Bridgit Mendler releases her new EP – the compulsive collection of left-of-center pop tunes called Nemesis – this week on Black Box Records. The collection is a surprising step in the evolution of an artist who many people will know from her appearances on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place. This EP is a solid step forward for an artist who appears to making a departure from her formative years as a child star.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Bridgit ahead of releasing the new tunes to discuss Nemesis, her hopes for her new route into music, and how to bring a sense of community to the world.
Where are you right now?
In a coffee shop in Los Feliz.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
I worked with my two producers: Book and Bastian in Bastian’s apartment in Echo Park. It is all inspired by events in my life over the past year. I took liberties in telling my stories my way, and I’m excited to share these ear candies with fans now! So yes, candy is involved 🙂
How do you describe your music to new friends?
I try to summarize it with a rambling combination of genres. So I would best describe it as my stories told in my style. I hope they connect with people.
Other than you, what should your hometown be known for?
My hometown has attracted everyone from legendary music hippies to the new wave of tech because of its giant trees. Redwoods offer a shady canopy and fog clouds give you a big hug.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you.
I see a surplus of sun dried tomatoes. Usually I am wishing I had more but today there are too many!
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
Music has always been the way that I process emotions. Because if it’s own personal satisfaction, I didn’t initially think of making it into a career. Once I worked with Disney, I shared my music with them and they gave me opportunities to perform, and once I did that, I was hooked and knew that I not only loved writing songs, but performing them as well.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Be able to separate critical success from personal success. Never discredit a song that is important to you just because other people don’t like it. As well, it is a gift to share your music with people and it is exciting to see people connect with it in ways you could have never anticipated.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
Bob Dylan for sure would be fun to have. He’s such an enigma to me, so I’d love to see him up close. Him and my pal Machel Montano because his life is a concert. He is music in human form and it is always inspiring and entertaining.
What song best sums up your life right now?
“I Want Candy”: Aaron Carter because I badly want candy right now. Ever since you mentioned it.
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
The best reaction is when people tell me they relate to what I’m talking about in Atlantis. First I was afraid that people wouldn’t be able to tell what I’m talking about because it’s pretty abstract, and then I was afraid that people wouldn’t like what I’m saying because being numb after the end of a relationship isn’t exactly an appealing emotion to write about. To hear that other people are resonating with the song makes the world feel small 🙂
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
My hope would be that I would feel more community. I want to feel community in my neighborhood, amongst creative people I’m inspired by, and with my fans. I want to have epic jam nights at my house.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
My next step is to make a great jam night party playlist.