• 13Feb

    Bilal rocking for V-Day

    Tuesday February 14, 2012
    9:00 pm – 1:00 am

    If there was one R&B artist for whom the neo-soul seemed limiting, it was Philadelphia native Bilal. None of his recordings resembled sycophantic worship of soul artists who thrived in the ’60 and ‘70s, and it wasn’t just because his voice — classically trained, capable of singing opera in seven languages — was so unique. While some inspirations were detectable, his recordings were wholly modern and became increasingly creative. His individuality led to being dropped from a major label, and he went several years without releasing any solo material. Through evangelism from his peers and word of mouth from his early fans, Bilal gained an insatiable following and eventually landed on a sympathetic independent label, where he was finally able to thrive creatively.

    Bilal Sayeed Oliver came up in Germantown, a northwest neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. A deep interest in jazz was fostered by his father, who took him to the city’s clubs. Singing eventually became more than an interest. Bilal attended Mannes College in New York, where he received voice training, as well as training in jazz and big-band arrangements.

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