Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Interview: Abigail Barlow & Emily Bear Talk BRIDGERTON Concept Album, Their Hopes for a BRIDGERTON Stage Musical & More!

pixeltracker

Barlow & Bear share details about creating an album with input from millions, who they would cast in a stage production of Bridgerton the Musical and more!

BWW Interview: Abigail Barlow & Emily Bear Talk BRIDGERTON Concept Album, Their Hopes for a BRIDGERTON Stage Musical & More!

When Netflix's lush, spicy period drama Bridgerton was released in December 2020, it was an instant worldwide sensation, becoming the streaming platform's most-watched series to-date. The hype surrounding the global phenomenon traveled and grew across social media platforms, finding a creative home on TikTok, in the hands of two young, talented composers - Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear.

Enthralled like the rest of the world by Netflix's hit series, the songwriting duo began writing and composing songs for a fictional Bridgerton musical. In doing so, the pair created something nearly as big as the Netflix series itself- the #bridgertonmusical hashtag currently has a whopping 210 million views.

Barlow & Bear broke new ground on the app, involving their audience in every step of the songwriting process, and have just released their highly-anticipated concept album, The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical. Consisting of 15 original songs, The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical concept album features music and lyrics by both Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, with vocals by Abigail Barlow and orchestrations and vocals by Emily Bear. Mixed by Scott Smith, the full album is produced by Emily Bear, with Joris Hoogsteder co-producing "If I Were A Man" with Bear.

For more information about Barlow & Bear and The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical concept album, please visit: https://www.barlowandbear.com/about and https://amphitheater.caa.com/barlowbear202.

We spoke with Abigail Barlow & Emily Bear about the process of creating The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical concept album, what's next for The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical and more!


How do you both feel at this moment in time, having finally reached the point where The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical concept album has been released into the world after such an incredible journey?

Abigail: It feels not real a little bit. I think both of us are still kind of processing the fact that this all sort of took place in a vacuum, in our bedrooms. We had a performance together a couple of weeks ago, and it hit us for the first time that this was bigger than we realized, and it's so exciting to see the response that our fans have had to us releasing the album, and how excited they've been for the countdown of it. To have a community that's so supportive backing you with an album release is invaluable. It's been so wonderful to have them supporting us every step of the way. So, we're excited.

Emily: I don't think either of us have ever really experienced such a positive side of social media, but it's truly been filled with the most love, the most support, and the most creativity. It still feels like a fever dream. And to look back at early January and February, seeing everybody share their voices and their creative input, it's hard to wrap my head around! Putting out an album feels different than putting out an EP or singles because it's an entire body of work, and we've poured so much time and love into this project that it's simultaneously incredibly exciting to be able to put it out, and also a little terrifying. Even though people know the music and they know the songs, it's always a little scary letting it fly into the world.

The concept of a musical being created on TikTok is a very new. What has it felt like for you both to not only create this with millions of people watching, but to create something with so many people interacting and being a part of this process with you?

Emily: We loved it. It was almost like we were workshopping instantly. Because we had everyone who would be buying the album watching us write it in real time, they told us exactly what they liked and exactly what they didn't like. And also, there were so many people that were inspired by our inspiration... we were inspired from the show, and then they took their own voice to it. People did entire choreographed dance numbers, stage designs, playbills, I mean, the amount of creativity that erupted was truly incredible to see.

Abigail: They were also really big fans of the TV show and wanted to do these characters justice, just like we did. So, having an audience's input on how we were exploring these characters in a new way was so imperative. Because they gave us things to think about that we weren't thinking about, and helped us really develop a storyline that could work on a stage potentially one day. It was so exciting to develop it with an audience and a peanut gallery. We wouldn't have it any other way.

What was the actual recording process like for you two once you got into the studio and started laying it all down?

Emily: All the orchestrations are still programmed by me, and we would, of course, have been very excited to record with an orchestra, but we're releasing it independently, and funding it ourselves. But, we did go in the studio to record all the vocals on one mic so it sounded really cohesive and beautiful.

Abigail: Being able to do all of the characters and finish this project ourselves, with each other, and release it as our staple that we put into the world, a body of work that people can come back to and see that this is the caliber of work we do together... to have that living in the world is amazing. We're really excited to tell more stories through music.

You just performed at Elsie Fest alongside some incredible Broadway stars, have you thought about, in the future, recording another version of the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical concept album with a cast of theater actors?

Emily: Oh my god, totally. I don't think putting this album out will ever close the door on that because they would live in entirely different worlds. One of the reasons why we wanted to just get this out for everyone is because so many people were following along on the journey, and if we went down a label route, it would take a year plus to get this all put together, and also, creative control would probably go out the window. There have been so many young composers and young girls who want to get into this world that have sent the most incredible messages to us over the past few months, and we kind of want to show them that, "We did this in our rooms, you can do this too, you can find success in this, all you've got to do is put yourself out there."

What comes next for The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical? Has there been talk of bringing it to the stage?

Emily: I mean, you never know... Abigail?

Abigail: That would a dream. Ultimately, we love this project for what it is, whatever it exists upon in that moment, but I don't think this closes the door to any of that, I think it only really opens it. And, you know, if Netflix wants to make a musical, they know where to find us!

What opportunities have come from this for you two, both together and separately? Career wise, creatively, what do you have in the pipeline that has come from this?

Emily: One of the most incredible things from this whole process is there have been a lot of insane opportunities that have now crossed our paths that we never would have thought in a million years we would be doing right now. And there's a lot of music that we're writing, and a lot of projects that we're so excited to be a part of that we can't talk about yet, and trust us, it's literally killing us because as you know, we love to share our process with people.

Abigail: And the funny thing is, we did this project on social media, and I think a lot of people at first were hesitant to take it seriously. But I think this project, and how it was created and how it was shared with our audience, sort of gave us legitimacy in a field that we really want to go in to and be a part of, and I think that's really brilliant that the power of TikTok allowed us to do what we love for a living every day and tell more stories. So, we're so grateful to be a part of that movement online.

Emily: Abigail and I started writing together a few years ago, and I can't even tell you the amount of times that individually and together we have been not taken seriously, and underappreciated, and it's really frustrating as a woman, and a person in general. No one wants to be not taken seriously, and I think TikTok is incredible for creators, it gives them a voice, and no matter if you have 10 followers or 100, you can reach millions of people instantly and it's truly an incredible place to show off what you've got.

Abigail: It values talent, which we love.

Do you have any upcoming performances where you'll be performing the songs from The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical?

Emily: We're playing at the Kennedy Center, which, I don't think we're going to believe is happening until we're on the stage playing, and I'm going to be like, "Okay, that's happening!" But, there's that, and we have a few other performances tied to the release that we're really excited about. And then, who knows! We have some stuff cooking up.

If you had to dream cast a stage production of Bridgerton the Musical, who would you cast?

Emily: Honestly, after playing with Betsy Wolfe [at Elsie Fest] both of us... I mean, Abigail literally burst into tears the first time we heard her sing "Balancing The Scales", she has to play Lady Bridgerton.

Abigail: Absolutely, I concur.

Emily: And then, Joshua Henry maybe for Simon. And I feel like Patina Miller would crush it as the Queen. And then maybe Cynthia Erivo as Lady Danbury.

Abigail: Okay Emily, we're having the same dream cast in our brain right now!

Emily: And then Abigail has to be Daphne. But if she decides that she wants to do Eloise for a run, then Christy Altomare for Daphne.


Listen to the album below!

Photo credit: Igor Kasyanyuk


Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

From This Author Chloe Rabinowitz