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Interview:
Ready or not, Leon Bridges feels the buzz
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Leon Bridges has been hanging on for dear life during the past year or so.

The Forth Worth, Texas-born singer, songwriter and guitarist is one of music’s most buzzed-about acts of 2015, enjoying favorable comparisons to vocal greats such as Sam Cooke and plenty of stellar press even before his debut album, “Coming Home,” came out in June. And all of this has come as a great surprise to the 26-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist.

“Yeah, a lot of doors have been opened in such a short amount of time. It’s pretty crazy,” Bridges, who was working as a dishwasher until he got his deal with Columbia records last year, says by phone from Dallas. “It’s a thing where I was jsut writing songs, and even a few months ago I was telling myself I wasn’t even ready to be at this point. I was still working on my guitar skills and my performing.

“It’s all new territory. It came so fast, and I’m handling it pretty well, I think. But, yeah, I definitely didn’t set out to do it like this.”

Bridges actually set out to work in dance after studying ballet, jazz and modern dance in college. He worked in choreography, but he got into music after a classmate began bringing his keyboard to the school. “We’d gather around and just sing songs,” he recalls. “That’s kind of when I started making the transition.”

Bridges’ song “Coming Home” caught the attention of members of the band White Denim when they heard Bridges perform in a north Texas bar, which led to them helping him make the demo that wound up getting him the deal. Now he sings and plays guitar standing by a microphone, and he doesn’t miss dancing at all.

“It’s so much easier to share my heart through music than dance,” explains Bridges, who’s also recorded a new song, “So Long,” for the upcoming Will Smith movie “Concussion.” “It was something that I didn’t know I could do. I was originally into a lot of hip-hop and R&B; the first song I ever wrote was to a hip-hop instrumental. So I took a lot from the phrasing and storytelling of hip-hop and kind of put that in my music.

“But I had a great community of songwriters who I looked up to, and that really helped me get started and get my music to the point it is now. (‘Coming Home’) is a statement of where I am now, but I’m looking forward to seeing where else I go with (music) in the future.”

Leon Bridges and Kali Uchis

Saturday, Oct. 24. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are sold out.

Call 313-833-9700 or visit majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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