Who is Bridgewater?
The husband and wife duo of J. Bridge and Kristina Witta K are making noise not only in the DFW, but within CHH. Bridgewater was named on 2019’s “Next Up” list by DJ Jeremaya of Trackstarz.
“We were so excited and beyond humbled to be mentioned with our CHH peers. That add just reminds us that God sees our daily struggles and how we are trying to be faithful to make music that draws people to Him. We know the Trackstarz family is putting in diligent daily work to share the creativity and gifts to the world that God has put in us and our fellow artists. So to be listed in that dope playlist is an unexpected blessing.”
To understand and appreciate the ministry of Bridgewater, getting some background certainly helps. J. Bridge explained it to FiveTwenty like this:
“I’m from New Orleans and was raised as an army brat. My wife Kristina was born in Los Angeles but was raised in Waco, TX. We met in acting school here in Dallas and became friends, then got married. We have six children, so doing this ministry takes a lot of planning and sacrifices on our end.”
“We both have a unique background and testimony that kind of helped us connect with each other. We started doing secular music initially. It was clean music, but not glorifying God. We met a top producer at one of our shows and he liked our music a lot. God used him to redirect us by telling us that we were supposed to be making Christian music. So we totally shifted gears and I began to write and produce a new sound for us.”
“We had a different band name at the time, Praise City, and we saw God began to show us, through new doors opening and new opportunities, that this was the path He designed for us.”
Working as Praise City, the duo developed and improved their sound. God then let them know it was time for another change.
“Fast forward to the past few years, God essentially told us to change our name and we have a new management team who confirmed the name change that God told us. We are now known as Bridgewater.”
“We love the fact that God is using us to encourage others through our music, which encourages us to keep trusting Him in everything. We are two dreamers who decided to take a leap of faith and God has been meeting us at every rest stop. He’s been molding us and making us into people we never thought we could become.”
Rebranding is never an easy decision, even when you feel God leading you to do so. In such a situation, the name change typically has a significant meaning. That was the case for Bridgewater.
“It has several meanings. We try to bridge new styles and genres together with a seamless fluidity. Most artists have one type of style that defines them, if I’m a rapper then I’m gonna rap and it’s trap all day long, we like to throw a few curveballs in there that make you think. For example, at the beginning of our new single “Levelz” we added the old school church deacon praying the Lord’s prayer, or we might do something more melodic with a really dope singer or church choir sound. Music is music to us.”
“In addition, we felt Bridgewater would also speak to the unchurched as well. We didn’t want a name that would box us in. Also, our last name is actually Bridgewater.”
With the release of “Levelz” and the inclusion on the “Next Up” list, 2019 is off to a good start but it is early. There is sure to be plenty more from Bridgewater.
“Levelz…lol…new levels! We just wrapped up our video of our single “Levelz”. We have also been in the studio for the greater part of last year just creating new music that is now ready to be released.”
“We will release some singles through the spring and pair them with our first album in late summer. We are pursuing more speaking engagements, conferences, and more live performances. We are starting to collaborate with other artists and we want to do more of that. Our vision is to reach multiple genres and age ranges, sharing our life story through our music. God is pressing on us to not be anxious, to really go deeper and tell about the highs and lows that we have experienced while pursuing His purpose for our lives.”
“We are excited for all of the blessings He keeps giving us in the most unexpected ways and through people He is placing in our path.”
Every artist has at least one thing that inspires them to do what they do. It inspires them to create even when the return may not balance with the cost. For Bridgewater, it is not the typical motivation to keep working on their music career.
“We don’t want to just be another artist on playlists and on the stage. We are really on fire about souls getting saved, life changes being made, and we want our music to be a catalyst to spark that true change.”
“In the summertime, we take our kiddos out and we do street ministry in our community. We are excited when God uses us to minister to people we don’t know and we want to continue to do that through our music as well. We have had people tell us how our music has encouraged them and it helps us to keep pushing forward in this ministry. It’s hard some days balancing our family, jobs, performing, and still writing new music, but by hearing that we are adding joy to someone’s life makes all the hard work worth it.”
Bridgewater is setting an example, not only for other artists in CHH, but for their children as well.
“It’s truly family time for us. Our kiddos are right there beside us being bold at a young age by sharing the message of Christ. Kristina and I have individually paused and sealed those images in our memory that our children are truly trying to live like Christ. They are with us and seem to be comfortable hanging out with the people who don’t go to church, listen to trap music, and [still] be completely unashamed of being a Christian, willing to be used by God. Those are some of the most priceless moment for us.”
Bridgewater’s sound stands out among the current trends at the forefront of the culture. How do they view the current landscape of CHH and how do they see themselves within it?
“It’s evolving each day it seems. We love to see so many other indie artists getting in the game and making music that draws in those who need to connect the familiarity of the mainstream hip hop industry with a relatable, Godly message. We are loving the collaborations. It has inspired us to connect with our peers and do the same.”
“Having a wife who raps and writes, I do hope the major labels begin to add more females to their rosters. There are too many good ones out here that don’t get the same attention/platform as us guys.”
That last sentiment is not an uncommon one within CHH. In a culture that should be the most open to artists of any gender, it has still been tough for female emcees to break through. Why?
“Our initial thought is maybe the demographic of listeners is a factor. Our management team has been recently studying the streaming/purchase analytics for our listeners and they observed that across all digital platforms, for the CHH genre of music, men are the primary listening base. We think it is “the norm” to see more male rappers.”
“The same is true on the mainstream hip hop side. With the exception of recent breakouts like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, etc. In relation to CHH, if all the major labels intentionally work to add more female emcees to their roster, that would create a culture change and make other women, who maybe weren’t comfortable entering the CHH sphere because of limited representation, step out and let their messages be heard. It could spark a true change in the variety of artists, new trends would appear, and the younger girls would have women to inspire them to follow their call in music. We know there are some labels already doing this with artists, but there should be more.”
With their hands in several different pots, and looking to make an impact in many areas, Bridge water has one message at the heart of whatever it is they are doing.
“We do this as ministry.”
“[It’s] not for fame, attention, or financial gain. We want people to hear our heart for Christ. We want people to listen beyond the cool beats and hear the lyrics we write to help push them closer to God. We want to help progress the mission of CHH so that it has as many radio stations as Gospel, CCM, and other mainstream music.”
Be sure to check out Bridgewater’s newest single “Levelz” and its visual.
Keep an eye out as they drop new material throughout 2019. You can also find them on our Artists page and learn how to follow and support their ministry.