Musical theater on TikTok has become the latest viral trend, in part thanks to Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear. The music duo took the social media platform by storm after releasing songs they'd written and composed based on Netflix's "biggest series ever," Bridgerton.
"What if Bridgerton was a musical?" Abigail and Emily asked themselves. After writing and composing viral hits such as "Oceans Away" and "I Burn For You," Abigail, 22, and Emily, 19, felt inspired by the fan feedback and composed and produced 15 songs based on the characters and scenes from the popular Netflix drama.
Distractify spoke with the young artists about what's next for Bridgerton: The Musical, including if their lyrics and/or scores could end up in Season 2 of the hit series.
The 'Bridgerton: The Musical' creators dish on their writing process and tease upcoming projects.
After binge-watching Season 1 of Bridgerton, Abigail felt inspired by the dialogue and called up her friend Emily, who just so happens to be an award-winning composer, to write music together. The women, who call themselves "super fans" of the series, opened up to Distractify about their writing process, using fans' responses to their work as inspiration, and more.
Check out our Q&A below. (Editor's note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Distractify: TikTok fans are always commenting on your videos about what they “need” or want to hear. Have you two ever taken a fan's idea or comment and implemented it into a song?
Emily Bear: The creative response from the music being out there has been insane and it stems from ideas of songs to dance numbers to you name it. It has been insane. That has been one of the coolest parts for us because we are creatives at the core and seeing other creatives get inspired by the stuff we put out is really humbling.
Abigail Barlow: When I put out "Penelope Featherington," one of the things that really inspired one of the songs was there was a million people saying, "We need an Eloise song and she needs to be an alto." I was like, "Alright."
D: Season 2 of Bridgerton is filming. Any chance your songs or lyrics will make their way into the show?
AB: We really don’t know. We would love that…
EB: There are a few little tiny tidbits, could lead to something, but we don’t know yet.
D: When Season 2 of Bridgerton airs, can we expect more songs?
EB: It really depends, we may but who knows what’s going to be happening.
AB: We love the story, immensely.
EB: You never know when inspiration is going to strike. I feel it’s very likely that it will strike and we will want to write some stuff.
D: You’ve both said that your dream would be for the musical to hit Broadway. Have there been talks about it?
AB: We have a million different paths and opportunities we could take and that’s just the beauty and the great part about it because the story was told in such a wonderful way on Netflix and what we tried to do is tell the story in a way that hasn’t been explored by the books and the TV show. I think ultimately what we want is for our fans to be able to listen to this music all the time.
EB: We’d love for it to live out in the world as a concept album. Whether that’s going to be a fully fleshed-out concept album with the cast or just us two, we’re not sure yet. We have a lot of ideas and people have approached us with, you know, maybe something that lives online or a one-night thing.
D: Is there another television series or movie that you’d love to turn into a musical?
AB: We have so many ideas and because of Bridgerton!
EB: There are so many ideas being brought to us, including TV shows and movies that we all are obsessed with.
AB: We can’t say which ones…
EB: But we will soon. We think it’s really important that we kind of keep that curtain open and let people into that process.
D: Though it might seem like you’re both overnight successes, you two have been dedicated to your craft for years. What is your advice to songwriters, composers, and other people out there who have these creative ideas that are waiting to “catch fire”?
AB: What I’ve learned through this pandemic and quarantine is that music is supposed to be therapy. It’s supposed to be a place where you are your most vulnerable and honest and I think that’s why people connect to the stuff we’re writing because we always go back to that truth. If I had any advice … it would be to practice your craft every single day.
EB: I fully agree. This has been a really frustrating year and honestly for me a couple of years. While there have been great things that have happened, for the majority I felt frustrated and stuck and a lot of creatives feel the same of you’re putting out good work and nothing is happening ... I honestly think part of this success is that we just had a year of all we did was literally practice our craft. I think that’s paying off.