Briggs was born in London to Scottish parents from Bishopbriggs, Scotland, which inspired her professional name. At age four, she moved to Tokyo with her parents. She sang in public for the first time at a Tokyo karaoke bar, and immediately realized she wanted to continue performing throughout her life. Growing up with the city's karaoke bar traditions and hearing music from Motown musicians to The Beatles at home also influenced her to pursue music. She started writing her own songs at age seven, which she would perform for her family. She moved to Hong Kong at age 10, where she lived until she was 18. After graduating from Hong Kong International School she moved to Los Angeles, California.
After moving to Los Angeles, Briggs started her career by playing in any venue she could, often for crowds as small as three people. Shortly after a 2015 performance in a local bar that gained the attention of former A&R representative George Robertson, Briggs recorded her first single "Wild Horses" under the name Bishop. The song was produced by Mark Jackson and Ian Brendon Scott. Many users found Briggs via Shazam when seeing an Acura commercial which features the song.
In January 2016, Briggs released the single "River" and changed her recording name to Bishop Briggs to avoid confusion with a heavy metal band of the same name. The song was a commercial success. Shortly after its release, the song quickly made it to number 1 on Hype Machine's Popular charts and reached number 2 on Spotify's Global Viral 50. It also received an Honorable Mention on Shazam's predicted Songs of the Summer 2016, which was featured in Billboard. As of May 2016, "River" was steadily climbing the Shazam Future Hits charts. "River" has so far peaked in the top 10 on the Rock Airplay and the Alternative Songs chart.
In May 2016, she released her third single, "The Way I Do". It was also announced that she would open for Coldplay in the fall of 2016 on nine of their tour dates. Briggs made her television debut on August 1, 2016, performing "River" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She released her fourth single, "Pray (Empty Gun)" on August 12, 2016.