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Bridget Kelly Takes a Break From Writing Songs for Debut LP

Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images

Sometimes it’s good to step away from your craft in order to gain some perspective. That’s the blueprint Grammy Award-winning songwriter Bridget Kelly is following for her Roc Nation debut LP.

At the ASCAP/BET Music Matters show in Austin on Thursday (March 14), Kelly told TheDrop.fm that she couldn’t imagine writing for herself on her first album. “I didn’t write at all for myself on this project,” she says, “I went in with all the writers that I knew would be able to figure out exactly what I wanted to say, keep it real simple, have a conversation and then move on from there.”

“For me, being a writer,” she continues, “It’s always easier to interpret what someone else wants to say but then when you’re your own worst critic, it’s harder to put words down on paper and be like, ‘Yeah, that s— is hot!’ It’s different when someone else says, ‘That’s dope,’ as opposed to you patting yourself on the back and nobody agrees with you,” she says, laughing.

Even with a Grammy Award sitting comfortably somewhere at her place, Kelly seems anxious while describing the process behind creating her as yet untitled debut. She admits that there have been a few setbacks in forming the body of work but says that she and her team are hoping for a late summer release. “It’s been a labor of love,” she says with a sigh.

As tough as it may have been to discuss finishing up the LP, the songstress cringes when asked about the last time she picked up a pen. “I did in the beginning,” Kelly says reluctantly, “I didn’t take a whole lot of time to perfect the writing craft just because I’ve been so busy doing the artist thing that I kinda let my writing fall by the wayside a little bit last year.”

“Winning the Grammy for writing before my album is even out is a pretty big deal for me. I think it kind of fueled the fire and made me hone in and focus.”

With her lead single, ‘Special Delivery’ featuring Kendrick Lamar climbing the charts, Kelly has her fans excited to hear whatever she has coming, whether she pens the tracks or not.

The ‘Every Girl’ creator has been spending countless days on the road, visiting secondary radio markets in small towns and getting the chance to meet her fans face-to-face. She says besides singing, this was the best part of her past year. “That’s been the most fun thing for me because I get to meet fans that already exist,” she gushes. “Who I didn’t even think knew who I was or knew my music and then also make new fans at the same time.”

A part of the appeal with Kelly must be the way she approaches R&B. The 26-year-old is a tough girl with a vulnerable side that peeks out every now and then. When asked if she’s ever considered rapping for a living, the chanteuse says it’s a question that she hears all the time. “When I say I’m a recording artist,” she says, eyebrows raised, “They’re immediately like, ‘Well, you’ve got to be a rapper.’ And I’m like, ‘What about me gives off ‘rapper?””

“I talk with my hands,” she reasons. “I wear a lot of jewelry, my nails are sharp, I have a deep, raspy voice and everyone just assumes, ‘Oh, you’ve gotta be a rapper.’”

If the singer had her choice in the matter, she would be in a wetsuit if she wasn’t onstage performing. “If I wasn’t doing music, I’d probably be a marine biologist,” Bridget Kelly reveals. “I love animals. I’m a nerd. When I’m at home? I’m watching ‘Animal Planet,’ Nat Geo and Discovery Channel.”

Watch Bridget Kelly’s ‘Special Delivery’ Video

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