This ‘Bipolar Sunshine’ article was written by Ben Duncan-Duggal, a GIGsoup contributor
To understand how Bipolar Sunshine (real name Adio Marchant) got to where he is today – one of Britain’s acts with great potential – you have to look into his own history. He was the lead singer for a band called Kid British, who were signed to Mercury Records and, like Bipolar Sunshine, were spoken of as having great potential. They, like Bipolar Sunshine, received regular Radio 1 airplay and were darlings of the music press, including that in mainstream newspapers. In other words, he’s been here before.
He’d also have a right to be wary. Because Kid British – after gaining attention quickly and signing their record deal after only a year of existence – kept stalling an album for another four years, and then finally stalled completely and broke up, without any real legacy.
So what’s to stop it all happening again? Bipolar Sunshine says he has learnt from that experience. ‘It’s about hitting people with bursts of work, rather than it being a situation like Adele has, where she can just release an album and then live off that for four years. Only people as big as Adele can do that‘. He may well see that as where his previous band (as well as many other smaller acts) go wrong; an obsession with the cenotaph of the album rather than a focus on simply creating interest.
And that interest, he says, in an increasingly rare commodity: ‘The way music’s going, people will only listen to a given album for two weeks‘. And so he sees the album as the end goal, capitalising on existing interest created by smaller releases – ‘I want people to be ready for the album when they do receive it; it’s about keeping people interested‘ – rather than an album creating interest. This time, he’s not rushing it.
He’s right – that’s just not how music, especially new music, works these days. In the age of the internet, in the eyes of the consumer the major steps of a musician’s career are the great songs, not the great albums.
But when the album does come along, Bipolar Sunshine wants listeners to feel that ‘this is the start of something I’m listening to’. Why? ‘Because this is just the first part of the journey – this will be the first of 4 or 5 albums – and by the time I get to third album I want people to be wanting to go back to listen to the first one‘. Bipolar Sunshine has clearly thought about the future and his musical future – that might play on lesser mortal’s minds. ‘I’m allowing myself to have the ups and downs, and I’m just being prepared for that, and I’m just wanting to enjoy the creative process – the process of being able to work with people and be around people‘.
Bipolar Sunshine is ready for the future. He is, in fact, ready for a long future as a musician. It’s a future which may well be granted, based on the immense strength of his early releases. But he will have to be careful about just how he does it. He knows that, though.
I ask him whether he thinks he is ready to release an album. ‘Yeah. I feel that I’ve got enough music to put an album out.‘ But when he’ll be willing is anyone’s guess. This time, Bipolar Sunshine wants to do it properly.