TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- JUNO (Canadian Grammy's) nominated rapper "Famous" last week released what he describes as the first music video filmed in Taiwan featuring an established black artist rapping in Mandarin.
James Bishop, who goes by the stage name "Famous," directed the video titled "FAMOUS - HeiHeiDe 黑黑的 (First Black Man Rapping In Chinese)" is shot entirely on location in and around the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas at the edge of Kaohsiung's scenic Lotus Lake.
When asked about his inspiration for the video, Bishop said, "I've always been a performer. Just this time I decided to rap in Chinese. I wanted to try something new and refreshing. Practice my Chinese."
Bishop at "Spring Break on the Beach 2017." (Image from FAMOUS Facebook page)
Bishop then elaborated further about his vision for the video:
"I wanted the viewers to really see the contrast of a black man in Asia. I also wanted to showcase the Taiwan culture and add my own party king culture to it! It's not often you see a black man, with a crown and shower robe rapping in Chinese in front of beautiful Asian temples and structures!"
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Bishop has been an entertainer since the age of 3 and in 2009 already received a JUNO nomination for Recording Album of the Year and a MuchMusic Video Award for his debut EP "The I RAP NOW EP." In 2014, he released his first album titled "Center Stage." He has performed on MTV, BET and has performed shows and toured with artists such as Nas, Bow Wow and ASAP Rocky.
Bishop with Jolin Tsai in 2016. (Image from FAMOUS Facebook page)
His stage name Famous originated from his tenure at Universal Music where he frequently interacted with celebrities. After relaying his experiences to his friends, many would respond "You're famous now," so he decided to stick with the name.
Later in 2014, he first toured Asia and performed on the same bill as Miss Ko (葛仲珊), Dwagie and Matzka, all Taiwanese artists. He was also invited the Golden Melody Awards, where he met the likes of Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), A-Mei (張惠妹), JJ Lin (林俊傑) and Jay Chou (周杰倫), with whom he built a relationship. It was from these experiences that he developed an affinity for Taiwan, and Kaohsiung in particular, where he first performed at the Brickyard.
Bishop with Jay Chou in 2016. (Image from FAMOUS Facebook page)
Regarding his reasons for loving Taiwan, Bishop said:
"For me, Taiwan is a great place to live because it's still pure. It's developing, rich in culture, economic growth is on the rise, education at the university level is great, people are friendly, food is great and affordable and they are self efficient. The people contribute to their own. Plus there's no snow."
Having a Spanish mother and a father from the Caribbean and living in French-speaking Montreal, Bishop has a knack for learning languages, and began learning Chinese a year ago with the help of three tutors.
When asked about his future plans, Bishop said he would like to collaborate with A-Mei, Jolin Tsai and Jay Chou. He believes that Taiwanese artists should start working with producers and artists from other countries, especially America, saying, "It can only make for better music. I can help them with English swag and they can help me with my Chinese."
As for Bishop's upcoming performances, he will be in Singapore for the ULTRA Music Festival on June 10.
Bishop also has a radio show that airs in Taiwan every Saturday night at 12 midnight on ICRT called "The Party."