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Bishop Briggs expresses an entirely different personality on stage

She’s a true citizen of the world whose sensational voice penetrates even the most hardened of souls. 

Bishop Briggs released her highly anticipated debut LP Church Of Scars this year, and she’ll be bringing its magic to Australia shortly for Falls Festival and some select side shows.

Her reputation as a live performer precedes her, with all reports returning that Briggs is a force to be reckoned with, though she seems completely oblivious but delighted by said reviews. Her character is incredibly bubbly and warm, a juxtaposition to the bounding energy that she brings to her live performance. “I really try and be fully transparent,” she says. “Even when I feel powerful on stage, I do that so that other people feel powerful in their own skin as well.

“It’s so important that people can feel free when they know you’re being free, or at least transparent about any difficulty you have being free.”

Taking control on stage is, as Briggs describes, her animalistic side, a side she believes is within all of us. It’s something that all her fans seem to adore and relate to, especially if the video footage she shared on her Facebook page is anything to go by. The footage, which was shot from the side of the stage, sees Briggs waving her arms from side to side to an audience of thousands who mimic the motion back to her. Briggs is then seen folding herself over, seemingly collapsing in disbelief – it was a beautifully surreal moment for her, she recalls. “That sounds very accurate of my reaction,” she giggles. “I am definitely near tears, I would say, every show.

“I worked a lot of years in LA in little places, coffee shops, places that probably shouldn’t be called venues, so to go from that to have people even listening to the music, the lyrics, it’s so surreal. It’s like the first time every single time it happens.”

And that freedom to be herself is absolutely evident in Briggs’ latest single ‘Baby’. Not just in what we see in the video, that dark montage with the bursts of colour, but the music too. Briggs voice is beautiful, everybody knows this, and she’s singing so sweetly using all these profanities and it’s all just a little gnarly. Giggling, Briggs affirms that this is the kind of song that needs to be read between the lines. Even in the acoustic version of the song that she’s recently put out, she retains the bittersweet sentiments. “It just felt so important to really strip it back,” she says. “To shine more light on the lyrics – that was my favourite part of the song to begin with.

“The production was minimal enough to show the lyrics and for sure, to show the dark and light sides that come with being someone that is so lovely, and so crazy.” Briggs has in some ways, exposed a vulnerability to her character by releasing this sublime acoustic rendition of her single – but that’s exactly what she hoped to do anyway. A woman of the world, Briggs has released this stunning music to people all over the world, thousands tuning in to what she’s doing and loving it. When Briggs tours Australia as part of her appearance at Falls Festival, again, she’s a living juxtaposition. There are things she expects, reactions she hopes for, and reactions she doesn’t. “It’s interesting, especially with the meet-and-greet, that’s when I find out what songs people are really connecting to,” she says.

“It really varies. Sometimes the song varies on the political climate that place is going through, or what the majority of the individuals that are coming to my shows are going through. A lot of the songs do have a heaviness so it’s for sure a result of whatever is going on in their life.”

Knowing she has a discography of works that can be applied to any situation in any location is for Briggs, as she humbly puts it, a dream. “It’s an understatement, it is truly the dream. I’m honoured, I’m thankful.”

Bishop Briggs will take to Lorne on Friday December 28 as part of the Falls Festival circuit. You can also catch her at The Corner on Tuesday January 8.