Bilal

Real Name:
Bilal Sayeed Oliver
Profile:
Bilal Sayeed Oliver (born August 23, 1979), better known by his stage name Bilal, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and producer. He is currently an independent artist residing in New York City.

He grew up in a religiously mixed household, his mother being a devout Christian and his father, a Muslim. He regularly attended church with his mother in a small church that consisted of mostly family members. It was there that Bilal grew an interest in music and singing. His interest in jazz music was fostered by his father, who took him to the city’s clubs. Singing eventually became more than an interest. After attending high school at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts, Bilal moved to New York City and studied at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He studied jazz, and his love for music caused him to use a voice as an instrument.

At the New School, Bilal met Robert Glasper. They soon became best friends, working together on the singer's demo. Eventually, he was "discovered" by Aaron Comess from the Spin Doctors during an after-school jam session. It was with him that Bilal recorded his demo that landed him a record deal with Interscope.

The resulting material landed Bilal a deal with Interscope in his sophomore year, whereupon he promptly dropped out of school; the demo tracks make up a portion of 1st Born Second, his 2001 debut. Glasper's association with Bilal would lead to work with Q-Tip and Mos Def, and the very real possibility of a career in hip-hop.

In 2001, Bilal released his debut album 1st Born Second, which featured contributions from the Soulquarians as well as high profile producers such as Dr. Dre and J Dilla. The album showcased a wide variety, from the emotionally charged fan-favorite Soul Sista, which peaked at #18 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, to the political viewpoints of Fast Lane and Second Child. Bilal managed to gain a sizable following and high attendance at his live shows, as well as much acclaim and respect from his peers, many whom noted his range and ability to sing in a freeform style, and his classically trained falsetto. The soulful feel of the album caused Bilal to be labeled as "neo-soul." Bilal stresses that this term does not fit, and throughout his career, his expansion in music and pushing of boundaries proved his point.

In the following years Bilal continued to appear on projects by other artists of both high profile and avant garde, while recording and developing his follow-up set to be released on Interscope Records and featuring contributions primarily from producers Dr. Dre and J Dilla (as heard by Dilla himself). These plans proved to be changeable and the final result, Love for Sale, was an album that appeared to be built around Bilal's own musicianship. A forever evolving artist, Bilal switched it up on Love For Sale, which includes live instrumentation and a vibe completely new and different from its predecessor. However, his anticipation was shot down after receiving disapproval from Interscope. Unwilling to start from scratch, Bilal continued to push his LP. However, near the album's completion, the album was leaked in its entirety on the Internet. Interscope shelved the album indefinitely, hinting that it saw little commercial potential in it. The event sent Bilal into a period of distress,and was considering quitting music. However, many fans and music critics expressed their love for his shelved album online, and Bilal began to perform at many shows, practically touring for his unreleased Love For Sale. This gave him the encouragement to go on and record new music.

After nine years without a properly released album, Bilal made a comeback on September 14, 2010 with Airtight's Revenge, a sophomore LP released under independent record label Plug Research. Bilal describes the album as a retrospective album: an album that explores his experiences and things that he's learned since his last release. An experimental album, Airtight's Revenge blends jazz, hip-hop, electronic, rock, soul, and blues into one raw, genuine collection of music.The successor of a soulful love album, the lyrics of Airtight's Revenge focus on a wide range of topics, including love, spirituality, religion, the economy, politics, capitalism, and much more. The album received immense, positive feedback from fans and praise from numerous music critics. In 2011, Bilal received a Grammy nomination for the song Little One, a track dedicated to his eldest son, who has Autism. Bilal dedicated his Summer tour to his son, naming it the Little Ones Tour and raising money for autism awareness.
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Artist

