Homegrown Grammy Nominee Leon Bridges Opens Up

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FORT WORTH (CBS11) – The world is getting to know his voice and face, but there is another side of Leon Bridges not often revealed.

The Fort Worth resident, who is among CBS11’s The Ones To Know, is now working on his sophomore record after selling nearly half-of-a-million copies of his debut album, “Coming Home.”

At 27-years-old, he has played around the globe, performed at the White House for President Obama and was nominated for a Grammy in 2016.

“I’m just going to go back to the drawing board and make a better album,” said Bridges.

To understand Bridges, layers have to be peeled back beyond the vintage tailored clothes and soothing voice.

Just a few years ago, he was working as a bus boy at Rosa’s Cafe and then Del Frisco’s in Forth Worth.

“It’s really night and day, it’s crazy,” said Bridges. “To go from playing open mics, and as everyone knows being a dishwasher to being able to play for the President.”

Bridges graduated from Crowley High School, then continued on to Tarrant County College where he first was into dance and later taught himself to play guitar.

He was on the radar of no one except for a couple of fellow Texas gentlemen.

“Leon started singing takes and all of a sudden I was thinking, ‘oh man, we really got to get our stuff together,'” said Austin Jenkins, who plays guitar for Bridges.

Jenkins and drummer/engineer Josh Block took a chance on Bridges. They played on and recorded “Coming Home” at their studio on the south side of Forth Worth.

“All we wanted to do was lift him up,” said Block.

And away he soared.

As the awards pile up, so do the photo request and autographs.

“While I’m thankful for that, it’s hard for me to be real comfortable in those situations,” said Bridges.

He gets compared most often to 60s soul legends Same Cooke and Otis Redding.

“It gets annoying. There’s one side of it where you look at it as a compliment,” said Bridges.

But Bridges feels there is more to him.

“I like to listen to trap music. I like 90s R&B,” said Bridges. “I like to watch cartoons.”

As he works on the second album on Columbia Records, Leon is not cutting it in some fancy studio in New York, LA or Nashville. He chooses his guys and his town.

“It’s good to get back to what I call ‘the sanctuary’ and create,” said Bridges.

Forth Worth is where he makes music, where he has grown as a person and now it is where he is staying. Bridges just bought his first house.

“I’ll be here for a long time,” said Bridges. “I love it here.”

It seems the more that changes in his life, the more Bridges stays the same.

“It’s all about character,” said Bridges. “It’s not a chore to stay humble.”

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