Bilal shares insight and love at The Experience

Photo credit: Kymon of Kyndred Studio

In the era of social media one would possibly say they know more about their favorite artist than they did even 10 years ago. Everyone seems more accessible and, in some cases, to a fault. We may know more about our favorite artist know because of social media, but it doesn’t really tell the entire story. This is why “The Experience” presented by Dedry Jones is so necessary and informative. It opens up a door to lives of artists in a way that is not forced or intrusive. The ability to learn more about them in a comfortable setting without all the hype is endearing and Dedry’s sincere approach cracks the door open a little more.

Rolling out stopped by the latest installment of The Experience with Bilal at Salaams restaurant on the south side of Chicago. He was there to promote his most recent release “…in another life” and answer some questions about his career that has lasted well over a decade.

He grew up in a mixed faith household with a Christian mother and a Muslim dad. His father introduced him to Jazz. Bilal attended the same high school as the legendary Roots crew and R&B singer Amel Larrieux. He was extremely open about his background as a singer. A reluctant singer, his main motivation was to become a musician mostly because singers were held in low regard by musicians. Bilal’s early work was done on R&B artist Grenique’s release “Black Butterfly”. He also revealed that he sang background for D’Angelo and Erykah Badu and they both fired him. He said it was basically because he was starstruck by Erykah’s beauty and D’Angelo is such a meticulous musician that it was hard for him to remember everything. Ultimately it was D’Angleo who encouraged him to pursue a solo career.

Photo credit: Kymon of Kyndred Studio

During the course of the night Dedry would play songs and ask about the concept and inspiration for them. He mentioned that one of Bilal’s songs is definitely in his Top 5 of all time. The song he was referring to was “Little One” from his 2010 release “Airtight’s Revenge”. Bilal wrote “Little One” for his sons, one who has Sickle Cell and the other who has Autism. It’s a touching song from a father to his sons and he wrote it deliberately because of the lack of songs that exist in that vein. Another song “What is Love” from his the same album was inspired by Einstein.

Once the Q&A session was done Bilal sang 4 songs and went out to greet the crowd and sign autographs.

Bilal mentioned that he is doing music, “Create my own sound, my own approach something that will last the test of time, my own thing.” Certainly, his fans are pleased with this frame of mind because it lends to one of the most soulful and versatile voices of our time.


Purchase “…in another life” on iTunes by visiting the link

Learn more about Dedry Jones and The Experience by vistiing the site

Take a look at the gallery below of pictures from the event.


Instagram/Twitter: @precise_chi

Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at:

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