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A Conversation with Bilal

by Dana Bingham

BilalMass1Photo by Mass

When I first heard Bilal’s Soul Sista on the radio in 2001, I did not know he was the same voice I had heard singing on Common’s song The 6th Sense just a year prior. His style was a throw back to a soul sound I had remembered of the early 80s at the same time blending it with a futuristic sound.

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BNYCBilal is on my very short list of artists who are underrated. Bilal sprung on to the music scene in 2001with his Neosoul debut album 1st Born Second and its smooth and sultry first single Soul Sista. The Philly native, who was a jazz and opera trained singer/songwriter, was working with everyone from Common to Erykah Badu. Fans couldn’t get enough of Bilal and wanted more. In 2006, Bilal was set to release his second album, Love for Sale, but the project’s release date was pushed back and later shelved due to the project being leaked entirely online.

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