east coast tour in February. I’ll be bringing my toe-tapping tunes to cities all the way from New York and down to Georgia. You can check out the dates thus far here. Right after that I’ll be jumping into the studio to record my second album. This one will be a little 80s/dancey, but you can expect the same playful lyric and melody mix up that I usually bring to the table. I hope (HOPE!) to release the album on vinyl (and 8-track if I can find a way to do it!). I’ll also be shooting new bizarre videos, so be on the look out for those here. And of course the usual blast of fun shows here in NYC.

YNFS: Finally, If you could say one more thing to potential and current fans about your music what would it be? Sell us on your awesomeness!

DB: My music has references and origins that span the history of music in the last century. You’ll hear one song that harkens back to the 1970s, the next is a Old-West saloon style shuffle, then I’ll break into a 50s do-wop. Sometimes this musical-time-travel happens during the course of one song. My music is fun to listen to. It doesn’t pander -- lyrically or melodically. Thought goes into every phrase and chord. If you like thinking, you’ll like my music. Also, it’s really catchy, funny, biting, and heart-wrenching. If you have emotions, you’ll like my music. Lastly, I sing it and I mean it. These songs are from my heart, my experiences, my losses and my gains. There’s nothing saccharine or false in it. I wouldn’t waste my time or yours presenting you with anything I didn’t find worthy. Take a listen. You’ll like what you hear, see and feel.


Here's an older video from Derek's "Resistance is Beautiful" record instead. His most recent video for the song Jackpot can be seen here.

Derek's available online at all of the usual haunts such as Facebook and Twitter as well as his own website
EDITOR'S CLOSING NOTE: I'm happy and a bit surprised to say that the Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlights have been pretty darn successful. So, I'd just like to thank y'all for checking them out. Of course I'd also like to thank the artists for getting in touch with me about being profiled. If you're in a band or a singer/songwriter and want to be profiled, get in touch with me through twitter @sneezeguard and we can talk.

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