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Interview: Bipolar Sunshine

Wednesday 09 April 2014
Words Spindle

I’m sat in very dimly lit XOYO with Adio before the venue opens and before he plays to London. I’m super excited because I love the this dude – and his flowery shirt!

Adio! You’re on tour round the UK, you looking forward to this London gig?

Yeah, its been sold out for 5 weeks so should be good! It’ll be interesting to see how people are going to react to the new tunes and it’s always a nice feeling to know we’ll be playing to a packed out venue.

How’s the tour been so far?

Yeah good, been playing loads of different places; Birmingham, Oxford…it’s nice to see a turn out and people actually knowing the songs and getting fully involved. It’s really nice when you’re starting out. I only did my first tour in November so most of these places I’ve never really played before!

So, who’s taken the ‘best crowd crown’ so far?

I dunno, I think Sheffield-it was amazing. But everyone, they’ve all been good!

For anyone that doesn’t know you, give me a quick recap in your words in regards to your story in music.

 Ok, 2008 I was in a band called Kid British, and 2009 we got dropped. Didn’t make more music till 2012-that was when I started writing with a guy called Jazz Purple. We wrote for a full year, but wasn’t till towards the end of that year did I put some songs out on SoundCloud and from that loads of people started getting on to me. I then set up my own record label with Jazz Purple called Aesthetic Records and put out our first two EPs through that. Then I signed a joint thing with Polydor so been doing that; going to start pushing out some singles. We’re just building the live show and building everything else around it. That’s it, in a nutshell.

Bipolar Sunshine Hollie Fernando

Yep. As you said, you released the two EPs. First one, Aesthetics got a great reception; Zane Lowe, Xfm loved it and Soundcloud, 700,000 plays for Fire! As someone who came from a band, to then put your solo project out there and get such a warm welcome, did that proper propel you?

Yeah, it proper propelled me! Your confidence can only go to a certain level and once you see that people actually like what you do…that really helps in going another step further so I was always confident in the music I was making because I always felt like I would only put something out I was 100% behind. I was never going to put out some music which I was sceptical of. I want my music to be 100% heartfelt and an adaptation of my life and what it happening around it; everyone goes through the same struggles its just who tell the story better sometimes.

You create something special, which resounds with people. You particularly, have a great sincerity in your lyrics and Phil mentioned that, on Radio 1-lots of people were tweeting in to say they really connected with your music.

With your previous EP Aesthetics you mentioned you wrote it when you’d gone through a break up and your grandfather had passed away. What emotions are you drawing on this time with Where Did The Love Go? Are you talking to anyone in particular?

Where Did The Love Go is basically is just pulling on those strings when there are so many scenarios in relationships that you go through and you’re asking yourself ‘Where has it all gone wrong?’ ‘Where are you losing your happiness?’ Losing those feelings that make you feel vibrant about things, and that is the sentiment of what I wanted to get across. Which is kind of what I try and put across in most of my songs, I just try and work it out in different angles. I think the best songs are the ones that make you ask questions.

When you’re writing, does it not always have to stem from a direct personal experience? Are you taking feelings and projecting them into a story? 

Yeah, it doesn’t have to be something that has necessarily happened to me. We all take about problems and as a writer you can listen to that and shape that non-fiction or fiction into the way you want to do it. As long as you do this with emotion and sincerity then the message will always come across. But it is always something that is always close to me. I try to project happiness but sometimes shit happens and someone has to say it.

Do you have a specific song which you would say is most personal to you?

 I’d say Fire is probably the most personal song I’ve written.

And that is your debut hit!

 Yeah! It’s the one most people got behind and I’d say it’s the most personal just because I’d say it touched on so many different things and when I listen back to it, it provokes certain memories and days of my life which is pretty strange when music can do that.

It’s incredible how music can literally transport you back to a certain time, certain feelings rush back-so powerful!

Ok, so let’s talk a little about the Live Lounge Late, you were at Radio 1 with Phil and Alice. They say it’s the cooler older brother of The Live Lounge! You got a lot of love; Phil said he wanted you to sing him to sleep! And he said you’re one of his favourite voices!

How was being in Radio 1?

It was a cool vibe, really nice. You hear other artists do Live Lounges and you think ‘One day I’ll get to there’ and now I’ve actually had the opportunity. For the presenters to be acknowledging what you’re doing…it’s great. I mean you can do this for years and get no acknowledgment from anyone; no one is obligated to tell you anything or be nice about what you do. And I prefer people to be honest-if they like it brilliant, if not I’ll stick with those who do like it! I’m with them. You just have to keep my head down and carry on with whatever plan you’ve set up and hopefully everything will come into place as long as I keep working hard.


You’ve been around for a while! People may only be hearing of you now but you’ve been grafting!

Yeah, been around for ages. Since Dolly Parton (Adio jokes)

Haha! Just hanging out with Dolly; that would be a great collabo and one I would not have anticipated

 Who would you want to collaborate with? I know you mentioned you’d love it if Kanye West and Morrissey joined forces and that would indeed, be epic.

 This morning, I woke up, and I was adamant that (in my dream) Chris Martin, Kanye West and Alex Turner had agreed to work on music and I thought ‘Yes, that would be great.’ And it got me thinking; those type of high level collaborations…the music made…could be the best!

I think with two it can go wrong, but with three, with three it could work.

OK, so what is your power threesome collaboration including yourself. Which other two artists? 

Bjork because she is just on another level.

She’s ahead man. Who else?

And Andree 3000. They’re two very different artists but they both are amazing.

Opposites work; equilibrium and all that. Balance.

 So what happens after the tour?

After the tour I’m going to shoot another couple of videos, play Parklife in the summer and hopefully a few other festivals that I’m not 100% sure which ones!

And when can we expect the album?

 Hopefully end of this year, I’m looking forward to putting out a debut piece of material. I want to smash it! So that everyone can hear the vibe and get where I’m coming from as a full piece. I’m excited! The whole thing has been exciting, to be able to come back and start making music again. It’s what everyone dreams of doing; all my friends around me all do music as well and they’re all happy for me so I’m just trying to surround myself by good people that are making good music.

Yeah, when you’re creative you need that core, support and inspiration; otherwise you’re lost at sea!

Yeah, stay around my good bunch of people!

So finally, how you going to warm up for the gig tonight? What’s your rider?

Sailor Jerry’s. Lots of Sailor Jerry’s. With ginger beer. Or I might do it with pineapple today. And maybe some hummus!

Good luck with the gig, I’ll be at the front singing along!

It’s going to be a good party! When we’re finished here we’ll hit the town, party in London!

Live the London life! Cheers Adio, I’ll see you round the festival circuit this summer!

Follow Bipolar Sunshine and catch their next gig at Shepherds Bush Empire Friday 17th October!

Words: Irune Rue Chamberlain