Music Q&A:
Leon Bridges

The American gospel singer on his own brand of old-school soul and his new album Coming Home

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Your style is very much retro soul, but am I right in thinking you discovered old soul music later in life?
I heard soul music as a kid but none of it moved me to go and write soul songs. I started to dig into soul music two years ago.

Is the retro wardrobe something that came naturally or is it stylised to tie in with your sound?
I developed a love for retro clothing because of dance. I studied dance in college and in a lot of the dances I had to play a certain character and had to embody that role. I would get inspired when raiding through the “costume shop”.

Is your music forward looking as well as nostalgic?
The goal for me is to make traditional soul music, but because of my RnB and hip hop background, my music will still have a fresh feel to it.

Aside from music, what influences you?
I’m inspired by friends, family and old pictures.

How has your music changed since it was you and your guitar, and is there any stripped back material on the album?
Everything I did when I was solo was still soul. When you add great musicians, everything gets bigger. River is the only stripped down song on the record.

Antonia Charlesworth

Leon Bridges plays Albert Hall, Manchester on 23 Sept as part of a wider UK tour

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Leon Bridges

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