Bilal on his Style, Music and those Locs

July 01, 2010

By Katrice

If you are serious about your music, you can undoubtedly remember the first time you experienced the sound of Grammy-nominated artist Bilal's skillfully manipulated falsetto. For me, it was his hit, "Soul Sista'." I bought the single specifically with the intent of playing that ditty on repeat and, in turn, fell in love with "Sometimes." Thank goodness for his brand of untethered vocal and musical integrity. And thank goodness he's back -- giving us more. Bilal returns with his third studio album, Airtight’s Revenge, to be released September 14. I caught up with him, as he's heading for Europe on tour, to talk about his personal style, hair and where to find him once the CD drops.

What was your last impulse purchase that wasn't a good look? 
That’s easy -- a Louis Vuitton bag … That went bad because I had it for like a month, went to the airport and left it there. I got on a plane and was like, 'man, where's my carry-on.'

What article of clothing should every man have in his closet?
Every dude needs some boots. They don’t have to be Tims, but some type of boot. 

What's an essential staple in your wardrobe?
I don't really have one ... I like to change up the way I wear stuff. So maybe a belt. It’s always important to have a nice looking belt.

Your style in three words …
Hippy, derelict, couture. I don’t like to look too put together but I don’t like to look too bummy. I like to mix bummy and put together. I like to wear old dirty ripped up jeans with an expensive pair of boots. Something like that.

Who is your favorite designer or brand/place to shop?
Diesel Jeans.

If you could choose school uniforms for a school system what would it consist of? 
Khaki pants and whatever shirt you like. I grew up in Catholic schools and private schools, and [wearing a uniform] kind of sucked. But, then it was also okay because I didn't have to pick out something to wear everyday. So, if you could keep the pants steady and get creative with the shirts …

Dread(loc)s are such a commitment to growing your hair and cutting them could be seen as a major evolutionary move. What led you to grow them … and how did you arrive at the decision to switch things up with a haircut?
I grew them just because I liked dreads. There was no real spiritual story behind it. I grew them in high school for superficial reasons, probably. And as I had my locs, I got more into spirituality; but I never really looked at my hair like that. I always said that I would keep it for a certain amount of time and then cut it. So one day while I was watching Maury Povich, the commercial came on ... I went up cut my hair off. I’m kind of sporadic; I like to have room to grow … especially with things on me. I also think that cutting your hair is rejuvenation anyway. As your hair grows a certain length, especially locs, there's a lot of energy in that. So, I guess it was just time to do that.
When you're in the studio, who can you always count on to bring crazy energy and creativity to a session? 
I can always count on that from J Dilla, but I feel that way about a lot of the people that I've worked with. But one of the people that I can call off the top of my head that I knew was going to be something fun was J Dilla.

Where can the fans see you?
I’m leaving to do a tour of Europe next week. When we come back, sometime maybe around September or so, I'll be doing a tour of the U.S. But, I’m also thinking of doing an album release in D.C. I'm not sure, so I’ll keep everybody posted.

Find him on Twitter at Bilal_Oliver

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  1. Allie Anderson @cocoalivs4fashnJuly 1, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Thumbs up! Very informative with a fashion twist. I love!

  2. Wooohooo! DC Album Release! SistaSoul Kieva is in the building!

  3. Thank you for the comments Allie and Kieva!

  4. This post has definitely awakened my senses to a new wave of fashion & music. Thanks Katrice for sharing!!!!!


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