We here at ANDPOP want to help you be trendsetters with brand new (or just underrated) music to tell your friends about — yes, that was a Weeknd reference. We want to help you to be that person who says “I knew him/her before everyone else.” A “music hipster” if you will. Our aim is to help grace your ears EVERY THURSDAY with music that you’ve never heard of, but will never stop listening to. This week, we’re crooning to the old-school vibes of Leon Bridges.
Hailing from Fort Worth ,Texas, Leon Bridges is bringing back old school soul. The 26 year old gospel singer first burst onto the scene last June and has since been blessing us with a soul and gospel infused sound that lifts us up every time we listen to him.
Bridges first started writing music (and soon after learning guitar) when he was working as a dishwasher and simultaneously attending open-mic nights at local bars around town. By 24 he was officially signed to Columbia Records, and soon after released his debut album, Coming Home, in June of 2015. The album’s title track went on to garner significant radio play and even nabbed itself a spot on Spotify’s “Top 10 Most Viral Tracks” list.
To this day Leon has managed to maintain a humble and laid back attitude about it all, and it’s that humility that has made us fall so hard for him. “I’m not saying I can hold a candle to any soul musician from the ’50s and ’60, but I want to carry the torch,” he wrote on his official website.
When listening to any of his tracks his soul influences are plain to hear, but it was initially ’90’s R&B that had his interest. He told Mic in an interview that he aspired to layer his lyrics with a hip-hop backdrop, but it wasn’t until he wrote “Lisa Sawyer,” that he brought soul vibes into his sound — a decision that led him to being scouted by an impressive, forty record labels eagerly wanting to sign him.
Since, he’s appeared on Saturday Night Live, garnered over one million plays on SoundCloud, and was featured in a commercial for Apple Music.
If you’re on the hunt for old school soul that transports you to a time of letterman jackets, and drinking milkshakes in classic Cadillacs, then look no further than Leon Bridges.
Name: Todd Michael Bridges
Known For: His soulful old school sound
File Next To: James Bay
Download Now: “River”
RAPID FIRE FACTS:
- His song, “Lisa Sawyer” was inspired by his mother’s childhood.
- He used to perform under the name “Lost Child,” a reference to comments his mom would make after he got a haircut. “My mom, she used to always tell me whenever I had a haircut or something, ‘Boy, you look like a lost child,” he told Rolling Stone.
- He settled on the name Leon, as an ode to what friends called him in college, in reference to the Cool Runnings actor.
- His tracks “Lisa Sawyer” and “Brown Skin Girl,” a song celebrating women of colour, were both featured at last years SXSW.