Earlier this month, Bridget Kelly returned to London to perform for her adoring fans at yet another sold out concert in the capital’s prestigious venue The Jazz Café. Following the blazing set we caught up with her to talk about everything from being a newly independent artist to issues with R&B in 2014 amongst other topics. Check out our conversation below…
Sope: You recently dropped the singles ‘I Won’t Cry’ and ‘Almost More’ so are those songs the official lead singles to your album or were those just to hold fans over until you’re ready to proper begin the album cycle?
Bridget: I’m just going to keep putting music out to keep people happy, to remind people I’m still here and that I’m still creative which to me is the most important thing. I’m going to be putting an EP out here in the next couple of months. I’m doing a maxi single for ‘Almost More’ – I’m just going to keep making music.
Sope: It’s been almost a year since you were last in London and in that time it’s been revealed that you are no longer with Roc Nation so are you completely independent or are you in talks with other labels?
Bridget: I’m completely independent – I’m just so happy to be doing my own thing. It’s such a different vibe; people are more interested to hear what you have to say. I’m not apart of something else that’s bigger than me and there’s a pride and confidence that’s come with that. I’ve been able to work with other people that I maybe may have not been able to work with if it wasn’t for me being independent of a label. It’s a really beautiful thing and I’m finding more people like it and are excited about what’s to come.
Sope: So this album! Is there anything you can tell us about the producers, feature artists, anything about the sound?
Bridget: Initially when I started I really wanted to make a project that was really going to be fluid from beginning to end. So like one track starts and it goes into another – like ‘I Won’t Cry’ goes into ‘Almost More’. I really wanted to have every single track on the album sound that way. However because we’re making an abundance of music we’re going to do that for the EP then if the album follows that format then it’s cool. Honestly I’m taking everything one day at a time, I think this is the first time in my life where I’m completely confident in everything I’m putting out, in everything I say and everything I think. I feel this is the most receptive that my fans have been to my performances and overall energy. I’m much more connected to everybody than I ever was.
Sope: On your first mixtape ‘Every Girl’, songs like ‘White Lies’, ‘Seek and Destory’ and ‘Love You After All’ had a strong rock influence and we haven’t really heard you on songs like that since, so will some of that sound resurface on the new album?
Bridget: Oh yes its coming back, it’s definitely coming back. This album is going to absolutely be more alternative than was it before. Definitely still soulful, I’m still a soulful singer at heart and still inspired by R&B voices but it’s definitely going to edgier than it was before. But I don’t think it’s going to be as dark, some topics may be dark but overall it’s not going to be totally focused on love and relationships. It’s really going to be about my coming of age so to speak – I’ve gone through a lot being apart of Roc Nation then not being apart of Roc Nation and all the personal things gone through just trying to find my place in this world outside of the label.
Sope: Do you think it’s difficult to break new R&B artists in this current musical climate since R&B is no longer seen as trendy or crossover now and also because of the artificial ways Billboard has recently been tracking chart positions which don’t really seem to reflect consumer interests and radio anymore?
Bridget: I think R&B is actually at the forefront of mainstream music but what I will say is that it doesn’t have as much colour as it did before. I think R&B has always been mainstream but nowadays it’s the Justin Timberlake’s, the Robin Thicke’s, the Sam Smith’s and the Adele’s that are really making soul music the tier to reach. So I will say that R&B has always been at the front but nowadays there’s no new Mary J. Blige or new Luther – Tank is the only one making classic soulful R&B that is really incredible. And Chris Brown but even then he always walks the line of R&B and Pop. I think there are very few women who are at the forefront and I think that’s because there’s no real middle ground for us to live. It’s either you’re independent trying to make on it on Instagram or YouTube or you’re Beyoncé – there’s not a lot of room to live and breathe in between.
Sope: Since your video for Street Dreaming, we haven’t really seen any visuals from you aside from a preview of Cocaine Heartbreak, so when can we expect to see more videos from you?
Bridget: The ‘Cocaine Heartbreak’ video is going to blow your mind. You might see a cameo from someone you know and it’s going to be great. There’s also a video coming for ‘Almost More’.
Sope: So is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Bridget: Just thank you guys so much for thugging it out with me. I know it’s been a really long journey and thank you for being so patient, understanding, responsive and receptive to everything I’ve put out thus far. At the end of the day I pride myself on the idea that I don’t see myself as this untouchable and unfazed artist. I’m still a regular person and still a fan. I started out as a fan before I was an artist so I still want to be able to relate to my fans.
If you haven’t already check out Bridget’s latest single below:
Interview by Sope Soetan (@SopeSoetan)
Footage filmed and edited by Ryzard Akita (@Ryz_A)