Interview with Bridget Kelly: “This is just my art”


Signed to Roc Nation, R&B singer-songwriter Bridget Kelly is under the guidance of none other than head businessman in charge, Jay Z, who signed the 28-year-old back in 2008. [As seen on Yahoo! Celebrity UK]

Since then, the songstress has released two EP’s, “Every Girl,” and, “Cut To… Bridget Kelly,” and has collaborated with the likes of Ne-Yo, Frank Ocean, Ester Dean, and The Dream, alongside earning her first Grammy for co-writing “Einstein” of Kelly Clarkson’s fifth studio album, ‘Stronger’ back in 2011. The New York native is now busy working on her debut studio album, which is set to arrive later this year.

[Roc Nation’s Bridget Kelly prepares release of latest EP, “Cut To Bridget Kelly”]

Having recently performed a sold-out show at London’s elegant Jazz Café, Bridget spoke to me about what she loves most about London, getting advice from Jay Z, her latest EP and what can we expect from her debut offering, here’s what she had to say:

First things first, how was it performing at the Jazz Café in January?

I had the time of my life! I love London, I’m always upset that my trips are so short, I love the energy, and the people and it just reminds me so much of New York, it reminds me of home, the response was so cool, loving and warm. I had so much fun just connecting with everybody out there.

Let’s talk about your EP, “Cut To Bridget Kelly,” how would you describe the material for those who haven’t heard it?

I like to think of it as alternative R&B, it possesses a lot of the soulful sonics that are classic to R&B. ‘Cut To… Bridget Kelly’ is the specific story about a relationship I went into to, I was in a relationship and I was spending a lot of time with my friend and sometimes, you kinda catch feelings out of nowhere, like you’re attracted to a friend and you’re having so much fun and you know you’re kind of battling in your head, do it take it there? Do we stay friends? Do I cross the line? And then before you know it, you’re all wrapped up in it, it was such a dramatic love triangle as well, so I felt I needed to put music outside.

How would you say it compares to your previous EP “Every Girl”?

I think “Every Girl”, I was really angry (laughs), I went through a lot of stuff during the time that I made the ‘Every Girl’ EP, I was going through a really angry break up and that was really how I felt about what was going on at the time. I think I’ve just grown a lot since then.

What I’ve noticed recently is that most people are like “R&B is dead,” I don’t agree, so I like to ask this question to gain perspective, but what would you say in regards to that statement? Do you agree or disagree?

I disagree, I think R&B has taken on a different route, I think it’s not just for older adults, I think R&B has taken kinda a youthful turn, it’s coming back to being about the music. I think Justin Timberlake, Miguel, and Drake in particular are really kinda’ touching the forefront of R&B and have made it more mainstream again and I think that the public are excited. It’s refreshing, so I think it’s kinda’ opening the doors for the rest of us to kind of plough through and come with this really dope quality sounding music.

The industry is definitely missing it, it’s like you, Melanie FionaJoJoJhene Aiko, Sevyn are the only ones that are holding down that section right now, especially in regards to female artists. But what about the whole state of the industry in general, in regards to how Beyoncé dropped her album in December without any inclination or announcement, do you think the entire marketing strategy regarding the way people release music to the general public is just changing altogether?

I think the industry doesn’t know how to respond to the rebellious activities of the artists, I think for Beyoncé to put that album out the way she did is very telling of what artists are, like nowadays you can do a whole concert on Youtube if you want to generate attraction, you can pick up attention, you can catch eyes just at the click of a button, I think that everything is so accessible now and that people will really buy into something if it’s quality. The only downside to that though I think is that there’s so much material that it’s hard to sift through the garbage. You know, it’s tough to be an artist and put stuff out and hope that people would pay for it, especially when everything around them is so free, but if you put in the time and you put in the work, I think overall, especially where music is now, that fans really respect the integrity of the artist and I think that an artist as tremendous as Beyoncé could put out an album out with no marketing, like “This is just my art,” it’s just people respect that so much more, so I think that it’s gonna’ encourage fans to continue to support musicians the right way.

What about in terms of your album, can we expect a release later this year?

It is, I’ve been working really hard on it and I’ve scrapped a bunch of stuff that I felt like really wasn’t the meat or the potatoes of the story, you know what I mean? I want to make sure, because of how honest I was on this EP, I wanted to make sure the follow up is even stronger, I’m still working on it, I’m still trying to get all the pieces in place, but this year for sure you’ll have the album, and maybe another EP too! The more music the better.

So you’re signed to Roc Nation, and you’ve toured with Jay-Z in the UK before, but what would you say is the best piece of advice Jay’s given you?

Just to be patient with myself, I think a lot of the times, especially in this industry there’s a lot of pressure to perform and just throw music out. I think it’s just mechanically planned to just put out songs and do stuff for the sake of staying relevant, and I think he’s proven that it’s more about quality than quantity, so it’s just to really take my time with it – my journey is not the same as anybody else’s, he’s helped me patient over the years.

Would you give similar advice to upcoming artists?
Absolutely, I would tell everybody to just focus on what your wish is, find what you’re really good at and master it, and people will love you for it. Nowadays there are so many quality artists out there that are just telling stories and being raw and just you know, showing wild emotions and because there’s so many of those, you can’t be cookie cut anymore, you just really have to be who you are. I would recommend that you just find who you are, and be who you are, and you’ll be on the path, on your course.

Right, so let’s find about more about you, what do you do when you’re not doing music?

I’m a big nerd, I go to the movies a lot by myself just to kind of unplug from the world. I just love immersing in movies by myself, I love marine biology, I’m kind of like an animal freak, I watch a lot of Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Shark Week, Big Cat Week, all that stuff, I’m like glued to the TV (laughs). I really like American Football. I don’t have a lot of downtime, I mean honestly, I like to discover new artists, I go through phases, like right now I’m in a country music phase. You would not imagine that I would listen to it but I really do love a lot of country music, so I’m going through a country music phase.

Finally, what else can we expect from you this year?

The album, a tour, I’m trying to get back to the UK man, I love it there, and fans are so appreciative, I think in America we take for granted how expendable artists are, always moving on, everyone’s always on tour here and London, and from here it’s not always easy to get over there and perform, but I’m looking forward to couple more dates in the UK, I’d like to come up to Manchester and Birmingham as well, and you know, just make my rounds, and really just promote this EP. Just prepare for the album.

Download Bridget Kelly’s EP, “Cut To… Bridget Kelly” here.

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