Brown Skin Girl

Album: Coming Home (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Leon Bridges told HMV.com that he's very proud of this song. He explained: "I wrote that about my ex-girlfriend, but the song can be applied to all the girls of color. It's important for me to shine light on them."
  • Despite the critical and commercial success of Coming Home, Bridges failed to target his own demographic - the young black crowd - who thought his style of retro soul music wasn't "black enough." It was particularly disheartening to see a sea of white faces during a tune like "Brown Skin Girl." The singer told GQ: "It's uncomfortable live to look out into the crowd, and during my song 'Brown Skin Girl' - that's part of my patter, the whole thing is like, 'Where's my Brown Skin Girls at?' - and... there aren't any."
  • Bridges on the universality of songs from the album (Interview magazine): "Those songs come from such a specific time in my life, but now they're on a bigger scale. You look at 'Brown Skin Girl' which can be applied to all girls of color. I wrote it because of my ex-girlfriend, but when I get up onstage, while it's still a personal song, I look at it as art more than anything else. I can connect with the crowd, even on songs like 'Lisa Sawyer,' which is about my mom, because people can look at that and think, 'I love my mother too.'"
  • Strict grammarians might bristle at the missing hyphen in the song title. Because brown and skin function as a compound adjective to modify the noun girl, it should technically be written as "Brown-Skin Girl." But Bridges is in good company. Both Elvis Presley ("Hard Headed Woman") and Van Morrison ("Brown Eyed Girl") eschewed hyphens in their song titles.

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