Soul. In the music world, it's an intangible asset; an ineffable characteristic that transcends generational, racial and societal boundaries to make a lasting impression. It speaks directly to the heart of the listener, and while the feeling itself can be hard to put into words, you know it when you hear and see it. Leon Bridges, without question, possesses "it." The Bounce-Worthy alum embodies "soul," both as an art form (read: genre of music) and as a descriptor. So the dizzying speed of his rise from obscurity to worldwide recognition since the release of his debut Coming Home last year comes as no surprise to us.
From the mournful reflection of "The River" to the refreshing verve of "Smooth Sailin'," there's a genuineness that permeates his music, making us feel like we've gotten to know him. But now we can get a true glimpse into the life of the young crooner thanks to new documentary This Is Home. At the helm is veteran rock photographer/filmmaker Danny Clinch, who does a masterful job of providing an intimate portrait of the singer while on tour and during a special homecoming to his native Fort Worth surroundings.
Though brief, the film is substantive, allowing Mr. Bridges to guide us through his inspiring narrative. In addition to revealing his humble beginnings as a restaurant dishwasher and open mic sensation, we're also treated to fun facts (his real name is Todd Bridges) and introduced to Leon's tight circle/crew: Jeff Dazey (sax), Andrew Skates (bass), Erin Rambo (photographer), Austin Jenkins (guitarist/producer), Josh Block (drummer/producer), Brittni Jessie (background vocalist). But a highlight is seeing his mother Lisa Sawyer sing and dance with her son before giving a touching testimony of the moment she realized he had a special gift.
Talented, stylish and still humble despite his ever-growing fame. How can you not love this guy?! At one point, Leon reveals, "For me it's more than being cute and cool...I just want to honor those that came before me." With his gripping vocals, charismatic stage performances and unapologetic commitment to authenticity, we think he's done just that. Catch the film below, grab the deluxe edition of Coming Home, then head to his website for his extensive list of tour dates around the world.