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LEON BRIDGES - Soul Singer, Songwriter + Record Producer - 2016 Interview for All Access Music

Read my 2016 Interview with LEON BRIDGES for

All Access Music


Todd Michael "Leon" Bridges (born July 13, 1989) is an American soul singer, songwriter and record producer from Fort Worth, Texas. He is best known for his 2015 song "Coming Home", which received regular airplay and was also a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify. Bridges' debut album, also titled Coming Home, was released on June 23, 2015, on Columbia Records and subsequently nominated for Best R&B Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

Bridges's style is primarily soul, but resembling 1960s rhythm and blues.The Wall Street Journal described him as a "throwback to '60s-soul a la Otis Redding and Sam Cooke."

Bridges learned to play the guitar by playing simple chords to accompany his lyrics. While working at Del Frisco's Grille in Fort Worth, he played countless open-mics until he was signed by Columbia Records in December 2014. It was his song "Lisa Sawyer", about his mother's conversion, that first defined his style.

Bridges began writing and performing 1950s and '60s-style soul music that was described by Austin360 as "a transmission straight from the heart." He began to attract followers, and his break into the music industry has been attributed to meeting guitarist Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block of White Denim. It was Bridges' performance of "Coming Home" that caught the attention of the two. Bridges worked on his first few tracks with Jenkins and Block as producers. They recorded an album with vintage equipment, using local musicians affiliated with White Denim. Bridges released two demo songs on Soundcloud in late 2014. It attracted the attention from several record labels with Bridges eventually signing with Columbia Records in December 2014.

Bridges began his first national tour in January 2015, playing shows in Texas as well as playing support for Sharon Van Etten in New York City. His first official single, "Coming Home", was released on Columbia Records in February 2015. The song continued the success of the demo version and became a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify the same month as its release. Bridges played at the Sundance Film Festival and at the SXSW festival in 2015.

His debut album was released in the summer of 2015 and has been referred to as a 2015 "Album to Look Forward to From Texans" by The New York Times. "Coming Home" is featured in an Apple iPhone 6 commercial. Bridges made his first appearance in the UK as an artist in May when he sold out the London Village Underground. Coming Home was nominated for Best R&B Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

Aside from his own shows, Bridges also supported Pharrell Williams at the Apple Music Festival on September 26. While opening at the intimate Roundhouse, he was able to perform hits such as "River", "Better Man" and "Lisa Sawyer" from his debut album Coming Home.

Bridges was the featured musical guest on Saturday Night Live on December 5, 2015. He performed "Smooth Sailin'" with a full backup band, and sang "River" with only backup singers and organ, accompanying himself on guitar.

Bridges also participated in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's song "Kevin", which was released on the duo's second full-length album.

On February 24, 2016, Bridges performed in Washington, D.C. as part of the series "In Performance at the White House" for President and Michelle Obama. He performed a song by Ray Charles as well as one of his own songs.

In 2017 "River" received further recognition in the first season of the HBO series Big Little Lies. It was later included on the soundtrack for the show.

The year 2018 was a busy one for Bridges. His song "Better Man" was featured in the film Pacific Rim: Uprising. He was the opening act on the South American and Mexican legs of Harry Styles' first solo tour. Bridges' second album Good Thing was released on May 4, 2018. He had a cameo appearance in Damien Chazelle's film First Man, playing singer Gil Scott-Heron.

Bridges and Gary Clark Jr. appeared together on the song "Gone Away" from rapper Bun B's album Return of the Trill, with Bridges singing the hook and Clark on lead guitar. In December 2019, Houston, Texas-based trio Khruangbin announced a collaboration and tour with Leon Bridges and released a single titled "Texas Sun" on December 6, 2019. The collaborative EP of the same name was released in February 2020.

On June 8, 2020 Bridges and Terrace Martin released a single titled "Sweeter" in response to the Killing of George Floyd on May 25 of that year. Bridges performed at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

The Big Good was founded in 2020 and it is a Nonprofit Organization and the joint fundraising effort of Leon Bridges & TCU Football Coach, Gary Patterson. In light of the current situation Texans are facing, all donations will be directed towards storm relief - Austin Mutual Aid and Dallas Mutual Aid.

The annual charity event will be a premiere experience benefiting charities focused on helping kids and families. The event will gather notable leaders in business, philanthropy, music, and sports to raise funds for various non-profit organizations focused on making a BIG impact.

Ranch Rider Spirits and Leon Bridges will both match whatever you give!

To learn more about The Big Good and how to help, go HERE.

Leon Bridges will be performing at The Governor's Ball (10th Anniversary) festival which runs from September 24 - 26, 2021 at Citi Field in New York City. Bridges will perform on the first day of the festival on Friday, September 24th.

Keep up to date with LEON BRIDGES on his website HERE and his Instagram HERE.

And Leon is cooking up some new music, so keep your eyes HERE as well!

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