NEXT UP: Kay Bridges
Origin: Miami, Florida
We were lucky enough to get in the studio with Kay Bridges and capture her in the action. She previewed us two upcoming songs throughout the interview that will be released in mid-May. Below we feature one of them! Read the full interview here:
Let's get started. Who is Kay Bridges?
I'm a singer/songwriter from Miami, Hispanic, I don't even know this, that question always kind of like mindful to me cause I don't even know what to. I dabble in everything. I could sit here and tell you all the things I could do.
What pushed you to make music in the first place? So I've been singing since I was a kid. Growing up, I was always singing at home, at school for performances, all throughout high school. I was always covering the national anthem. And once I graduated high school, I went to a technical school for radio and TV. I was always writing things here and there, but that's when I actually started writing down on my computer and putting together songs. I was working at the Eden Rock at the time and I met a producer friend of mine, Ray Ali, and he gave me some of my first beats to record my EP on SoundCloud. I recorded it at school. I chopped it up. I sent it to him. I put them out on SoundCloud with no marketing, no nothing, no promo, no idea of how to actually set it up. After that, I started learning my way around the industry and how I can get my own music out there without having to go through a label.
So I know about the story about how you once ended up on Despierta America. How did that manifest?
This is a dope story. First of all, this was my first time recording vocals for a track. They were background vocals and it was basically a supporting element in the song. It was a big part of the song. They wanted me to go to every performance. It was a Spanish group. They don't really sing together anymore. One of them still does his own tracks. His name is Thiago, but together they were Fede y Thiago. I haven't really kept up with them because I changed my name after that. I used to go under a different name and everything. My mom introduced them to me cause they lived in a building that she managed. She was like, "Oh my daughter sings" and we met at a Starbucks and they were like, okay, we want you to jump on board. We did the track, we recorded it, and we did a couple of performances on live TV, and then one of them was Despierta America.
How was the experience being on live TV?
I was a junior in high school so I was 17 on live TV. It was pretty dope. I've always been super grateful for them. They taught me a lot. When they first spoke to me about it, they mentioned they had a demo already. So some of the things I came up with, but they already had a general concept of a song. It was another gentleman who had written it. So when you write songs for other people, you have to record a demo with it so they can follow along to what you wrote in the same cadence. So they had this demo and there was another woman's voice that was on a demo, but they just said that her appearance wasn't what they were looking for. They wanted someone else to do it. At that age, I was just kinda like damn. You always know that the industry is very superficial and vain, but it was very real at the moment when they were telling me but I met a lot of people. It's crazy. We were actually there on the last day of the Don Francisco show. That same day. I didn't meet him, but I know it was the last day of their taping.
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
My mom came from Cuba when she was 12. I know for sure she went to Booker T Washington (high school) here in Miami so she knows perfect English. Growing up, we always had par 96 or like 99 jams. I grew up on a lot of Usher and Chris Brown. I only listened to the radio growing up. Shakira, the old school Spanish joints. If I had to pick three, Shakira, Usher, and Chris Brown. Now, it's a lot of Drake. I've always loved Ariana Grande's voice, young Whitney Houston or Aretha Frank. And then I was in high school, I did jazz band too, so I'm like that.
How has the jazz band impacted you now?
It's funny because my band director was very strict and old school. My band director was the drummer to Frank Sinatra Jr. We used to make fun of him and say he was present when sound was created. He always had a very unimpressed face. I wouldn't be singing and rehearsing something and I would think I'm doing fabulous. And he's just sitting there like no. He was very strict and that kind of disciplined me in certain ways. It's taught me a lot. I also have always loved jazz. I've always loved live instruments. I've loved the whole process of what it takes. I even played the violin in elementary school. What it takes to put together an orchestra, to put together an ensemble and make it sound like one whole song like it's incredible. I've always loved performing with a live band. Performing with a live band is a craft in itself. To learn how to work with people who play instruments. I'm a conductor, so it taught me a lot. It teaches you a lot about that aspect of performing.
Now, the part that you've all been waiting for. The preview:
What are you currently listening to?
Aside from the Drake and Tory Lanez, I've been old school, Those old school tracks have a special place in my heart, Janat Jackson, you always gotta have. That mashed up Ariana Grande on Doja Cat's beat bro. The fact that it goes so beautifully. It blows my mind like those two tracks. I'm a big fan of both artists and it's such an uplifting vibe.
Don't forget to check out Kay Bridges on Instagram!
Photos by La Reinarde.