For the likes of Robert Glasper, The Roots, and Common, Bilal needs no introduction – a classically-trained vocal veteran with an inimitable voice, wholly modern and restlessly creative. Through evangelism from his peers and word of mouth from his fans, Bilal has gained an insatiable following, performing genre-bending music that is hard to pin down and even harder to ignore.
Bilal released his debut album 1st Born Second in 2001, which boasted the popular single “Soul Sista”. The follow-up, Love for Sale (2006), was initially shelved but leaked entirely online and was well received by fans and critics, becoming an underground classic. In the years since, Bilal has collaborated and performed with some of the industry’s most prominent artists. His collaboration on Kendrick Lamar’s “These Walls” (alongside Thundercat & Anna Wise) won Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards in 2016. Bilal has also collaborated with Beyoncé, Common, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Boney James, Musiq Soulchild, and The Roots, among others. He covered Radiohead’s “High & Dry” for the 2006 Radiohead tribute album, Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads, and he also appears in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.