The militant soul of Leon Bridges

By Stéphanie Binet

Posted today at 5:00 p.m.

Leon Bridges, in Marfa, Texas, in October 2020.

Audiences discovered him with a song that praised his homecoming, Coming Home, and recalled in his video the clichés of his old South, with its shoe-shiners or its Baptist churches. Texan Leon Bridges returns with a third album, this time recorded far from home. It was in Los Angeles that the creation of this very soulful album took place but “Dressed in an R’n’B outfit”, he said.

His dress style has not changed. As her hometown newspaper in Texas wrote in 2014, Fort Worth Weekly : “The music he plays is like the way he dresses. “ Include: vintage, 1950s-1960s to the max, from patent boots with slicked-back hair to high-waisted tweed pants.

The 32-year-old artist has since performed in the White House for President Obama, was nominated twice for the Grammy Award for Best R’n’B Album, in 2016 and 2019, for Coming Home and Good Thing. He also won the one for the best traditional R’n’B performance with Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand in 2019. He also engaged in the American presidential campaign by playing at the Democratic convention in 2020 and released – two weeks after the death of George Floyd, suffocated under the knee of the police officer Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020 – a song to pay homage to him, Sweeter.

A brutal realization

Leon Bridges had already recorded three quarters of his album and wrote this song in memory of civil rights activists who died under the blows of the police but also of the racist attacks of which he had been the victim in Texas. He begins his song with his words: “I was hoping for a smoother life / Instead I’m a story repeating itself. ” In front of the images of the homicide, which go around the world, he decides to shoot the clip immediately and publish his song.

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On his Instagram account, on June 8, he explained his decision as follows: “I have been numb for too long, unresponsive to the problems of police brutality. The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It was the first time that I cried for a man I had never met… ”

“A lot of times when I’m singing I say incoherent things and all of a sudden a line will ring out. Then, I build a narration around this sentence. “

For this new project, Leon Bridges has surrounded himself with top musicians, saxophonist Terrace Martin, who has collaborated with rapper Kendrick Lamar, but also jazzman Robert Glasper and drummer and singer Anderson .Paak.

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