ESSENCE Fest Retro-Soul Man Leon Bridges Kicks It Old and New School

Leon Bridges may be a retro-soul singer, but he’s not totally old-school. “I Love Young Thug, I love Drake, I love modern music,” says the 26-year-old, who will perform at ESSENCE Festival, held June 30-July 3 in New Orleans. “And of course I have a cell phone!”

While his music may draw from the classic R&B of the late ’50s and ’60s, Bridges says, “I don’t want people coming to my concerts thinking that they’re going to a sock hop or whatever.”

However, when it comes to his style, Bridges is all the way vintage. “I love how a suit was the norm for a man [to wear] 60 years ago,” says the Grammy-nominated crooner. “I’m at the grocery store in a suit. It makes me feel confident.”

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