By Haikeem Stokes
Bilal Sayeed Oliver, born on August 23, 1979, is a renowned American independent artist, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Known for his remarkable vocal range, versatility across multiple genres, and electrifying live performances, Bilal began his music career with a major label and gained fame with his hit R&B single “Soul Sista” in 2000. However, he soon shifted his focus to playing jazz venues and producing more progressive soul music, releasing four commercially successful albums to critical acclaim. Bilal’s second album, “Love for Sale,” though not officially released, received widespread critical acclaim after being leaked. He was also a member of the Soulquarians, a trailblazing collective of black musicians active from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Bilal’s exceptional talent and creativity have garnered him international recognition, and he has collaborated with numerous renowned artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Common, Erykah Badu, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Guru, Kimbra, J Dilla, Robert Glasper, and The Roots.
When you’re anxious to see an entertainer perform and they surpass all expectations, one feels absolutely fulfilled. This is my takeaway after seeing Mr. Bilal Sayeed Oliver aka Bilal in concert at the legendary City Winery Philadelphia located at 990 Filbert Street. Although, in one of the venue’s larger theatres it still felt very intimate, which made the experience all the more incredible. Bilal, being one of Philly’s favorite native sons, I took for granted that he would bring the heat, and he definitely didn’t disappoint.
Bilal captured the audience’s attention from his very first note and didn’t release custody until the finale. Since it was the 22nd anniversary of his debut album, 1st Born Second, we were mostly treated to this critically acclaimed body of work. Yet, in true Philly fashion, Bilal did sprinkle us with gems from his extensive catalog which made his star seem to shine even brighter. Bilal genuinely seemed as happy to be performing at home, as we were ecstatic to witness his greatness and it showed in audience participation.
Read Full Article Here Amazon.com: Intellectual Ink Magazine: Issue 23
Life isn’t but a dream, nor is it peachy keen. Most time your rose colored glasses are smudged. But once in a great while the unexpected happens. The sun sets where you sit and provides you with the happiest of endings. Be ever ready.