Bridget Swift and Dahlia Waller’s lives may end up going in different directions, but the young Corner Brook women are certain of one thing – music and performing together is something they’ll continue to do.
Swift, 18, and Waller, 17, the duo known as Bridget & Dahlia are getting set to release their debut album, “Runaways,” on Aug. 1.
They met when they were in Grade 6 in Theatre Newfoundland Labrador’s youth program.
Waller was a theatre kid who loved performing, but was shy about singing. Swift was more of music kid and wasn’t.
“For some reason singing felt different,” said Waller. “Because when you’re singing you’re so vulnerable, versus like theatre (where) you’re pretending to be someone else, so it’s like you’re not really you up there. But singing is just like all that you have you’re putting it out there.” And that made Waller nervous of what the reaction would be.
When they were in Grade 8 Swift convinced Waller to sing with her in a music conference.
From there things took off for the young women who sing mostly original material, a range from folk to alternative, with the occasional cover song. There were more performances, a win at the Statoil Newfound Talent Contest and the release of two songs.
The album came to be after they were approached by producer and artist Steve Maloney following a Music NL performance in St. John’s in 2017.
It includes songs they’ve written either together and on their own.
Swift has been writing since she was nine.
“Not that there was anything good when I was nine,” she laughed, adding "some real gems.”
Waller has also written for a while, but said she never knew what she was writing could be considered songs. To her she was writing stories.
The young women have similar writing styles and agree being close friends helps makes things easier. They can be brutally honest with each other and still have respect for one another.
Getting the album to the point that it’s ready for launch was a long process.
They recorded their parts more than a year ago and up to recently had only glimpses of what was happening.
Now with the CDs in their hands they are anxiously awaiting the release show at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook on Aug. 1 to share it with everyone.
That night they’ll get to perform the songs with a full band that will be made of up friends Harry Callahan, Rachel Bradbury and Noah Hamilton.
For them the hardest part of the process is happening now when it comes to promoting the album – self-advertising.
“The whole social media aspect of music which is really growing nowadays,” said Swift. "And you can’t just have good music that you can give to people, you have to like put it out there and you have to have a really big social presence which we are not great at.”
After the release show, Swift and Waller will continue a tour they started in July with performances at the Harbourside Park and the LSPU Hall in St. John’s on Aug. 9 and in Cape St. Mary’s on Aug. 31.
When September rolls around they’ll be switching focus a bit back to their education.
They both graduated from Corner Brook Regional High in June and Swift will be enrolling at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland with plans to study psychology.
Waller’s long-term plan is to study musical theatre, but will stay in Corner Brook for the next year to do some electives.
“That gives us also the possibility to continue to work with music since we’ll be in the same city. I think we’ll always still do music no matter what we’re studying,” said Waller.
“We’re not going to stop playing music ever. As long as we’re in Corner Brook together we’re going to keep doing shows,” said Swift.
“I’m sure every time you come back from Toronto and we’re here, we’re going to do more shows,” she said looking towards Waller, who was in total agreement.