INTERVIEW: Bishi Of WITCiH – The State of Gender?

Hi Bishi, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Bishi: Very well thanks!

Not only you are an entrepreneur, but also a musician – did you one draw you into the other?

Bishi: Out of necessity. I’ve never been signed to a label or had any formal management. I’ve worked in small teams outside of the industry as an musician, songwriter, artist & executive producer over all of my creative output. It gives me a real pleasure.

How does one aspect enhance or influences the other?

It gives me great opportunities to meet and collaborate with wonderful people. My creative relationships are a lot deeper as a result.

What made you want to eventually start WITCiH?

My last album, Albion Voice Live,’ was realised as a one woman AV spectacle with my creative partner at the time, Matthew Hardern. I started to delve into the AV scene internationally & found there were a lot of interesting women, who under-represented. These women, often had music as their central discipline, but explored technology in radical ways. They all felt a similar lack of support & lack of opportunity, so I decided to start WITCiH.

Was this always idea to empower and support females and certain minorities or how did that come about?

I am a female & in a minority in the music & art worlds. One of the biggest barriers I faced was being told that I’d be a hard sell to white hipsters or white people. This was coming from trendy labels with reputable artist roster & from powerful men who make or break people. So systemic racism is alive & well in the 21stC. There’s a resistance to invest in women & people of colour, they don’t believe we have pulling power. But we do & things are slowly changing.

This event has a much tech and visual approach rather than music – why did you went with this direction?

It reflects my practice. A lot of people approach Music as a multi-faceted creature. Historically you have all the greats, Bowie, Grace Jones, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush & Bjork who have worked in this way. Nowadays, you have Imogen Heap, Holly Herndon, Hannah Peel & the women I’ve curated at WITCiH…even Beyonce for that matter.

Does music plays any role on the concept at all?

It’s the central concept to WITCiH! WITCiH will be releasing an EP of all the featured artists from this festival in time for WITCiH in Bristol at We The Curiousl

With a focus on a particular group of people – is the event also direct to them solely or can anyone assist?

Everyone is welcome. It’s central to the WITCiH ethos.

What’s the message and mission you are hoping to convey and accomplish?

WITCiH – The State of Gender is a three night festival commissioning four new works by Miri Kat, Rebekah Ubuntu, Lia Mice & Vicky O’Neon and are developing work by Chagall & Di Mainstone.

WITCiH aims to increase the visibility of women at the intersection of music, creative tech & STEM.

What else is happening next in your world?

WITCiH will be up in Bristol on 22nd November & I’m curating Diwali at The Wallace Collection on 9th November 2018. I’m also hosting a live stream for the Tate Lates at Tate Modern on the 26th October. I’ll also be mixing & releasing my album BISHI: The Good Immigrant.

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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