We don’t have to remind you that Roots Picnic 2016 was our best outing on Penn’s Landing yet. But backstage there was even more to hear and see. Namely, this little session with Leon Bridges delving into his artistic roots and how to get beyond the revivalist tag on the latest installment of The Questions.
Tucked away in his trailer the Texan soulman was both candid and focused, revealing his nineties r&b inspirations (exemplified by a righteous cover of Ginuwine’s “My Pony” with Solo Woods live and direct on the Picnic stage,) and not ducking the tough asks, like how to break free of the Sam Cooke and Otis Redding comparisons, or how his next project will show a more evolved, more realized songwriter, no longer hiding behind love songs and soul standards.
He goes on to profess his admiration for Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper, both keeping political and social commentary at the forefront of their craft, while maintaining their positions as the two brightest stars in hip-hop. He wouldn’t give us too much on the new album, only promising it to be a bit of a departure from the easy-crooning Leon Bridges we’ve grown to know and love over the last year. Learn up on Leon and his next phase in the interview below and grab a copy of his breakout album Coming Home on iTunes.