Jakari Brooks, also known as Bishop Fooly, is a guitarist and producer hailing from Greenville, SC. Last week, on Friday, June 19th, he released his debut EP, Channel Switching. The new EP combines Bishop Fooly’s longtime love for guitar with his affinity for Lo-Fi production, and features soulful playing and an undeniable sense of style that drips from every track. The entire EP was recorded and produced by Bishop Fooly himself, at his home studio using Logic Pro. According to our conversation with Jakari, the new EP is his way of paying homage to the 90s, as well as trying to create a refreshing body of work through his Southern filter.
Channel Switching offers a nice balance between smooth instrumental jams and collaborative tracks that feature verses and singing from fellow South Carolina artists that roll in Jakari’s circle. The whole thing has a warmth to it that eases gentle guitar playing between sequenced hi-hats and low ends, giving us a comfortable sonic beverage with enough variety to keep it interesting throughout, but also an overarching vibe that ties the whole thing together.
Perhaps the best example of Bishop Fooly’s comfortable sonic beverage is “Partnership on a Lonely Road”, which sits at the center of the EP. The track is a nice pairing with an early morning coffee or a late-night doobie, both of which have been known to send your thoughts whirling. It’s a reflective instrumental jam that boils down the essence of the EP and in turn, the essence of Bishop Fooly and the sounds that he’s crafted here. It also features a very smooth transition into the next track “Trials and Tribulations”, which features rapping from Simpsonville, SC artist Fernvndo.
Another notable collaborator on Channel Switching is Greenville’s Rikki Tan, who is featured on the tracks “Southside” and Naoto. Rikki Tan has been a longtime friend and collaborator of Bishop Fooly’s, as part of the Greenville-based hip-hop band FRD. Tan crosses back and forth between elements of hip-hop and R&B, which pairs very nicely with Bishop Fooly’s already blues-oriented guitar and production style. I look forward to hearing more tunes from that duo in the future.
For such a smooth EP, however, the “Conversations (Skit)” that comes at track three is one that could have potentially been left off. While it does contribute to the lighthearted vibe that permeates through the rest of the EP, and it gives us a look at the personality behind the music, it also interrupts the natural flow that Bishop Fooly had going. I also understand that many other artists have incorporated skits into some of their greatest albums, including Kanye West, so it obviously doesn’t make or break the listening experience, but I guess that’s one reason why the skip button was invented.
Listen to the Channel Switching EP by Bishop Fooly below, and follow Bishop Fooly on Instagram at @bishopfooly.