We had the good fortune of connecting with Brother and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brother, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My mother used to tell me that a career in music (or any artistic field, I imagine) is only something you should take up because you can’t imagine the thought of not doing it. Her advice was pretty sober, I think. Both of my parents are professional musicians. I grew up with an example of what it really meant to do music for a living sans glamour, fame, whatever misconceptions people have. It’s not easy. My sisters both went on to do different things, but I spent most of my childhood playing instruments, writing music, recording and producing my own albums. I just never stopped doing that and I never wanted to. My career so far has essentially just been an effort to make it so that I can keep doing what I love.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m James Bishop and I make music under the moniker Brother. When I graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University, I had the idea to hike the Pacific Crest Trail while writing and recording an original album. I took a small guitar with me and started walking just a week after graduation. I ended up hiking 1,400 miles, using my iPhone to record some of the things that I encountered on the trail — thunderstorms, waterfalls, pinecones, detuned pianos in hostels, organs in mountain town churches…anything I came across that was interesting. I spent many quiet nights journaling in my tent and writing songs on my guitar. It’s taken me 3 years to assemble the album from these original songs and recordings; resulting in what is essentially a musical collage, written and captured entirely on the Pacific Crest Trail.​The iPhone came out when I was in 9th grade, and that little device has reshaped the world in the time that I’ve come of age. Its impact on my life has been significant. I’m young enough to have been shaped by it but old enough to have witnessed a distinct change in the way life felt pre- and post-iPhone. At this point, it feels like it’s almost a part of our bodies. I feel myself oscillating between this abstract & disembodied space and an embodied, physical, material world that seems to be becoming more and more foreign to me. This album is an expression of that tension. It’s that feeling of reaching out to a natural, original, world that you desire so badly to be in touch with but feel so alienated from. A world that is timeless, ancient, slow and lasting. Because there’s so much tension in that for me, I wanted to stray away from writing a more organic “acoustic guitar in the woods” album and lean into something more processed, distorted, and mangled. That’s all part of the form. I wanted to explore what it feels like to be using this technology as a means to try to connect with the world. The album is called “Bodybound” and the first single is on Spotify right now. You can find it by searching for “Wake Up” by “Brother” on any streaming platform. The remainder of the album is set to release over the next few months and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite things about San Diego is that you can enjoy being outdoors year round. One of my favorite stretches of the Pacific Crest Trail is in San Diego near Mount Laguna. It’s a spot that overlooks Anza Borrego on one side and Cleveland National Forest on the other. It’s a really spiritual place. I like to take people up there and we’ll camp in the Mount Laguna campground. Mount Palomar is another favorite spot if you want to feel really transported. I also love showing people around Julian. I grew up between there and Poway. It’s a very nostalgic and familial place for me. I love sharing the beaches with people, and I feel they all have something special to offer. When you live here, you don’t really have to make a big deal about “beach days”. It’s just a part of the rhythm. Always the right decision. You can go for a minute, an hour, a morning, afternoon, or evening. The ocean can be a very active place or a very peaceful and introspective place. You can surf or you can just sit and watch the water and contemplate life. It’s all of those things and more. The water is a hospitable home and I love sharing that with people. Food for the week would be mostly local spots. There’s a ton of great food in San Diego, it’s a little ridiculous. Obviously there’s all of the Mexican food which is wonderful, but there’s so much more here to fall in love with. Some of my favorite San Diego spots are Filipino, Indian, East African, Vietnamese, Ethiopian…it’s ridiculous how much good food there is. Find a small spot that doesn’t look too commercial and try it. It’ll probably be great and you’ll be supporting the community. That’s my food philosophy.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate this shoutout to my family. I would be nowhere without their support and investment in my life.

Website: www.jrbishop.com
Instagram: @musicbybrother
Twitter: @musicbybrother
Facebook: facebook.com/musicbybrother
Youtube: youtube.com/user/jrbishopofficial

Image Credits
Scott Coiner, Sammi Mrowka

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.