It's a big weekend for music in Fort Worth. The growing music festival Fortress Fest kicks off on Saturday, headlined by hometown star Leon Bridges. On Friday, the city hosted industry leaders from across the state working to promote Texas cities through local performers. It’s an effort where increasingly Fort Worth is leading the way.
In the recording studio of Niles City Sound there's no mistaking where you are.
"I know I think it every time I walk in, I ask myself if we overdid the cows," said Josh Block, Co-Founder of Niles City Sound.
The cow-heavy decor isn't the only thing that sings of Fort Worth. It's in the communal spirit, and the old school recording gear that lends soulful tunes an authenticity.
"That's why we're here is I think people just, they're great at building something, not selling something," Block said.
The studio joins a long tradition of quietly turning out top talent. It’s where Fort Worth native Leon Bridges recorded his breakout album.
"The idea of building something here that might be a part of that story or might be able to keep some of that talent in town, that's the idea," said Block.
It's a mission the city has embraced, on Friday hosting the first Texas Sounds and Cities conference, sharing ideas from across the state for how to work with local performers, like Fort Worth's grant program paying for artists to go on tour.
"They become ambassadors for the city and share the Fort Worth story with the world," said Tom Martens, Creative Director for Visit Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Musician Ansley added, "It's amazing that the city actually wants us to be thriving and doing that so it's an easy partnership because it's mutually beneficial."
This fall, the city will partner with Niles City Sound to help four local musicians produce a single.
"Going back to the city I'm from, being a part of other people's stories is huge," said Block.
Adding new voices to spread the story and share the soul of Fort Worth.
According to the Texas Music Office, 100,000 people work in the state's music industry and it generates $390 million in tax revenue.