Bipolar Sunshine may sound like a description of our perpetually wet weather but in fact it is the name of one of the hottest stars of the minute hailing from Manchester.
Doing his bit to keep Manchester firmly in the top ranks for quality of music, Bipolar Sunshine is responsible for chart hit Daydreamer. You almost wouldn’t believe it looking at and speaking to him though.
Not to stereotype, but Bipolar, real name Adio Marchant (as he will be referred to as from now on because neither ‘Bipolar’ nor ‘Mr. Sunshine’ sound right), is your every day born and bred inner city Mancunian.
Having a casual chat with him on a Friday evening, his raw Manc accent, chilled out attitude and colloquial speech (no media training for this one) made it easy to forget that this was an interview and not just a catch-up with a mate.
31 year-old Marchant has been in the music business for some years. He originally found moderate fame with Mancunian band Kid British and whilst they enjoyed success and are still very good friends (“I was with them all yesterday, I see them all the time.”) there are no plans to reunite.
“A reunion wouldn’t happen. Our split was a mutual and amicable decision because we all wanted to make different music and go different ways and that’s still the case now.”
Now, as Bipolar Sunshine, Adio’s sound is completely different to his Kid British days. I told Adio about my misconceptions relating to his voice and appearance and he wasn’t surprised: “A lot of people don’t expect me to make the music that I’m making but this is what I like. Boundaries need to be broken down between what’s classed as ‘urban’ music and other types.”
Adio’s ‘alternative’ funk-pop style seems to be working. Citing playing to over 10,000 people at Glastonbury as his biggest achievement to date, Bipolar Sunshine is one of the most successful artists to come out of Manchester during current times, what is his secret?
“It’s the way I’ve gone about approaching music. I had quite a following with Kid British but I was prepared to lose a lot of those fans as this sound is very different.
“Not only do you have to be aware of the resources available to you but you have to be willing to use them. So your local and urban radio stations like 1 Xtra- they’re the ones that will provide you with a direct route to the big mainstream stations like Radio One.
“It’s a longer route than those who are happy to make mainstream music from the off but if you really want it, it will be worth it in the end.”
There are a lot of Mancunians that want to make it. Rather than wait to be discovered or churn out manufactured pop, the likes of Shoa and super group Levlz are going it alone and making music videos to a professional standard. What is Adio’s take on the North south music divide?
“London is like the LA of the UK music-wise. There’s still that view that if you want to make it that’s where you need to be. But that’s not the case now we have the internet.
“Yeah I have a couple of songs that are doing well but I’m still constantly pushing my Soundcloud account getting it out there to as many ears as possible.”
And what’s Adio’s take on the Manchester music scene itself and who does he rate?
“There’s so much talent here I want to bring us all together this year. We’re willing to work together and cross-pollinate fan bases so that we can really get our music out there, not just to London but the whole of the UK and beyond.
“A guy that I‘ve been working with a lot called Jazz Purple is doing good things at the minute and I’m liking Black Josh and all those Levelz guys.”
Continuing the non-stop hard work of the last 18 months or so, Adio’s most recent single Daydreamer has been getting rave reviews across the board.
As well as a hit single, he has three EPs and a sell- out UK tour under his belt. Coming up is another tour in April and a new album.
Although Adio is happy to break the UK from his hometown rather than London, breaking America is also on his bucket list.
“To play Coachella is the ultimate dream; I’d know I’ve made it then. That would just be amazing.”
Bipolar Sunshine brings his 2015 UK tour to Manchester’s The Ritz on Friday 17 April
TNT News Siobhan White