Emerging from a budding DMV (D.C., Md. & Va.) music scene springs the eclectic and talented Ihsan Bilal. With countless features on local hip-hop artist’s songs and a style like no other, Ihsan Bilal is definitely on a path to bring her lifelong dream to life. Music has been a huge influence in her life since the young age of six. With a father who is a keyboardist and singer, and a brother who is an emerging music artist himself, there is no doubt that musical affluence runs in the Bilal family. With a knack for music and film, this songstress is destined for greatness and future success. I had the opportunity to meet Ihsan and briefly speak with her on a few occasions and although our conversations were brief, I could see that she has a beautiful spirit. Her professionalism combined with her talent and positivity are what caught my attention and made me to want to know more about her experiences, her hopes and dreams, and her plans for the future. So here it is:
@Arteest1: I know you have been writing and singing since the age of six. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
@Ihsanbilal: There were a few instances but one that really stood out was when I was a little girl and I saw Michael Jackson perform on tv at the super bowl. I said to myself I want to be like that and have a gazillion people know who I am, anticipate my every move, and help people over the entire world lol through my music!
@Arteest1: What influence has your family played in your music career?
@Ihsanbilal: My family is awesome lol! We are all involved in the arts in some way. My father really believed in me at a very young age and always entered me in talent shows. I have four younger siblings and we were like a modern day jackson 5. My brother AB produces, writes, sings, and raps. He produces most of my music. My brother Nabeeh creates music videos, he founded CreativeJunkFood and shot my animated “Barbie Doll” music video. My sister Karimah sings background for me from time to time and we all support each other.
@Arteest1: What is the motivation behind your music?
@Ihsanbilal: Art. Just pure Art. I could go on and say a specific show or movie. But, I’m inspired by Life and that in itself is Art.
@Arteest1: I know you have worked with numerous local music artists like X.O., Cayan, Nike Nando, and PHZ-Sicks. What other producers, music artists, and/or bands have you collaborated with?
@Ihsanbilal: Ra the Mc, Jay Millz, Emperess, Chris Barz, Deangelo Redman, 2tone 7, pert mcfly and the list goes on and on.
I feel blessed!!
@Arteest1: Name some of your favorite music artists/musicians.
@Ihsanbilal: Of course MJ. My favorite is N.E.R.D.,Beyonce’, Prince, Marsha Ambrosius, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson and a whole lot more
@Arteest1: What musicians/music artists would you like to work with?
@Ihsanbilal: I definitely would love to branch out of the city and work with everyone. NERD is #1 on my list:) They’re so different and underrated in my opinion.
@Arteest1: Describe your dream performance.
@Ihsanbilal: The super bowl and the Grammy’s- I fantasize every year these award shows come on- sighhhhh …one day lol!
@Arteest1: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
@Ihsanbilal: I love sports! I used to play soccer, t-ball, softball, tennis (for a few days lol) and basketball. I’m a huge basketball fan. Derreck Rose is the man. lol! I predict Chicago winning the ring this year!:)
@Arteest1: I know that you have executive produced a few music videos. What videos did you produce, how was that experience and do you see yourself producing more in the future?
@Ihsanbilal: I executive produced all of my music videos. We are up to number 6 yayyyyy! A lot of work goes into them, sleepless nights, literally blood sweat and tears. I’m actually in the process of putting together my biggest production yet for my debut single “Big Band Theory” . We’re shooting that next month in a week! I have the Ballou Marching band plus over 100 other people on set. This will be pretty cool when its done.
@Arteest1: How did you link up with The Danvilles and how has your experience performing with them been?
@Ihsanbilal: Long story short- By me telling everyone that doesn’t know me that I’m a singer (you never know who you’re going to meet). I met Mike (the creator of merrifield records) and we connected instantly. The guys are cool. We rehearsed once and headed to Texas. Its been pretty awesome to know that no matter your race, color, or creed people just really love talent! I’m a black girl singing at 98% white events and I get so much love. Its so humbling!
@Arteest1: I know your debut album ‘Big Red Box’ releases on May 31st. What is the motivation behind it and what can we expect from the project?
@Ihsanbilal: Expect a different sound not only as a whole but each song is different. I have a song for every popular genre out there. But it’s going to give you an alternative R&B feel. Its my box of different sounds. Its my present to the fans.
Ihsan Bilal - Big Band Theory - Single
@Arteest1: What do you want people to take from your music?
@Ihsanbilal: Empowerment is what I aim for. I like to be thought of as a motivational singer/ speaker. I want to make people feel good and touched when hearing my music which in essence is everyone’s music once its put out!
@Arteest1: I always ask people I talk to about their hopes for the future. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
@Ihsanbilal: I see big success in the near future. With that success my team that pushes me to keep going will receive that, DC being even bigger than what it is now. I can definitely see me touring the world, starting up a few charities/ organizations, opening up a school for the arts, and being even happier than I am now.
@Arteest1: What would you like to tell your current and prospective fans?
@Ihsanbilal: For anyone wanting to pursue anything in life always be professional about it, never give up, give it time to grow (no one is perfect), and never let anyone tell you that “You can’t”!!!
Thank-you all for your support and I hope to continue to motivate, inspire, and empower you all!!!
Well, I can honestly say that you have the talent in you. As long as you keep the drive and the humility I can definitely see you going far in your musical pursuit. Keep up the positivity and remain true to yourself and your music and you will always have my support and the support of your fans. I appreciate you taking the time out to teach us a little about yourself and I hope to continue to hear great things from you in the future.
You Can Follow and keep up with Ihsan Bilal at:
You can download her latest single
“Big Band Theory” today on iTunes!