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How Leon Bridges found his soul in soul music

Leon Bridges performs at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Leon Bridges performs at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Alli Harvey

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Leon Bridges is a young soul singer who has risen quickly in the music business in the last year. He sounds like he’s straight out of the 1950’s -- think Sam Cooke or Otis Redding-- but he’s only 26-years-old.

Leon Bridges - Coming Home

Just last year, he was washing dishes to pay the bills. But then he signed a deal with Columbia Records, and in June he released his debut album “Coming Home.” It premiered in the Top 10 on the billboard charts.

The Frame's James Kim spoke with Leon Bridges at San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival about how he took inspiration from his family stories to craft his retro-soul-R&B album: 

My great aunt, when she heard the song ["Twistin' & Groovin'] I wrote about her sister, Eartha, she was just like, "Whoa. This is amazing!" I had to call her to get information on that song and talk to her, you know, "What was it like when Victor first met Eartha?" And she was like, "Oh, they were at a party and he saw her and he was like, Oh wee!

I wrote a song about her because with certain stories, they translate well in a soul song. As a kid, my mom would tell me that [Eartha] didn't have to work. She sung in the choir and played organ and my mom told me that she was very strict just like my mom [laughs.] 


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