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GRAMMY TALK:
LEON BRIDGES
Here's the Thing

Columbia singer/songwriter Leon Bridges has broadened his musical palette considerably with sophomore set Good Thing—which further demonstrated his capacity to build on traditional American musical forms with depth and assurance. The set got a boost from a compelling CBS Sunday Morning segment, and the placement of “River” from his 2015 debut set, Coming Home, on HBO’s Big Little Lies brought his earlier work back to prominence. He recently added dates to his Good Thing Tour for the spring of 2019.


Considering how much of a departure Good Thing is from Coming Home, what was the genesis of that plan? When you wrapped—or even started —your debut, did you know the direction of album #2?
I wanted to make a departure from the ’60s R&B sound on this album, because I felt restricted creatively writing songs in that style. It was about 
a two-year process of writing and experimenting 
with different sounds to find the vibe I wanted.

Did you sense a new audience was coming to you via your exposure on Big Little Lies?
That show blew “River” up tremendously. Not only did it put my album back on the iTunes charts, but 
it also put me on a lot of people’s radar.

If we took a wild guess, we’d say “Georgia to Texas” is autobiographical. True? Did you feel more at ease digging deeper into personal experience on the second album and into deeper storytelling? “Bad Bad News” comes to mind as well.
You guessed right. “Georgia to Texas” paints vignettes of my personal narrative. Through my experiences since the last album, I definitely felt more comfortable being transparent and embracing this whirlwind.

Your career has had a very orderly, steady climb over the last couple of years, especially in terms of concert venues getting bigger on each tour. What have you done to adapt to larger stages so that everyone still feels the intimacy you projected in smaller clubs?
I’ve had to adapt to the point where my performance can’t be affected by the size of the venue. It’s about maintaining that consistency, whether I’m in a 500-capacity venue or a 5,000-cap. My production and my band play a huge role in keeping that intimacy.

What did the Grammy nomination for your first album mean to you? What would a Grammy win say?
I felt honored to be considered amongst such a handful of talented artists I respect musically. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the people who support me, so I’d thank all of them if I won.

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