Q&A with Leon Bridges

If you combine the timeless sensibilities of the ‘50s-era singing legend Sam Cooke and the modern day grooves of Pharrell, you’ll come up with someone like Leon Bridges. The Texas native went from washing dishes while hitting open mic nights to scoring a plum record deal, viral success, and a subsequent Grammy nomination for his 2015 debut, Coming Home, over the course of just a few years. Now, Bridges is back with his highly anticipated follow-up Good Thing. He talked to Furthermore about his unique sound, performing at The White House, and how he stays in headliner shape (hint: lots of dancing).

Listen to his workout playlist here.

Photo: Getty Images

What was the moment you realized you really 'made it'?

I realized I made it when I performed at The White House for President Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama.

How does your sound come across as evergreen but also seem so fresh?

Soul music fills a void in the music industry. Pop music sometimes lacks the gritty quality and depth that soul music carries. I think people say my music has a timeless quality since my new album is more modern R&B-leaning, while also pulling inspiration from the past.

What are the main ingredients to a song that forces you to get moving?

A good beat or rhythm and a phat melody.

How do you stay in performance shape?

By performing every night on stage. I studied dance and choreography in college and I just dance the whole show. It really is my only source of cardio.

Your personal style is very on-point. What are your style dos and don'ts?

I’m big on wide-leg and high-waist pants. I mostly wear dress shoes but I rock G-Nikes (Nike Air Force 1’s) when I’m feeling groovy. So, no skinny jeans. No shorts unless I’m at the beach or pool. Cargo shorts are a no-no as well.

What’s your pre-show ritual?

Two shots of a good bourbon.