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Albums

UICS-1013 1st Born Second — Bilal Bilal 1st Born Second (Album) Interscope Records UICS-1013 Japan 2001 Sell This Version
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MOTRBILAL - 20988-1 Love For Sale — Bilal Bilal Love For Sale (Album) Universal Records MOTRBILAL - 20988-1 2003 Sell This Version
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88697169762 The Dresden Soul Symphony — Bilal MDR Symphony Orchestra* Feat. Joy Denalane, Bilal, Dwele & Tweet MDR Symphony Orchestra* Feat. Joy Denalane, Bilal, Dwele & Tweet - The Dresden Soul Symphony (Album) Four Music 88697169762 Europe 2008 Sell This Version
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none Airtight’s Revenge — Bilal Bilal Airtight’s Revenge (Album) Plug Research none 2010 Sell This Version
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BBE239ACD A Love Surreal — Bilal Bilal A Love Surreal (Album) eOne BBE239ACD Europe 2013 Sell This Version
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none In Another Life — Bilal Bilal In Another Life (Album) eOne none 2015 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

0694974092 Soul Sista — Bilal Bilal Soul Sista (Single) Interscope Records 0694974092 US 2000 Sell This Version
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UNIDJ046 Fast Lane — Bilal Bilal Fast Lane (Single) Interscope Records UNIDJ046 Europe 2000 Sell This Version
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MCAR-25628-1 I Can't Wait — Bilal Jaguar Wright Featuring Bilal Jaguar Wright Featuring Bilal - I Can't Wait (Single) MCA Records MCAR-25628-1 US 2001 Sell This Version
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BILALSNIP1 1st Born Second Sampler — Bilal Bilal 1st Born Second Sampler Interscope Records BILALSNIP1 Europe 2001 Sell This Version
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INTR-10378-1 Love It — Bilal Bilal Love It (Single) Interscope Records INTR-10378-1 US 2000 Sell This Version
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VUSCDJ201 Certified — Bilal Guru's Jazzmatazz* Featuring Bilal Guru's Jazzmatazz* Featuring Bilal - Certified (Single, Maxi) Virgin VUSCDJ201 UK 2001 Sell This Version
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BILALCDP3 Soul Sista / Fast Lane Remixes — Bilal Bilal Soul Sista / Fast Lane Remixes (Single) Moyo Music, Interscope Records BILALCDP3 Europe 2002 Sell This Version
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none Heaven (Is Not For Everyone) / Free — Bilal Tito Ramos / Bilal Tito Ramos / Bilal - Heaven (Is Not For Everyone) / Free(7", Promo) Wax Poetics Records none US 2010 Sell This Version
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none Restart — Bilal Bilal Restart(3xFile, AAC, EP, 256) Plug Research Music none 2010
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PLG108-D Levels — Bilal Bilal Levels (EP) Plug Research PLG108-D US 2011
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none Back To Love — Bilal Bilal Back To Love(File, AAC, Single, 256) eOne none 2012
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none Satellites — Bilal Bilal Satellites(File, AAC, Single, 256) eOne none 2015
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88875149531 Ghetto Walkin' — Bilal Miles Davis, Robert Glasper, Bilal Miles Davis, Robert Glasper, Bilal - Ghetto Walkin'(12", Ltd) Columbia, Legacy, Sony Music 88875149531 USA & Europe 2016 Sell This Version
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none Home — Bilal Common Feat. Bilal Common Feat. Bilal - Home(File, AAC, Single, 256) Def Jam Recordings none US 2016
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OR 091 Love Will — Bilal Boddhi Satva, Bilal Boddhi Satva, Bilal - Love Will(12", Single) Offering Recordings OR 091 Belgium 2017 Sell This Version
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MT7003 Sexy Suzy On a Sunday Remixes — Bilal Tiombe Lockhart feat. Bilal Tiombe Lockhart feat. Bilal - Sexy Suzy On a Sunday Remixes(7") Mother Tongue Records (2) MT7003 Italy 2020 Sell This Version
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none Pray Momma Don't Cry (From Rapsody (2) Feat. Bilal Rapsody (2) Feat. Bilal - Pray Momma Don't Cry (From "I Can't Breathe / Music For the Movement")(File, AAC, Single, 256) Jamla none 2020
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YEP-2721 Black Coffee In Bed — Bilal Bilal & Nikki Jean Bilal & Nikki Jean - Black Coffee In Bed(7", Single, Ltd) Yep Roc Records YEP-2721 US 2020 Sell This Version
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none Enough Is All I Need — Bilal Bilal Enough Is All I Need(File, AAC, Single, 256) Not On Label (Bilal Self-released) none 2020