Bilal, singer, songwriter
Singer ~ Songwriter
birth name: Bilal Sayeed Oliver


August 23, 1979, Philadelphia, PA

If there was one R&B artist for whom the neo-soul categorization seemed limiting, it was Philadelphia native Bilal. ~ Allmusic: Bilal ~ retrieved May 7, 2014 © Allmusic

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August 23, 1969 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Tommy James & the Shondells, Crystal Blue Persuasion ~ #2 (5) Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue ~ #1 (2) The Rolling Stones, Honky Tonk Women


Q: Your last album was ultimately about shaking off the “neo-soul” label that many aren't fond of, yourself included. So what were you aiming to accomplish with A Love Surreal? ~ A: With this album, I was just really trying to take it a step further in terms of my musical journey as a songwriter and producer. The journey is in finding my own sound and niche. ~ Bilal interview ~ February 2013 ©

Coming from what he describes as a “regular kind of neighborhood”, Bilal was first introduced to music when he attended a small local church. In his later years, Bilal’s father introduced him to the jazz clubs around the city. It wasn’t until Bilal attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts that he really started taking his music seriously, realizing this was the direction he wanted to go with his life. After high school, Bilal was accepted to the New School for Social Research, a prestigious avant-garde university in New York. While there, he studied Jazz and continued to develop his affinity for songwriting. Bilal was able to experience the nightlife of New York City by frequenting night clubs and gaining a true knowledge of the NYC music scene. While frequenting the famed Wetlands’ Nightclub, he became acquainted with The Roots, Q Tip, Common, Erykah Badu and Mos Def. ~ The Howard Theatre: Bilal ~ 2012 © The Howard Theatre

Bilal ~ Soul Sista (Mtume/Oliver) ~ Ranked #92 Soul Bounce Top 100 Soul/R&B Songs in 2008 ~ When Bilal first stepped on the scene with his debut single Soul Sista, everyone just about lost their minds. Not only was the song a concoction of warm, velvety lusciousness, but the video was dripping with ooey, gooey love. ~ 2008 © Soulbounce

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