Bilal x HighBreedMusic – “VOYAGE-19”
Curated Live EP Experience 2020
On Aug 7th-9th, 2020, an unprecedented and extraordinary live event made recording history. For 54 hours, the world watched as legendary Grammy-winning artist Bilal (Musician, Actor, Composer, Producer, Vocalist), an original member of the iconic Soulquarians movement, Record Producer Tariq Khan (Slingbaum: Erykah Badu, FKA Twigs; Blue Note Records), and 30 musicians and vocalists, remotely recorded and composed an experimental 3-song EP, part-by-part, from 30 different locations. Each participant recorded their contributions from the safety of their own homes — in real-time. This multinational interactive recording session was broadcast live with Bilal’s creative process as the centerpiece, and used an innovative approach pioneered by HighBreedMusic (HBM) which combined several technologies to turn the isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic into an opportunity for collective creative expression. HBM, whose slogan is “The Artists That Artists Love,” is a forward-thinking Black and minority-owned studio and cultural hub in Brooklyn, NYC, run by founder Tariq Khan and Grammy-winning Videographer Nikki Birch (Snarky Puppy, Emily King, Cory Henry).
The album is out today on Bandcamp and features an all-star lineup of artists, including Bilal’s long time friends and collaborators Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Chuck Treece (of The Bad Brains), Tone Whitfield, and Philly-based MC Khemist, along with members of HighBreedMusic’s extended family, including Keyon Harrold, Madison McFerrin, Nick Hakim, Cory Henry, Simon Mavin (of Hiatus Kaiyote), Jaime Woods, Marcus Strickland, Ray Angry (of The Roots), Ben Williams, Brandee Younger, BigYuki, Melanie Charles, Marcus Gilmore, and Louis Cato.
Bilal masterfully guided the experience as musical director, producer, and vocalist, showcasing the fascinating progression of an initial idea to a finished album. The artists came together in a virtual green room that recreated the atmosphere of a studio session. They reminisced, laughed, wrote, recorded, produced, and mixed a brand new song each day. Viewers enjoyed rare access to the traditionally private world of song creation and album production – for free. They were also able to observe as two visual artists, Angelbert Metoyer and Shanina Dionna, created artwork for the EP – while the music was being recorded.
The three-day event was an incredible opportunity to watch the magic and camaraderie of some of the music industry’s most exciting artists working together, using new technology, to reflect the current times.
VOYAGE-19 will be released on Sept. 4, 2020 on Bandcamp, to take advantage of Bandcamp’s First Fridays, when artists receive 100% of the sales revenue for their music. Fans are also encouraged to support the project with donations. Proceeds from EP sales and donations are being shared among participating artists, many of whom, despite being accomplished career professionals, are facing financial uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Purchase Bilal x HighBreedMusic’s “VOYAGE-19” album on Bandcamp today!
For updated info, including a full list of participating artists. Please visit the project’s official Landing Page