Zach was born and raised in Pearl. He sang in church and school choir but never considered these activities part of a budding career. Growing up his true love was baseball. As a young boy his dream was to become a professional baseball player. He played in high school followed by two years in junior college.
At the age of twenty, however, something shifted and he began to have second thoughts about his childhood dream. It consumed a lot of time and he was reaching burnout. The decision to let it go became the catalyst for what was to come, in a big way.
Bridges spent his first college year at Hinds Community College followed by a year at Holmes Community College where something took root…a buddy on the baseball team had a guitar, and Bridges started to show a little interest in it. That was it, just an interest, but the seed was planted.
The momentum didn’t really take hold until his first year at University of Southern Mississippi. With a background in music by way of childhood piano lessons, Bridges began to study guitar via instructional videos on YouTube. There he honed his skills and within two years he was not only playing the guitar but also doing a little singing as well - mostly country tunes from his past.
He explains that “…my parents are from the country, so all [they] listened to [while I was] growing up was country music. I wasn’t really into music much back then, but I loved Alan Jackson, George Strait, Garth Brooks, all those big people from the 90s.”
One day, while listening to the radio, Bridges had the epiphany - “I [can] write stuff like this.” A songwriter was born. Although he does not recall what inspired him to start writing the lyrics for his first original song, “Mississippi Roads,” it ended up being good enough to record and publish online.
Bridges is modest when describing his lyrical skills, saying only that he tries to make a song “sound like something [you] would hear on the radio,” adding that “just like everything else, the more you do it the better you get at it.”
After performing a few years in local venues, audience members, family and friends began encouraging Bridges to audition for talent competitions, such as The Voice or American Idol. His response to them, always, was “I’ll think about it.” Never considering the possibility he had a future in music.
It was finally a good faith gesture by his wife that secured his audition with a national singing competition on NBC - The Voice. Believing in the strength of his talents, She secretly signed him up for an account to audition. Very shortly thereafter talent scouts contacted Zach directly to request an audition.
Zach’s initial reaction was, like most people, that of disbelief and skepticism: “I was like, this is fake, I had to google the name to make sure it’s real.” Once he was able to confirm that the audition request was legitimate, his confusion finally turned into excitement.
Practical and down-to-earth when discussing the future, Bridges says “I am just trying to capitalize on this opportunity, and use it to my advantage, and kind of see what happens. I will always put music out, but this is a good opportunity to get it out there even more.” The ultimate goal for Zach is to eventually go full time with the music, but in the short term he plans to keep his full time x-ray technician job, as he and his wife are expecting a child soon, and need that steady income.
When asked how his family is adjusting to the fanfare and national publicity he says his wife is being a real trouper and sometimes, when things get a little overwhelming, he playfully reminds her who set things in motion. As for his parents, he says that the most meaningful aspect of this journey has been their pride in his success, and, in his words, for them “to finally see something work in my favor.”
The way he describes the incredible journey from his childhood dreams of the major leagues to country music artist in demand, Zach makes it all sound so easy and matter-of-fact, but everyone around him knows that they are watching a rising star.
Season seventeen of The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays 7 p.m. central time on NBC.