An LA rapper with Denzel Curry and Rico Nasty collabs under his belt, get deep with ICECOLDBISHOP via this VIPER interview…
What five words define your sound?
HEART, SOUL, FUNKY, REAL, HONEST. I feel all of these components would make up for a great ICECOLDBISHOP record.
Tell me something unique about your creative process.
I have so many different creative processes. From refs to punch-ins, to full writing in phone on paper. It’s all about how I’m feeling at the moment. My mood is everything when creating. Which is why I don’t let just anybody in my studio sessions. Just because it’s easier at times to stay on task; I’ll drift away and talk about basketball for a hour straight.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
‘PORCH’. The first record I released as ICECOLDBISHOP. My first record on streaming. My first record for sale to the masses. The record that knocked down the door for me. Kicked down if you will.
What inspired you to make that song?
I felt it was necessary to release a record that truly gave an insight into what was to come from ICECOLDBISHOP. ‘PORCH’ is a record created from my 12 year old perspective and gives you a straight forward look on my reality at that age. The reality of most inner city kids in America when faced with tough decisions that were made for you far before you ever know.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
Whenever I step in the booth I’m allowing myself to be fully vulnerable. Whenever I open my mouth to speak about anything I care about I’m allowing myself to be truly vulnerable. As an artist I must connect with the soul. We all share similar life experiences because we are all human beings. Through true vulnerability we can connect on those life experiences. When done through music you can connect with the soul. Those you connect with will support you for life. And vice versa.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
Best experience was being slightly nervous while starting my first tour with Slowthai back in 2019. I didn’t really know how folks would respond because I performed ‘GENERATIONAL CURSE’ on the entire tour, four years before its release. ‘GEN CURSE’ didn’t release until March 2023. I instantly won the crowd over and it was one of the best experiences I ever had performing in my entire life. I even got a small permanent scar from it. Super dope.
Worst experience was getting sick just two shows later. I was regurgitating before and after every Canadian show we performed. I think I got sick in Seattle or something. It was raining hard as shit but Seattle is beautiful. By the grace of God I was able to perform and still make the crowd do what they came to do. I worked being sick into my set and it worked and everybody bared with me. They even chanted for me to throw up. Probably funniest moment too. But yeah, worst experience by far.
What is your favourite song to perform?
1A. ‘THE GOV’T GAVE US GUNS’. 1B. ‘CURSED’.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
50 Cent, Lil’ Wayne, DMX, Ludacris and Snoop. All of their first four albums. I could name so many more artists but for now I’ll keep it light. The Game single handedly brought the West back in 2004. I was 11. I listened to ‘The Documentary’ and watched the DVD that came with the deluxe countless times. With me already being a fan of 50 it was the craziest moment in music history for me up until that point.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
I’m a huge fan of funk. Funk has taken over my life but I don’t want it back. I feel like ICECOLDBISHOP sounds like a cold ass name you’d hear some fly ladies in they bell bottoms and designer shades in the ‘70s talking about. “You hear that new ICECOLDBISHOP album? He’s a cold young brutha.” Its a cool ass name. BISHOP is already me. Plus, I’m ICECOLD with this shit so let’s just put it together. Boom.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
That’s a great question actually. I never truly had a plan B. If I was to stay in the world of being a creative I would probably be in the film industry, producing and directing projects. Eventually writing and producing full length films. I have a real affinity for film. From the acting all the way down to the smallest details that contribute to the movies that we consider cinema classics. Even the ones we hate. There’s a lot to learn in the film world. Eventually I’ll give it a shot. If that failed miserably then I’d be a basketball coach. Basketball is my first love. Would love to properly teach the game to the next generation of future athletes while learning from them as well.
What’s success to you?
Success to me is just reaching the goals I set out for myself. Also to create opportunity for others so they can provide for their families as well. It has nothing to do music in my eyes. I could be successful with or without it. Regardless I’ll always love and create music. Even if my version of success deals with other areas of life.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
Realising time truly waits for no man. Understanding life made me change everything. I came to a lot of these realisations while I was homeless back in 2018. Floor living and couch surfing. But being in that position in life gave me opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I was comfortable. Blessings in disguise as they say.
Where can people keep in touch with you?
Supporters can always reach out to me on my twitter or IG @ICECOLDBISHOP. On twitter I try to respond to as many supportive people as possible.
Photo by Manny ‘Grimm’ Singh.