BILAL

Bilal Oliver was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Coming from what he describes as a “regular kind of neighborhood”, Bilal was first introduced to music when he attended a small local church. The congregation, made up of mostly family members, became his foremost musical outlet. In his later years, Bilal’s father introduced him to the jazz clubs around the city. It wasn’t until Bilal attende
d the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts that he really started taking his music seriously, realizing this was the direction he wanted to go with his life. While at the school, Bilal, along with his peers, began to experiment with songwriting and became completely enamored with Jazz. “I wanted to sing Jazz, play Jazz, and write Jazz tunes.” The effect of being immersed into a creative, music infused environment caused the young Bilal to interpret his voice as an instrument especially in the songs he began to write.

After high school, Bilal was accepted to the New School for Social Research, a prestigious avant-garde university in New York. While there, he studied Jazz and continued to develop his affinity for songwriting. Bilal was able to experience the nightlife of New York City by frequenting night clubs and gaining a true knowledge of the NYC music scene. While frequenting the famed Wetlands’ Nightclub, he became acquainted with The Roots, Q Tip, Common, Erykah Badu and Mos Def. Bilal would also take part in jam sessions with his New School professors and classmates. It was during one of these sessions that Bilal met Aaron Coleman of the Spin Doctors. The two hit it off and soon private jam sessions in Coleman’s home gave birth to a demo of songs that would land Bilal a record deal with Interscope.
Bilal was moving in the direction he desired and moving fast. He left the New School, focusing on his musical career and began creating music at the famed Electric Lady Studios. At this time, Common was working on his Like Water for Chocolate album at Electric Lady. Bilal, sitting in on the recording sessions, became an integral part of the album. Later sessions with Questlove of The Roots introduced Bilal to J Dilla and sparked a fruitful working relationship between the two. Once the album was near completion, label pressures coerced Bilal into working with more commercially prominent producers like Dr. Dre and Mike City. The album, First Born Second, was released in 2001, displaying a wide range of diverse musicality.

With a favorable response to his album, Bilal was swept up in what the media referred to a “Neo Soul” movement. Bilal didn’t feel the term fit. “I was trying to come from a Jazz perspective…. trying to write open ended tunes that could go in any direction when played live.” While touring, Bilal and his band started to morph the music into what he describe as a “jazz-fusion/rock type funk.” This musical freedom bled into the songwriting for Bilal’s next project, Love For Sale. This time around, Bilal worked with a myriad of new collaborators, from Sa-Ra to Denaun Porter to Nottz, even gathering a number of his former New School peers to participate. Interscope execs were less than enthused upon hearing the new record. Mysteriously, an unfinished version of the project was leaked.

The response from audiences and critics worldwide was overwhelmingly positive. For years, label politics prevented any significant progress to occur on a follow-up album. In spite of the setbacks of the last album, Bilal had a dedicated fan base and they wanted more. The encouraging feedback began to re-inspire Bilal to write songs again and he set out to accomplish what he had started in the beginning. Late 2009, Bilal announced his official second album will be released Summer 2010 via Los Angeles based label Plug Research Music. The new music promises to be progressive while still having its roots placed firmly in the jazz traditions that originally inspired Bilal’s music. Bilal describes the new material as “genre-bending music.”

Teronze was born and raised in Stockton, CA, while later attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia to pursue Business Management for a short time, only to return back to California to work with his family's business. During this time, Teronze partnered up with four friends, who formed a singing group called, "Jintelmine’ ", which gave him the experience he needed to realize his musical capabilities. Following the disband of the group, years later, Teronze rediscovered music in the late 2000’s, as a result of periodic pushes from his mother, who desired for Teronze to follow his creative abilities further, as well as harsh repercussions and fallout from the mortgage finance industry that Teronze worked in at the time. His father, on the other hand, who was more technical and logically driven, wanted Teronze to continue in business and academics. Teronze’s musical evolution came into full circle in 2010, when his father had a dynamic shift from the technical and logical desires he once had solely for Teronze, to a more vehement desire for his son to pursue music. It was at this moment, Teronze attempted to record his own album in a studio in Las Vegas, NV, only to realize that his creativity was being stifled by the exorbant costs, the time constraints, and the lack of self-management in the studio. It only at a point when Teronze realized when his creativity was at his highest; away from the studio by himself. Following this epiphany, Teronze began writing, producing, and arranging most his own songs and all of his lyrics. With the help of his parents, Teronze invested in a small studio of his own in which follow his newly discovered passion. Also, with the help of Craigslist, Teronze was able to hire various musicians and singers he needed to create his first dozen songs within less than six months from inception. Disregarding the typical music formula pushed by the music’s industry, He wanted to uphold his creative levels at their peak, thus eliminating any musical limitations imposed by outside influence. Determined to integrate Soul music, Funk, and Rock n’ Roll became his platform.

Khela is an artist that touches the spirit of all those she comes in contact with. Being a singer and songwriter, her engaging persona and her captivating vocals readily entice through soulful renditions of masterfully tailored music.

A native of Northern California, Khela has always been a lover of music. She began moving people’s hearts while singing in the church choir throughout much of her childhood; it was this ability to capture an audience that earned her the #1 spot at the California State Fair singing competition in 2006. From that point forward, she resolved herself to the pursuit of a career in the music industry. Working as a background vocalist for various Bay Area artists/bands she was inspired and determined to be in the spotlight.

She added to her repertoire of growing achievements over the summer of 2011 the release of a soulful debut single titled “Walk With Me”, a follow up video EPK, pivotal performances at prominent venues, and sharing the marquee with artist(s) such as Lenny Williams (former lead singer of Tower of Power), Def Jam artist John West, Latoya London of American Idol and Sony Music Ent. pop group Karmin.

Khela was also named as an official nominee for a 2011 Hollywood Music in Media Award for her song “Walk With Me” as Best R&B/Soul song, and was chosen as a Top 6 semi-finalist contestant in the BMI Know Them Now Unsigned Songwriter competition in Los Angeles, CA.

Following the success of the previous year, Khela was named as a nominee for a 2012 Artists in Music Award as Best R&B/Soul artist and her song "Hold On" was nominated by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards as Best R&B/Soul song of 2012.

While collaborating w Bay Area musicians and producers Will Sap and L.Richmond as well as incorporating fresh talent Spiffy of Headphonemuzik, Khela shares what she calls her soul music on her recently released debut EP titled “Beautiful Monster.”

Trakk Roberts

$20 - $32

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BILAL with Teronze, Khela, Trakk Roberts, Don Raymond

Thursday, December 6 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:45 PM at The New Parish