Bradley Bridges is a contemporary solo gospel singer and songwriter from Rayville who’s just released his first gospel album, “Set me Free.”
Bridges is an Air Force Reserve veteran and an assistant vice president at Cross Keys Bank in West Monroe. His start with music and guitar started nine years ago. Upon going to Nashville to pursue a professional singer-songwriting career, he says he found God.
“I turned my back on secular music and the bar scene [in Nashville] and just left that whole scene,” Bridges said. “I said, ‘you know, it’s a better life for me than just wasting my life away at a bar.’ And so I left that scene, but I didn’t really have the intention to go play Christian music, per se, as far as writing and doing what I’m doing now. I didn’t even think I was going to be in a worship band at that point when I first got saved …”
“Set Me Free” was released on Feb. 14.
Bridges’ wrote all five tracks on his album. The EP is artfully infused with tones that are soulfully upbeat, soft and prayerful and high energy.
“It depends on the song, but my main goal is to encourage people with a message of hope and a message that points them back to Christ,” says Bridges.
In addition to his new EP, Bridges also has official music videos to accompany two tracks of the five tracks on “Set Me Free.”
With “Set Me Free” out and available on Pandora, Spotify and other digital and social media platforms, Bridges recently released a new single called “The Prodigal” and is constantly working on new music. Recently, Bridges took time out to speak with The Times about his new album.
The Times: I know you were in Nashville and that’s where the change from secular to Christian happened, but, what motivates you to continue to write music and continue on the journey that you’ve set for yourself?
Bradley Bridges: Well, to be honest, I don’t feel like it’s a journey that I’ve set for myself. I really feel like it’s a journey that I’ve been called to. And I feel like God has given me these gifts and this talent, and I’m just exploiting what I’ve been given to establish a platform and to share a message of hope and point people back to Jesus and back to the word of God. That’s what this deal with Christ Church Music is, we’re establishing a platform, and of course, we’re using music to do this, to establish that platform. And from that platform, we hope to share the gospel from it. And so, music is just a stepping stone to where we’re trying to go and what we’re trying to do. I mean, the ultimate goal of what we’re trying to do is share the gospel, and so music is merely the bait to establish a platform to share the gospel. … And that’s what I’m hoping the music is doing.
TT: What do you think makes you stand out from other contemporary Christian artists?
BB: I’m an independent Christian singer/songwriter, so, what you see is what you get. I pride myself on being authentic and being transparent. There’s no label or anybody with any money tied to me telling me what I have to look like, how I have to dress, what I have to say. I think what you get with my music are the struggles that I’ve been through in life and songwriting has always been an outlet for me, an outward expression of what’s going on internally. I think it’s a place where I express how I feel and the songs set me free, which is, of course, the title track for “Set Me Free.” It’s just the reality of being a Christian and a human being in general. We’re born with a selfish spirit about us, and I don’t know if you’ve heard that song, but the chorus is: Set me free, set me free from me, Jesus my King. And I feel like, in that song, it highlights one of our biggest struggles and certainly one of my biggest struggles which is getting myself out of the way to allow God to move and to work and not making it about me.
TT: Through your music, what emotions or ideas or encouragement are you trying to display to your fans and new listeners?
BB: I wasn’t writing with a mindset of ‘I’m writing it to record an EP’ I was just writing. So there wasn’t any kind of forethought of ‘well I’m going to write this to communicate this to the audience, and these will all be songs that speak this one overarching message.’ Really, most of these songs came from a struggle I was in at that time, or that I had gone through. “Bleed” was the first song that I wrote on the EP and it’s more of a figurative way of saying, “I’m going to kill my cost and follow you, God.” I always say before I sing it that this was my agreement, my understanding with God. The first verse is: “Down with this life, up with the cross.” It’s cool to go back and listen to because now it mirrors my growth in the Lord all the way up to “Set me Free.” That was the final song that I wrote that’s on the EP or one of the last songs. It has a mature message to it, of recognizing that I’m my own worst enemy and our selfishness is probably enemy number one. So it’s that plea to set me free from me so, to say in short to answer your question, ‘What am I trying to communicate or what emotion was I trying to communicate to my audience,’ I guess, you know, that it’s okay, to be honest with yourself and transparent and, to be honest with where you’re at with your relationship to God.
TT: If you could speak to your audience right now what would you say?
BB: I would just tell them what I’ve already said: it’s okay to be transparent, it’s okay, to be honest with how you feel towards God and God loves them. These songs are a message of truth and hope that I hope points them back to the word of God.