Leon Bridges has performed all over the world, at the White House, and in a room full of industry executives looking to sign him, but even he still gets jitters sometimes. “I’m on stage and there’s a lot of things going through my head,” he admitted in our latest Honda Backstage episode. Despite Bridges’ considerable musical gifts, his manager Jonathan Eshak is still sometimes surprised that he became a professional recording artist because of his “reserved nature.” But Bridges pushes past any limiting beliefs and lets the music flow through him onstage, wowing crowds throughout the world with what he deemed his “gift.”
He’s most recently been gifting audiences on the Good Thing tour, performing songs from his highly regarded Good Thing album. We caught up with him on the outset of the tour and learned even more “things” about the 29-year-old Fort Worth, Texas native in the above video. He delved into his humble beginnings with a hard-working mother and the fateful college cafeteria jam session that let him know he wanted to be a singer.
He learned the guitar, then pursued that dream while working at two restaurants and performing at open mics in his spare time. Bridges was also recording and decided to upload a song called “Coming Home” to his Soundcloud page. Bridges recalls that the play for the track jumped from “1,000 to 10,000 within hours.” The track helped turned heads in the music industry and led to his deal with Columbia Records, worldwide shows, Grammy nominations, and a performance of “Lonely Avenue” for President Obama.
“These things don’t happen on record one,” his manager gleefully noted. But they happened for Bridges, whose gift continues to breed good things.