When Bridget Kelly stepped on stage to perform in front of an audience for the very first time, it was none other than Madison Square Garden in New York City. While some artists wait their entire career to make it there, Bridget started out at the top. Standing alongside Jay-Z, the Roc Nation artist belted her heart out to the hook of “Empire State Of Mind” which she now frequently performs alongside Hov when Alicia Keys is not available. Bridget tells BET.com that it was a moment she’ll never forget.
“There were so many feelings that went along with that show. It makes me cry [talking about it],” says Bridget, from her phone while in Los Angeles. “That was my starting point. That’s the stage that you want to get to, and I got [there]. [Jay] trusted me to do it. That is my driving force.”
Madison Square Garden may seem out of reach for someone who hasn’t even dropped an album, but those are the perks that go along with being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. “The amazing thing is that an as artist you have a direct line to the people who run the company. Being with Jay and Ty Ty, they always reiterate to us is that we’re partners. It makes it easier to know that you have people on your team that you are fighting with it daily.”
Bridget Kelly grew up in Manhattan, and spent her high school years honing her talent at LaGuardia High School Of Music & Art and Performing Arts, otherwise known as the Fame school. The 25-year old recently relocated to Los Angeles to finish up her still untitled debut EP. “It’s very honest,” Bridget says about the project. “I think a lot of music that I’ve been doing has been telling my story from a very unapologetic place. I don’t have any reservations about saying how I feel. The last two years have been amazing for me, a lot of personal growth. This album is a body of work, explaining what I’ve gone through in the past year.”
For her first single “Thinking About You,” Bridget chose an acoustic ballad that shows her vocal range, and—through the lyrics—her vulnerability. “I just felt like this song was thought provoking. That’s refreshing to hear something that’s conceptually a lot deeper [than the music out now]. The song was simple, without being dumb. As an introduction to me, it was enough to give people a taste of what my album was like.”
Roc Nation pulled out the bigwigs for Bridget’s debut, enlisting writers such as Frank Ocean, the-Dream and Ne-Yo to work with the singer. Bridget says that although she didn't personally pen the songs, the album comes from a real place as she contributed to the writing process. “I’m new with the songwriting game, it’s not something that I’m 110% confident about. It’s a work in progress. I wanted to go in with writers that would be able to get me and come up with a storyline that was completely mine. Writers that I knew I could go in with and they would be able to feed off my energy, my vibe and my past,” she says.
So what is her story? It’s one that other females can relate to. “My story is I’ve been hurt, I’ve been heartboken, I’ve made sacrifices to get to where I’m at. I have a very strong spiritual life. I worked really hard to get here. My dad was my main supporter and when he passed away, I almost quit. This is what I love. There is nothing else than I’ve ever been sure about except this. To try and take me seriously, and not think I’m nuts, that’s the story I’m story I’m telling.”
(Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)