I’m thankful for each and every one of my opportunities!!
Among those is interviewing artists who I’ve admired for years. Not only will I see Bilal in concert for the second time this month, but I had a chance to speak with him about his music.
Not to put Bilal in a box, but if he had to give his sound a genre, he’d call it “rocky-soul-funk-acid-jazz”. According to his Facebook page, “Bilal was swept up in what the media referred to as a ‘Neo Soul’ movement. Bilal didn’t feel the term fit. ‘I was trying to come from a jazz perspective…trying to write open ended tunes that could go in any direction when played live.’”
He’s currently working on his new record due out February 12, 2013 titled A Love Surreal. “It’s kind of a play on an album that never released, A Love For Sale.” He’s finished mastering the album and plans to perform it on this current tour (see dates and locations below).
Bilal says his lyrics are simply inspired by life. The last album, spoke on a lot of topics that are unspoken about. Along with the things he was going through as a man; dealing with his oldest son who is autistic and his middle child who has sickle cell. These life situations put him in a different headspace. Add to that the economy and government; he started writing the blues.
I’ve been following Bilal since the release of 1st Born Second with cuts such as “Soul Sista” and “When Will U Call”. And lest I forget “Love Poems” in which he sings to a woman he wants to be more than friends with. On his 2010 album, Airtight’s Revenge, he sings to his children on “Little One” telling them he’s just a man working hard to be a better man. And on “Flying” he sings about a girl who was left to the streets to run wild after her parents failed her. He says the lyrics are different, of course, as he evolves from album to album, but he still draws from the same life experiences. “This last album may have been more electronic, but I still write them in the same manner. And I really don’t pay attention to my progression [from album to album]. I sit back look at it afterwards.”
During his travels, being recognized by fans is inspiring to Bilal because they’re so encouraging toward him. He shared that his favorite place to perform is not a specific city or venue, rather in front of a crowd that is all the way there with him; doesn’t matter where he is. If he has that vibe and everyone is into the moment and at attention, those are the best situations!
Bilal is working on a “f’n hella dope” website, but until then follow him on Twitter and Facebook! St. Louis can support him at 2720 Cherokee on December 13. In addition to that show, he has three shows coming up in California December 6-8, Chicago on December 14 followed by Indianapolis on December 15 and Nashville on December 16. No excuses! Be a supporter of this progressive artist with “genre-bending music”.