Up Close and Personal with Jessie Bridges

Jessie Bridges InterviewI recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jessie Bridges. She is a talented young singer and the daughter of famous actor, Jeff Bridges. The first time I saw her was when she opened for The Abiders concert at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. She had exceptional stage presence, had real heart and soul in her songs. She captivated the audience with the songs she wrote herself and performed. At the end of her performance, Jessie mentioned that she is very friendly and loves to hug.  In fact, she offered to talk to the audience after the show, hug included. When I talked to her, I felt like I was just talking to one of my girlfriends. She was indeed very friendly and modest.

After chatting with Jessie, I asked her if she wanted to be featured in my blog and right then and there she said, “I love interviews.” So we started communicating through Facebook and I set an interview time with her.  Interviewing Jessie Bridges was one of the most fun interviews I have had.

Jessie, the middle one of the siblings, graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in Communications Studies in 2006. Her older sister is a yoga teacher and the youngest one is an Interior Designer. She moved to San Francisco after college and over the years she decided to head east to Oakland. She’s been there ever since.

I started with the question about her childhood.

POPBUFF: You grew up with Hollywood royalty, Beau Bridges, Lloyd Bridges and Jeff Bridges. How would you describe your childhood?
JESSIE: My childhood was actually fairly normal. I don’t think that I realized that my family was any different than anyone else’s. I didn’t know anything other than what I was born into. I guess the way it was different is everything was a little bit more dramatic like during family get-togethers and holidays and stuff. We would always put on shows and plays and there be lots of singing and dancing and stuff like that.

POPBUFF: How and when did you learn playing the guitar?
JESSIE: I learned to play the guitar when I was around 13 or 14. My dad actually taught me. He got me my first guitar. And I grew up listening to all of the music that my parents listen to back in the ’60s and ’70s. So I would say kinda old school rock and roll is a heavy influence of mine. And I began to improve my skill…my dad and I would jam together, we’d sing, hang out and it’s really fun.

POPBUFF: So how would you describe your genre?
JESSIE: That’s a tough question for me because when I’m doing my kinda solo stuff or if I’m being accompanied by somebody on guitar it tends to come across more as like folky kinda singer-songwriter-ish and then for my album it’s more like Americana and Indie Rock.

POPBUFF: You were so natural on stage and your voice is amazing, is this the career path you chose?
JESSIE: So funny because I graduated and moved to San Francisco not knowing what I was gonna do and I ended up working for a radio station up here and then I decided I want to go to Culinary school. So I went to Culinary school and I worked in the kitchen and then I ended up working for a chocolatier on the sales side. And then my dad actually asked me to be his assistant on some movies so I did that for a few years and then I realized that the movie thing is not the right fit for me. I started to my music more and it happened in a really organic way. It didn’t feel like premeditated or like I forced myself into making a decision. It was actually in Vancouver… we were working on a movie and I decided to go in the studio and record a song that I have written while we were up there and that one song ended up kinda triggering the entire album. And so, like I said it was organic and not premeditated and I had no idea that this is the path I was gonna take. People have been telling me for years “Jessie, why don’t you do your music?” And I think I resisted it to be honest because coming from a famous family, there’s a lot of expectations and you know, just assumptions attached to my last name and I didn’t really wanna fill those shoes. But now I realized there’s nothing else I’d rather do. I love it so much.

POPBUFF: What about the acting bug? Do you want to go into acting later on?
JESSIE: No. You know my dad he’s never really encouraged us or discouraged us from doing it and I think that it comes pretty naturally to me. It’s just not something that I’m super passionate about. It’s never really been anything that I wanted to pursue.

POPBUFF: What is your favorite Jeff Bridges movie?
JESSIE: Hmmm. It’s so weird because I can’t watch my dad’s movies like regular movies because I see him. It’s really hard for me to detach the fact that my dad is playing a character so I’ll have to say that my favorite movie that he’s done were movies I’ve worked on just because I had so many fun memories of our experiences together and so when I go back and I watch them I see a scene and I’m like “Oh my gosh that was that day I remember that.” So it’s more of that kind of experience.

POPBUFF: And what movie was that?
JESSIE: Well, I started out, we did “True Grit” together and then we worked on the movie called “R.I.P.D.” and then the last movie we worked on was called “Seventh Son” which has not come out yet.

POPBUFF: So, do you regularly tour with The Abiders?
JESSIE: I opened for them last summer and it was amazing. That was my first tour. I played my own shows all over the place as well. I really like opening for them. I mean I love the band. They are so incredible. It was so much fun. They are so talented. I’m really excited to play with them.

POPBUFF:  Aside from The Abiders,  who else is your favorite band?
JESSIE: It’s always gonna be The Beatles, can’t get away from that. But lately, “who I’ve been listening to lately?”, I listen to a lot of old stuff to be honest. I’m a big Wilco fan and I love them.

POPBUFF: How do you see yourself 10 years from now?
JESSIE: That is a good question. Definitely keep doing my music and be involved in philanthropy. Be part of different fund raising events where music can be a way to bring attention to different causes. So hopefully something like that. And I also have this fantasy with my culinary background of opening a cafe that is also a music venue.

POPBUFF: During your downtime what do you like to do?
JESSIE: Well I have an adorable puppy. Her name is Banjo.She’s a Taiwanese Shephered dog mix, 14 months old . She definitely keeps me quite busy. I am also an outdoor enthusiast. I love hiking and backpacking and camping and all that stuff. Of course I love cooking. Being in the bay area there are so many things at my fingertips that I get to engage in. Pretty much the opportunities are endless.

POPBUFF: Any projects coming up?
JESSIE: I’ve been in the studio and recorded two singles which I’m hoping to release. And I’m opening for my dad… two shows in Vegas in June. Other than that continue to go in the studio once I get more materials together and put some tunes.

POPBUFF: Any words for the fans
JESSIE: I love to encourage people to do what they love and what they’re most passionate about. I feel very blessed to be able to share my music and my vulnerability with the world and I hope that I get to continue doing that and I appreciate all the support that I’ve gotten up until this point.

Jessie Bridges Singer Songwriter

Jessie Bridges and Jeff Bridges

Jessie Bridges and dad Jeff Bridges
Jessie Bridges performing at San Juan Capistrano

Jessie Bridges and The Abiders

Popbuff blogger Ruchel Freibrun and Jessie Bridges


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