Leon Bridges

July 13, 1989

Leon Bridges Artistfacts

  • His real name is Todd Bridges – Leon's father was a big fan of Diff'rent Strokes. He told Jam! Music: "Leon was my nickname in college. There was this actor named Leon (Robinson) in films like The Temptations and Five Heartbeats - and when I started writing songs, I was like, 'Todd is a little weird.' So I went with Leon."
  • After a couple years of studying dance at a local community college, Bridges started playing the guitar; he wanted to learn simple chords to accompany his lyrics. "Somebody asked me, 'What are your inspirations? Sam Cooke?' I was like, 'Not really.' I'd heard about him, but I wasn't listening to him hard like that," Bridges told NME. "So after that I started digging into soul music and that 1950s and '60s vibe. I love the realness and the simplicity of it. The soul music they were making back then was from the heart."
  • Bridges started playing at open-mic nights around Fort Worth, Texas, while earning money washing dishes and bussing tables at Del Frisco's Grille. He told Radio.com how his dishwashing experience has carried into his music. "I didn't have anything handed to me coming up. It taught me how to work hard. It taught me to be content on what you had," Bridges said. "Even if it's a show for five or 20 people, it taught me to be thankful with what I had. I had to manage my time wisely having two jobs at certain times. Working a job and playing music taught me to manage my time and it was really helpful."
  • One night Bridges' performance at the Magnolia Motor Lounge caught the attention of Austin Jenkins, who was then the guitarist of the Texan rock band White Denim. Jenkins and his White Denim bandmate, Josh Block, began to champion the retro-soul singer and they suggested they cut a track together. "Coming Home" was placed on SoundCloud; in June 2015, it became the lead song and title track of Bridges' debut long-player.
  • Leon Bridges has a penchant for mid-20th century fashion. "I go online and search 'Chicago 1950s' or 'New York 1950s.' I love how back then wearing a suit was the norm and the way they dressed was clean and it fit," he told Billboard magazine. "Especially compared to skinny jeans."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New YorkSong Writing

Our chat with Barney Hoskyns, who covers the wild years of Woodstock - the town, not the festival - in his book Small Town Talk.

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."