Interview: Bishop Nehru Talks About His Big Dreams For The Music Biz And Being A Self-Sufficient Artist


Bishop Nehru is next up to bat. The 16-year-old rapper/producer established an undeniable buzz this year and is ready to expand his musical platform. After dropping his debut mixtape Nehruvia at the top of 2013 and the followup project strictlyFLOWZ, the New York native joined the legendary Wu-Tang Clan on their 20th Anniversary tour. The boom-bap enthusiast is currently cooking up some magic with producer MF Doom and just landed two slots on the soundtrack for NBA Live 2014. The kid is making moves.

VIBE chatted with the teen talent about how he hopes to impact the culture and set himself apart from the rest. –Stacy-Ann Ellis

VIBE: What about street culture inspires you and your work?
Bishop Nehru: If anything for street culture, it’s the street in general because all I talk about in my music is real stuff that happens and what really goes on in the street. What goes on everyday, even in the suburbs.

What are you giving back to the culture with your music?
I think I’m actually giving a story, my story. I think that the type of music I do is going to contribute to culture. It may not be appreciated now, but I feel like it’ll be appreciated.

How’d you get your foot in the door?
I guess I just got my break with my music. I was just putting out projects.

What was your first time ever trying to make music?
My first time ever making music, I was 13 and it was a jazz album that I had produced all myself. No samples.

Did you have any major supporters, cosigns or someone just putting your name out there?
Well, Kendrick [Lamar] co-signed me. He said he was a fan of my music. I think that’s the only person, to be honest.

That’s a pretty big co-sign. Now that you’re on your come-up, who else do you think we should be checking for who might be the next big thing?
Um, nobody. Just me [laughs].

I feel that, you have to work on yourself first. If someone didn’t hear your stuff at all, how would you describe your style and your sound?
I would describe my sound as me. It’s 100% me. No one can tell me I’m not me. I think my style is a jazzy, exciting but relaxing type of style.

What musical influences helps shape your sound?
I don’t really refer to anything. I just eliminate all the thoughts and just do. Let my body and my soul build the music and see how my mind reacts to it.

Who are you trying to work with next and if you could work with any three people as ultimate goals, who would it be?
Nas, Kanye and Kendrick.

What about producers?
I’d want to work with RZA, maybe Pete Rock, Lord Finesse and people of that nature. Salaam Remi.

I know you’ve heard plenty of comparisons to young rappers before, especially Joey Bada$$. How do you make yourself stand out from the others?
I think my sound overall is different. I don’t think anybody out right now is making music like I’m making it. I feel like I haven’t had the chance yet because I haven’t put out a project where I made all the beats and it’s coming straight from me. The newest project I come out with, they’re gonna say yeah, he has his own sound. He’s the new this, he’s the new that. Once I drop [work] that I produced myself, co-produced and I’m in the studio doing the instrumentation right, they’re going to feel it and be like, he found his own way and his own path.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I’ll probably have a couple Grammy’s and hopefully I’ve done my first film score. Hopefully I’ll be an executive and won’t even have to rap anymore [laughs].

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