Want to know who inspires newest singing sensation Leon Bridges? CrownHeightsMom did so I sat down to listen to Coming Home the debut album from the newcomer who’s nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best R&B Album category alongside acts like D’Angelo, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day and legend Charlie Wilson.
Pumping through my beatsbydre pill was that deep 50s and 60s’ soul sound harkening back to the height of the civil rights era when R&B music had a major significance on the movement and integration across the country. Bridges’ throwback singing style puts one in mind of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke . I pumped the volume up on high and noted to myself that a chat with this young star was in order . I wanted to meet him to find out more about his Grammy nod and his inspiration for this album.
A throwback in time. Bridges is this and more and what a year he had in 2015 — releasing his debut album Coming Home, to performing on Saturday Night Live, touring across the UK and contributing music to the Concussion Movie sound track –these are just a few of the highlights that kept him busy.
I met the 26-year old when he made a stop in New York just before the Christmas holiday. The newcomer was in town attending the Concussion Movie premiere along with lead star, Will Smith. Spotting Bridges ahead of Smith as they walked the red carpet outside AMC Lincoln Center movie theater I snagged the opportunity to get a few questions answered .
So whom does the humble Bridges look up to musically? “I like a lot of 1950’s and 1960’s gospel and country,” the 26-year old tells CrownHeightsMom exclusively as Will Smith, Liam Neeson, Kevin Lyles, Elew and others descend the red carpet to the screams and flashes of photographers begging them to “turn this way”. Adds the newcomer who is quickly becoming a household. “I love Bobby Womack, Townes Van Zandt, Jesse Belvin, and Johnnie Taylor. “All that different type of stuff.”
I did not think that my album would be worthy enough to be nominated in the R&B category—-Leon Bridges
The singer counts his mother Lisa Sawyer as his biggest cheerleader. “Even when I was playing at open mics with five people in the crowd, she was supportive,” he tells me . The soul and gospel crooner even dedicates the track “Lisa Sawyer ” on the album to his dear mom.
I wonder what mom thinks of his current success. “Says the former dishwasher from Fort Worth Texas, “She said to me, ‘ It is all God ‘ and she is just totally blown away by the Grammy nomination and with everything that has been happening,” he adds.
Not just his music reminds one of the 50s and 60’s. So does his fashion style. He’s a sharp dresser who loves 1950’s style suits and putting together a look that is smart and GQ-ed out to the max.
With the new success and the new gear Bridges says he does not forget from whence he came. As he says to me he knows a thing or two of living the “struggling artist” life. Before success hit he made ends meet being a dishwasher but he never gave up on his music and making it. “You have to be in love with yourself and in love with your art,” Bridges tells tell CrownHeightsMom is one of the messages he wants to share with struggling artists out there.
If you always think about making it, then you are going to get disappointed…………—-Leon Bridges
The main thing, Bridges says artist should remember is, “If you always think about making it, then you are going to get disappointed and you are going to get impatient .” He says, “It is all about patience, being in love with yourself and using that time and the small platform for the better.”
With the holidays now over the young artist is preparing for a busy 2016. He was looking forward seeing him mom over the Christmas holiday exclaiming, “I am going home! I am going to see my momma and to eat her gumbo for sure. My momma is from New Orleans.”
So how does the future look for Leon Bridges ? The blueprint so far looks great for this young recording artist and Crownheightsmom plans on following his progress . He hits the road in March, heading overseas on a tour that will last through mid-June . This may seem quite a busy schedule so soon for a newcomer, but Bridges says, he loves performing and this is a “life long dream.”
Dreams do become reality and Bridges says that he isn’t quite finished yet on achieving his. One dream he has his heart set on achieving he says is a life goal of helping others. “I want to provide ways for kids to go to college, ” he shares, adding “and I also want to provide ways to help out single mothers.”
Way to go Leon Bridges!……Way to go! We here at Crownheightsmom.com have no doubts that you will achieve these dreams and more.