Uncovering Bilal’s natural progression of sound
Bilal is an artist who captivates your soul within his music - you know the kind of deep stuff that keeps you desperately coming back for more. He's an artist who manages to evoke emotion through his well-known love making music and more recently the ability to evoke change with his album ‘In another life.’ His complex artistry can only be compared Kendrick Lamar, using his music to not only bring like-minded people together, but to also question what is going on in the world today with strong jazz influences. ‘In another life’ was entirely produced by the ever so talented Adrian Younge promising sonically flawless tunes with Bilal’s breathtaking vocals.
Stimulate Your Soul sits down with Bilal and chats about what we expect from his second show down-under, why his new album’s sound was a natural progression and how he writes his music with poems. Margaret Tra writes.
This will be the second time you’ve come out to Australia, what can the Aussie crowd expect?
A good show, new material and a good performance. I’m really looking forward to coming out and playing. I’m sure I’ll be pretty excited.
‘In another life’ is the first time you used only one production style/producer, what was that like?
It was cool, I mean, Adrian [Younge] is a good producer, so we really didn't need to think about it. It was all very natural, making the music. There wasn’t really a plan or any direction that I was thinking about with this album, and that was the good thing about it and why it did happen with just one producer. It just worked.
You’re currently on the road, favourite road snacks?
I really like chips.
I’m a long time fan of your music, and I will admit at first I didn’t understand the album, but it took me another listen to fully comprehend the artistry. Do you get this reaction a lot for people who are used to your older music?
Not so much, I mean it’s pretty much a natural progression of my last album, it’s just sonically different because it’s all analog. Long time fans, a lot of them, all want to hear what they want to hear, but I’m the type of artist where I’m constantly growing. So, if you’re a long time fan, a real long time fan, then you’ll understand how I grow on every album that I do. There’s always a natural progression.
You’ve of course have worked with some pretty amazing artists’ already, is there one you haven’t that you’d like to?
There’s a lot of artists that I’d like to work with, there’s so many talents out there. If I had to narrow it down, probably Flying Lotus, Salaam Remi…there’s quite a few.
You’ve given praise to our very own Hiatus Kaiyote, what is it about them that captured you to their music?
I really like their style. Their concept is very similar to the concept that I’ve been working on over the years which is mixing genres, while also coming from a jazz standpoint and having a good understanding of jazz. I really just like the way that they mix genre to make a new sound. It definitely pricked my ear.
I read that you write your music in poems, is that true?
I do write my music through poems, but that’s just one part of the way that I work. Sometimes I write a poem to begin with, but most of the time the music is first and I’ll come up with the lyrics that way.
I heard you’re trying to master extreme yoga? Can we expect some handstands at the show?
[Laughs] I don’t know…Maybe.
What stimulates your soul?
Well, that would have to be music. Music stimulates my soul like nothing else.