After releasing in 2019 her full-length album, Champions, pop powerhouse Bishop Briggs returned this year with two searing singles — "Higher" and "Walk You Home" — that turn her heartbreak upside down.
The British, Los Angeles-based musician is perhaps best-known for her grizzly 2016 anthem, "River," which later went viral on TikTok with a series of sexy chair dances. Since then, Briggs has continued establishing herself as a songwriter and vocalist whose music aims to empower through raw, honest storytelling and that voice.
"Higher," according to Briggs, came about in the "darkest time" of her breakup. To cope with the pain, she says she imagined herself "racing down the street high-fiving whoever" she could. "I imagined this person because I desperately wanted to be this person," she says, underscoring a song that builds into euphoria. "I'm who I want to be," she sings, her vocals bouncing around bright piano melodies.
While darker in tone, "Walk You Home" still plows forward with similar confidence "that came from a place of heaviness," Briggs says. "I'm gonna walk you home/ Even though, my heart is broke," she wails on the chorus, capturing that "thick layer of denial when we end a relationship in our life." The single is "heart-racing" and "high-intensity," as she describes, but Briggs still sounds completely in control.
PAPER checked in with Bishop Briggs under quarantine to ask about all the essential COVID topics: Her go-to delivery order, the last person she hugged and her most-visited website. Also, watch the official video for her new single, "Walk You Home," above — it's simple, relatable and honestly perfect.
What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Think about anxiety-provoking things, make coffee, get a bit more anxious, sit on my balcony, breathe, meditate, and put my anxiety safely in a little box in my brain so that I can go about my day in peace.
What's the last thing you do before you go to bed?
I don't want to write Real Housewives of Potomac, but I feel like I've already written it and that's the truth. On other nights, in stark contrast, I am fascinated by very dark documentaries.
Have you texted an ex yet in isolation?
I have only Instagram stalked out of curiosity if they supported Black Lives Matter. Thankfully, they do. THEY BETTER.
Who's the last person you hugged?
My sister! She is my angel.
What's your go-to delivery order?
Ramen is my child who I cradle several times a week.
What was the last concert you attended?
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE! They performed in LA right before the pandemic. Still very mysterious how I even got tickets.
Where is the first place you'll travel once the world opens up again?
I'm hoping Hawaii. I need some snorkel time. It's been a tough season and I think some turtles will cheer me up.
What website do you visit the most?
I'm a YouTube whore.
What's one thing you've learned this year that you didn't know this time last year?
How to make a Cobb salad. This is a new low, even for me.
How have you managed to stay creative in quarantine?
I moved my keyboard into the living room so every single time I felt inclined to have almond butter on toast or coffee or water, I saw my keyboard and had to write. That was a game changer. Also allowed me to recognize how much I frequent the kitchen.
How has the state of the world impacted your music-making?
I think there was a freedom in music-making before, whether it was on the road or spontaneously collaborating. Now there are more barriers in place due to safety precautions. It's a new landscape, but I am hopeful it has only encouraged creatives like myself to get more creative.
What is the role of a musician in 2020?
I have always hoped that my music makes people feel less alone. I think as humans we really want to feel seen and understood. My hope is that the role of a musician in 2020 is being that safe space where others can feel liberated and supported.
Stream "Walk You Home" and "Higher" by Bishop Briggs, below.
Photos courtesy of Bishop Briggs