Connect with William
William Bishop was born in London and learned cello and double bass as a teenager after developing keen interest in music, performing predominantly orchestral works. Later, he learned how to play the guitar. Having a background in literature and poetry, he writes his own songs and music. Bishop recorded three full length studio albums, each on guitar and piano. His breakthrough single was released in January 2021, receiving critical acclaim from music journalists and airplay from national and international radio stations as well as extensive mainstream media coverage.
I’d like to know about your background. Could you give us a brief introduction into how you got started in music?
I started when I was very young. I started at school. And, I learned… I did a lot of music at school. I learned from a very classical sort of background, cello and double bass, and very, very technical, scholastic stuff, and very, very academic music. I learned that all the way through until I left school.
And, when I finished school and I started studying at university, I wanted to keep playing music, but I didn’t want to necessarily play classical stuff anymore. It was great learning, and it was a fantastic thing to do growing up, and it was a great introduction to music, but I didn’t want to pursue that. I wanted to do other sorts of music.
So, I learned piano and guitar and I studied writing my own stuff and took it from there.
What do you consider to be your career breakthrough, in terms of when you said, “I’m getting traction in this and people are connecting with my music?”
That’s a really good question.
It’s very difficult to pinpoint an exact moment, or one thing that happened, that sort of set off other things in motion. It’s very difficult to come to one moment, if you like. But, if anything comes to mind, it was when I was speaking to a artist representative from one of the bigger record labels who was… He was a executive at the record company at the time. I think it was Warner Brothers.
And, I had a meeting with him, a one-to-one meeting, and I sat there with him. I played him a song, and I said to him, I said, “Be absolutely honest. Do you think I’ll get a record conference?” I said, “Be absolutely honest. Do you think I’ll get that record?” He said, “Not with us, but go for it. Just don’t pursue this particular avenue.”
And, it was from there that I thought, okay, so maybe not this opportunity, but other opportunities I should go for. So, it gave me the confidence to continue with what I was doing, but at the same time, it gave me a better, sort of a more realistic idea, of where I would maybe get to in the future.
Your social media platform has grown to over a million followers combined. I’m interested in your approach to social media. Do you have a team? Do you manage everything on your own? And, what’s your favorite platform to communicate on?
I’ll do a bit of both. I’ve worked with teams of people on occasion. It tends to be around certain releases, or around certain… Or, if there’s a brand that I really love, or a brand that I’m really quite invested in myself, and that I have some sort of thing that I’ve been going to for years. Or, I see a brand that I like, and I want to work with them, then there will be a team of people.
And, yeah, on occasion, I’ve had people actually design the content for me, and then I posted that; so, being done very much with their guidance and with… There are people out there that have much more experience and much more expertise than I do in this sort of field. It’s something that, it’s such a big… Quite new to me, it’s quite a new thing, but there’s so much going on, and there are so many people involved in influencing, influence marketing, all that side of things.
It’s a great thing, I think, because it allows… It brings up people’s creativity, and it allows access to different audiences, which is a great thing.
So, I’ve done both really. I’ve done… I’ve worked with people who designed these posts in very specific ways, and that’s been successful, and I’ve also done a lot of that for myself, and just sort of put stuff out on social media, just myself, just of music and things like that, and seeing how that has gone, how people have interacted, and how people have reacted to that, and then, you can make changes. You can say, “Right, that’s gone really well. Great. That’s attracted a lot of attention. Okay, I’ll keep posting stuff like that.” Or the opposite. If you post something that doesn’t go anywhere, then you can say, “Right, maybe do a little bit less of that next time.”
So, it’s a process, really, of finding out what works for you, and doing more of the same, and then finding out what doesn’t work for you, and not doing it, I guess. And, that evolves over time. Then you find more and more people follow you.
And, if you keep at it, if you don’t get disheartened and you just keep going, then you can get a decent following.
On the topic of brand partnerships, what have been some of your favorites? I know Urban Outfitters looks like a prominent one. What do you look for in a collaboration?
I think the most important thing for me is that it’s something that you yourself are interested in and something that you yourself use, because a brand are going to tell, I think quite quickly, if you are not actually interested in what they do. But, if you’re interested yourself in what the brands are doing, and it’s something that you use and something you really like. I mean, I, with the Urban Outfit as an example, a lot of my clothing is from Urban Outfitters. It’s something that, it’s a retail chain that I’ve been going to for a number of years. And so, it’s something that I… Those products, I really do love.
I do spend a lot of time at an Urban Outfitters looking at the clothes. And, it was great when the opportunity arose, because I could, hopefully, put some of that enthusiasm into their brand, and then that gives them a much more positive… Makes them feel much more comfortable, much more positive, about the collaboration.
And, that’s going well so far. That probably has been my favorite so far, because it’s a brand that I’m quite close to myself.
But, a lot of the collaborations have been with clothing brands, or fashion brands; some more independent brands in Europe, who have been clothing brands, again, who I’ve been happy to work with because they’re smaller brands, but they’re something really unique individually. And, it helps them broaden their audience.
So, they’ve been the best ones, but they’ve been, just off the top of my head maybe, there’s been a few European clothing brands, or independent ones, and my favorite so far is the Urban Outfitters. It’s a… I think they’re a really good one.
What do you have on tap for 2024? In terms of music, in terms of social media marketing?
to answer that fully, you would have to ask my marketing team. They’d give you a much better answer than me.
But, what I can tell you is that, music-wise, there’ll be a new single and a new album out this spring, around March time, that should be coming out on Sony Music’s OWL label. And, that will be coming out… Should be coming out beginning of March. And, there’ll be new [material], lots of visual stuff, music videos, and lots of images, and lots of opportunities for content around that. So, that, on the music side, that should be happening early spring.
And, with the influencer side of things, I hope to work with as many brands as I can, obviously, that I have some interest in, and that would like to work with me, that can see, are interested in the music, my creative output, my music, would actually enhance their brand in.
So, it’s very easy, I think, to work with, to create content, and have something like music, and then a brand comes to them, expect to… Without mentioning what they’re doing musically. But, that’s only going to work if the brand thinks that the music is going to help with getting engagement, with getting attention for the brand.
If the brand likes the music, and if the brand thinks that the music is going to help enhance their sort of brand awareness and their brand reputation, that’s the best sort of partnership, because it’s mutually beneficial. It helps. From my end, it helps get the music out, and it helps broaden awareness of that. And, from a brand’s perspective, it does the same, and the music enhances what they’re doing. It’s sort of mutually beneficial.
Those are the best ones.
And hopefully more of those, and hopefully with… There are some absolutely wonderful brands out there, and there are some really lovely, lovely people who work very, very hard at these with their products, and with their designs, and all of that stuff. And, it’s really nice to meet some of these people and to work with them.
So, as broad a range of people as possible, but as long as there’s some sort of mutual interest. I think that’s a good way to go forward.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.