Fans of Bridgit Mendler already know she’s a terrific singer. After all, the star of the Disney Channel original series “Good Luck Charlie” sings the show’s theme song, and has sung in lead roles of Disney original films like “Lemonade Mouth.” But she’s no newcomer. Bridgit has been writing songs since age 6, and in recent years has made songwriting a daily habit. All that discipline paid off because, with her debut Hollywood Records album nearly done and a premiere single set to drop, Bridgit Mendler is about to rock the world with her vocal talent.
And wouldn’t you know it, her debut single is called “Ready or Not.” Produced by Emanuel “Eman” Kiriakou and Evan “Kidd” Bogart, and co-written by Bridgit, the single tells a tale of discovering someone special on one special night, but it also sums up Bridgit’s approach to life. “I wanted to write something that was empowering for girls,” she says of the track. “I consider myself to have been that girl sitting on the curb waiting for the world to notice.”
Bridgit’s album reveals a surprisingly mature artist. She co-wrote each song because she wanted to work with A-list writer-producers, and learn from the best. “I’ve been writing songs a long time, but I felt co-writing would be a good way to get my footing,” Bridgit notes. “Working with different producers was great because I was able to articulate what I wanted, and we got a cool variety on the album.”
In addition to Emanuel “Eman” Kiriakou and Evan “Kidd” Bogart, producer/writers she worked with include Priscilla Renea, Dan Pringle & Leah Haywood, Andrew Goldstein, Jai Marlon and Freddy Wexler, all of whom helped Bridgit get that solid footing. But Bridgit’s own inerrant feel for fun, funky pop stands front and center in her music. With its syncopated beats and high-top harmonies, “Hurricane” is Bridgit’s hip-hop flavored look at a stormy relationship. “Blonde” is an equally clever meet-cute tale that makes fun of all those stereotypes about blondes (hint: Bridgit’s blonde).
Bridgit shows a more reflective side on “Love Will Tell Us” and “5:15,” an uptempo ballad about waiting for something good to happen in a relationship, though the clock is ticking loudly. “It’s kind of a melancholy song,” she says. “It’s the idea that people get stuck in various scenarios. A girl is completely fed up with this guy but ends up making excuses for him.” And then there’s “I Forget to Laugh,” a contemporary cautionary tale about getting revenge on the guy that crossed her one time too many.
That’s not likely to happen in real life. Turns our Bridgit Mendler is one of those stars who really is as kind and personable as she seems.
Born in Washington, D.C., Bridgit moved with her family to the Northern California town of Mill Valley when she was eight years old. By the time she began middle school, she was deep into artists and bands that ultimately influenced her: from Maroon 5 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to Ingrid Michaelson, Feist and Destiny’s Child. She also had started acting, first in local productions and, later, in Los Angeles, where the young teen headed to pursue a career. She landed early roles in soap operas and films before Disney discovered her, giving her guest roles in shows like “Jonas” and “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
Bridgit’s big break came when she was cast as Teddy in the series “Good Luck Charlie,” which debuted on the Disney Channel in 2010. Her role as the protective big sister of baby Charlie catapulted Bridgit to stardom in the Disney world and beyond. She juggled work on the series with lead roles in “Lemonade Mouth,” guest-starring roles in shows like “House,” and voicing the title character in the hit Walt Disney Pictures animated film, “The Secret World of Arrietty.”
None of that distracted her from her core love of music. She kept a guitar close by at all times, and really did write a song a day as a way of keeping herself focused. “It wound up being a really fun challenge,” she says. “I have funky R&B tendencies when I write by myself. I really love doo-wop and a jazzy swing beat. Rhythm is a big emphasis in my own writing.”
With her new band, Bridgit has already started playing live gigs, with more touring scheduled later in 2013. As if that weren’t enough, she’s got season four of “Good Luck Charlie” in production, and the super-bright 20-year-old has launched her college education at USC. There, she says, she wants to learn “how the world works.”
But this born musician has one overriding goal for her life now, and that’s musical success. With her gifts of songwriting and singing, she will certainly reach her goal.
“I once was told that listening to a good song is like coming home to a place you’ve never been.” Bridgit says. “Music has the ability to impact people in such a strong way. It’s such an important job, and for me it’s the most gratifying thing.”