Kayley Bishop is a Storyteller with a Soulful Voice

Kayley Bishop is unquestionably one of the most gifted vocalists I have seen in Nashville, but she is a talented songwriter too. The best way to describe her music is soulful and traditional but fits into the modern pop country landscape. Bishop’s song catalog features songs of moving, authentic ballads to fun, upbeat jams like her latest single, “Honey Yes.” Please keep reading to learn more about Kayley and her music.

Kayley Bishop Goes Full Circle

Kayley Bishop is a native Tennessean who came back home. The singer/songwriter said, “I am originally from Bristol, Tennessee, but I moved to Ft. Myers, Florida when I was in middle school. So I guess you can say I am half Tennessee, half Florida. Then I went to college in Boston for musical theatre. But, I was always inclined toward music. My earliest memories involve music. It was something that felt natural, and I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know I would be doing it for the rest of my life.”

In some of Kayley’s songs, you can hear her musical theatre background. However, her heart would not stay in the theatre. Bishop said, “During my senior year of college, I realized I wanted to be myself on stage instead of a character. So I began writing songs in my last year of school. Then I made my way to Nashville about 8 1/2 years ago.”

The Ups and Downs of a Music Career

Nashville is a fantastic city, and the music scene is arguably the best in the world. However, Music City will beat you down if you let it. Kayley Bishop understands the struggles of Nashville all too well. The singer/songwriter said, “I feel blessed to have known what I wanted to do from a young age, but that also meant I felt more pressure to find excellence in music. Anyone who has been in the music industry as long as I have knows it’s such a roller coaster of victories and defeats. There is also circulation of doubt. I feel like I’m closer, but closer to what? It’s a constant battle of trying to figure it out and choosing joy when you feel defeated.”

Kayley Bishop leans on her faith, and it guides her on this path. Bishop said, “I am a believer, and it’s integral to who I am and how I operate. For example, Corinthians tells us your gifts are meaningless unless you love. I do not want my gifts to be meaningless because I don’t know how to love others very well. So, now when I walk into a room, I choose to love others and genuinely take an interest in others. People will always try to poke holes in who you are and your artistry, but I must let it go. So, I choose to be kind.”

Photo Credit: Kaylee Steffell

What Shapes Kayley’s Songwriting?’

Kayley Bishop’s music features great storytelling, which in my opinion, is what country music is all about. Bishop prides herself on bringing the listener into the song. The singer/songwriter said, “Going to school for musical theatre has shaped me as a songwriter, especially as it relates to telling a story. Whenever you are learning lines or studying a character you are portraying in a play or musical; you want to know the backstory. It’s good to define what that might look like for the character because that will tell how to speak the lines and walk on stage. So, with songwriting, I think about telling that story and painting a picture, so the listener can see the story unfold.”

Life events have a way of inspiring songwriters, and Kaylee has been through struggles. So I asked Bishop how the events in her personal life affected her writing. The singer/songwriter said, “It wasn’t intentional, but it happened organically. Songwriting is cathartic. So, for me to sit and write what I’m going through, there is a lot of healing and validation. When you go through hardship, you want something to show for it. Now, I have a treasure chest full of gems I’ve written as a result of my divorce. So, it’s validating that I created something from hardship. I always encourage people to write, write and write what they are going through at the moment. Serve your inspiration where it’s at.

Kayley Bishop’s “Sunday Best”

Kayley Bishop Describes her Music

Kayley Bishop’s music is a fusion of traditional country and soul. She confirmed that’s what she is striving for. Bishop said, “I describe myself as a combination of Dolly, Aretha, and Bob Seger. I always say Dolly because there is this down-home bluegrass note with the storytelling. I like to tell stories, including mine. I want to send messages to my crowd through music to empower people to think differently. But, like Dolly, I’ve also been told I have some warble in my voice. When I look at Bob, it inspires a love to bring a band together to create and deliver an all-encompassing sound that doesn’t feel haphazard. The guys I work with, I love their take on my songs. With my vocal delivery, I am chasing Aretha. I want to serve a vocal line from heaven’s gates.”  In my opinion, Bishop accomplishes what she is after. 

Kayley Bishop's Honey Yes cover art
Listen to Honey Yes on Apple Music or Spotify!

Kayley Bishop Releases “Honey Yes”

Kayley Bishop released “Honey Yes,” which has been a crowd favorite at her shows. It is a fun, heartwarming song that will have you tapping your foot. Bishop said, “I cannot believe I am just now releasing this song. I wrote the song in 2018 with Karleen Watt and Keirston Hedden. But that happens with a lot of songs. As artists, we say we can’t release something until we have it figured out because we want to make a splash. I am excited about this song. So many people had asked when I was releasing it, so I’m glad I can finally deliver the goods.”

Kayley Bishop Wants You to Know

Sometimes artists can be misunderstood. So I asked Kayley what she wanted people to know about her. Bishop said, “I want to leave someone better than I found them. I am a songwriter with a message, and I want people not to feel they are victims of their circumstances. You are not alone. You can go through hard times and talk about them. People sometimes fear speaking to me, but I am the biggest goober, so there is no reason to be afraid.”

My Thoughts

Kayley Bishop is an undeniable vocal talent, but she is more than a great singer. Bishop’s songwriting prowess can also not be denied. After talking with Bishop, I am even more of a fan. Bishop has everything she needs to be a force in country music for years. So hopefully, people will pay attention because Kaylee Bishop is going places. All I can say to that is, “Honey, Yes!”

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