Freeform jazz/soul singer was born Bilal Sayeed Oliver in 1979, in Philadelphia. The classically trained artist studied at the Mannes Music Conservatory in New York, where he learned to sing the opera in seven languages. A member of the soul collective Soulquarians, Bilal embarked on a solo career in 2001 with the release of his début album, the Dr. Dre produced 1st Born Second, which spawned the alternative radio hit Soul Sista. He has since contributed to various projects, including Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol.3: Street Soul, and has produced Erykah Badu's 2000 album Mama's Gun. In 2006, Bilal released the album Ça va ça va.