Leon Bridges is an American gospel and soul singer and songwriter. He was born Todd Michael Bridges, and is from Fort Worth, Texas. When he first started, Bridges just focused on writing songs and eventually learned how to play the guitar in order to create music for his lyrics. After, he began to perform at open mics around Fort Worth. To finance his music, he worked as a dishwasher. Eventually in 2014, he signed on with Columbia Records, marking the moment when he would finally make his mark on the music world and be recognized for his unique style and sound.
Though there are many songs that he is well known for, many fans and critics say that it was his song “Lisa Sawyer,” which is about his mother’s conversion, that shows his style the most. This song defined him as a musician and also distinguished him from others who also claim to be soul singers.
Bridges began to perform a style of soul that came straight out of the 50’s and 60’s, which was further described as “music that came straight from his heart.” The New York Times called him a “throwback to soul of the 60’s” and many have commented on his vintage clothing, stating that he looks exactly the way he sounds.
Even though he began to attract a great deal of fans and followers, it wasn’t until a performance of “Coming Home,” was seen by two members of White Denim that Bridges finally found his big break. Together, the three worked on new tracks using vintage equipment, and after a brief time using Soundcloud to promote his demo, “Coming Home,” began to get picked up by local radio stations. From here, the rest was history—the track got a great deal of attention, especially from major record labels. In December of 2014, Bridges eventually decided to sign with Columbia.
In January of 2015, Bridges began touring around the United States for the first time. He traveled from Texas around the nation, even playing in New York. His album titled “Coming Home,” was released in June of 2015 by Columbia Records. This album contains the song he is best known for: “Coming Home.” It received regular attention on the radio, and Spotify named it one of the Top 10 Most Viral Tracks.
“Coming Home,” was named one of the albums to look forward to by The New York Times, and shortly after, Bridges made the front cover of Fort Worth, Texas magazine for their May 2015 edition. “Coming Home” was also featured in an Apple iPhone 6 commercial. The final cherry on the sundae was when Bridges was nominated for the Best R&B album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Bridges has since expanded his tours to across the ocean, selling out shows all over the UK. He’s also performed in many incredible places, such as the Sundance Film Festival, as well as SXSW. He’s also performed on television, appearing on Saturday Night Live in December of 2015.