By Amaris Rodriguez
Who: Leon Bridges
Where: Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
For fans of: Sam Cooke, Ben E. King, Otis Redding, John Legend
If there is an artist to have on your watch list it is Leon Bridges. For a name that had not received a lot of mention outside of Texas, this up and coming artist is on the verge of having the biggest breakout of 2015. The twenty-five year old singer from Fort Worth, TX is one of the most promising new acts in the music industry.
Like many other artist, he began his career by writing songs. He followed that up with learning how to play simple chords to accompany his lyrics. He continued to write and perfect his talent and developed a sound that was unique to what the industry has put out in recent years. It was his song “Lisa Sawyer”, about his mom’s baptism in a river that gave him his signature sound. With a sound that matches his vintage inspired look, Leon Bridges took a liking to old school soulful music and how it resonates with listeners. He connected with the sounds of the 1950’s and 1960’s, ““I love the realness and the simplicity of it. The soul music they were making back then was from the heart “, and has injected listeners with that same appreciation and love. With a mix of soul, gospel and R&B, Bridges started to perform at open mics across Texas. Building a following around Texas, Bridges also began to gain recognition in the industry. The Austin 360 described his style and performances as “a transmission straight from the heart”.
He began collaborating with White Denim guitarist Austin Jenkins and bandmate Joshua Block and released songs on Soundcloud in 2014. His two demo songs received more than 800,000 views and attracted the attention of over forty different record labels. Choosing to sign to Columbia Records, Bridges is starting to gain the exposure he deserves. His first single “Coming Home” was released in February 2015 and became one of the “Top 10 Most Viral Tracks” on Spotify.
With major festivals already under his belt like the Sundance Film Festival and legendary SXSW, Leon Bridges is just getting started. The talented singer-songwriter will bring back soul and R&B back to the top of the charts with his debut album which is said to drop this summer. So far this year, Leon Bridges has grown and developed as many artists only hope to do so, and the rest of 2015 will prove to be the year he reaches megastar status.
Video: Coming Home