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"I've been a singer since I was three" is how Bilal begins his profile in the fabulous Sounds of New York documentary series, directed by Gloria Rebecchi. Having grown up with a Muslim father and a Christian mother, he was surrounded by the music of both groups and felt a particular affinity for religious soundscapes. But it was his father who sparked his love for jazz and took him round the clubs of his hometown in Philadelphia. What a life, Bilal thought, living your life in the day and singing for small audiences at night – it was this humble dream that Bilal credits for keeping his sound unique: "I was never shooting for the popular vote."
Tuesday, June 30, 2026