Laura Lee Bishop heads for Nashville
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Apr 18, 2013 | 1370 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LAURA LEE BISHOP
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After auditioning for American Idol, and winning plaudits from no less than Jennifer Lopez, Gilmer native Laura Lee Bishop is trying to hit another high note in her singing-songwriting career by moving to a city noted for its music—Nashville, Tenn.

The 25-year-old recording artist, who performed a well-attended free concert here March 30 at the Newsom Law Office downtown, has been living and performing in Austin. But there aren’t many talent scouts there, and she said she “will be working with some different songwriters” in Nashville, with the aim of reaching a larger audience.

Having recorded one CD, entitled Fire, Miss Bishop describes her music as “rock/pop” with “country at times,” and “vocally, more of a soul vibe ’cause I do like to hit the notes.”

Although her singing was not featured on American Idol, and “I don’t think it ever will be shown,” she told The Mirror, the show did air interviews in January that had been done in November and December of her introducing herself, she said.

However, she was blunt in saying that she found out that actually getting one’s singing onto the wildly popular program involved more than singing ability.

“The number one factor is your (life’s) story,” said the daughter of Gilmer attorney Karen Bishop and the late David Bishop. “They tell you you need to have a story. . . but every single person has a story,” she added. “What I think people want to hear is somebody that can sing.

“I think I have a pretty good life story (her father, a Gilmer attorney, was killed in a 1998 motorcycle accident when she and her sister were young), but I don’t milk it as much as others,” Miss Bishop said.

Her effort to get on Idol began with a summertime “cattle call”—an audition in San Antonio, which she estimated drew nearly 10,000 aspirants. If someone gets through that round, he/she receives a callback to appear before mid-level producers.And if one makes the cut in that round, he/she appears before executive producers—and then the famed judges.

Miss Bishop did well enough to get to the show’s “Hollywood Week” in December, getting to perform before Mariah Carey, Nicki Minac, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.

In 2011, she had sang for the panel of Ms. Lopez, Jackson, and Stephen Tyler (of the group Aerosmith).

Miss Bishop said Ms. Lopez told her “ ‘You have an amazing voice.’ And that was a good moment.” In addition, “I did talk to Mariah Carey a little bit. . .(she’s) very, very, very sweet.”

Was Miss Bishop disappointed that her singing didn’t get on the high-profile television show?

“I didn’t feel let down because I already knew, going in, the situation,” she said. “It’s not a singing competition. . . It’s a television show, and they need ratings.”

Besides one’s life story, such factors as looks, likeability and relatability come into play, she said.

Miss Bishop said she was the last of perhaps 150 performers to sing before the panel in December “and I was not in the slightest bit worried,” feeling that it “doesn’t matter what I do. . .They’ve already made their minds up about me.”

So now it’s on to Nashville, with the hope of recording more CDs. Meantime, her music can be found on Facebook.

Although she says she loves the “divas” of the musical world—the late Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilara and Patti Labelle—as well as such performers as Meat Loaf, Fleetwood Mac and Tina Turner—Miss Bishop said she hasn’t patterned herself after anyone.

“I just tend to do my own thing,” she averred.

She also tends to write songs when she is emotional because “it makes you feel better.”

“I don’t write too many happy songs,” she said.
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