Bilal Sayeed Oliver, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. This talented R&B singer-songwriter and keyboard player received formal training in voice and jazz and big band arrangements at the Mannes Music Conservatory in New York. Back in Philadelphia he was encouraged to become a recording artist by brothers Fa and Damu Mtume, founders of the Moyo Entertainment label. Relocating to New York in the late 90s Bilal began performing the local club circuit, where his demo tape attracted the attention of leading neo-soul singer Erykah Badu. He began performing with the singers Soul Aquarians collective alongside artists such as Mos Def, Q-Tip and DAngelo. In a busy 2000, Bilal performed on Badus Mamas Gun, Commons Like Water For Chocolate and Gurus Jazzmatazz: Streetsoul, and continued writing his debut solo recording. 1st Born Second, released in July 2001, showcased the singers talent on material that slipped effortlessly from traditional soul ballads, to reggae and scat-jazz.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.