Bilal and Miguel Blend Sounds at New York City Concert
Crooners Bilal and Miguel were accompanied by Atlanta rapper Donnis on stage last night (Oct. 5) at the Canal Room for the third installment of the Hennessy Artistry series in New York City. The event, presented by Hot 97 and hosted by radio personality Peter Rosenberg, drew a blended crowd of R&B aficionados and mixtape zealots.
Before Donnis graced the stage, Connecticut-bred newcomer Erin Christine tickled the whites on the keyboard as she breezed through tracks like 'Say' and "Homesick,' all with the added touch of a band backing her soulfully passionate vocals.
ATLien Donnis flipped the switch to take the crowd on a high-energy trip as he opened his show with the fitting 'I Made It,' rapping, "Hey, mama, I made it to the bright lights and stages." Dressed in a black fitted cap and black button-down, the Southern gentleman was anything but dark as he playfully interacted with the audience. "As a rapper it's not too often that I get to rap to the women, 'cause there's always dudes staring at me and shit," he explained. "So can I do a sexy lady song?" Before ending his show with the cinematic tune 'Tonight,' the rap star pulled a lucky lady on stage to entice her with lyrics from his seductive track 'Eat You Alive.'
Outfitted in a white jacket and black sunglasses, rising singer Miguel cemented his presence by appearing with a full band and crooning through his new single 'Sure Thing.' After singing 'Strawberry Amazing,' Miguel, who's currently touring with Mary J. Blige, apologized to the crowd for his tardiness and left them with some food for thought. "Life is all about individuality," he stated. "Be fly, y'all muthaf---as gotta be amazing." The Los Angeles native proceeded to take off his shades, getting more intimate with fans as he sang a version of his radio mainstay 'All I Want Is You' with an acoustic guitar. He satisfied the room as he closed out his set by performing the original version of his first single that many have grown to love.
"Pretty much the people that come out want to see me wild out," Bilal told The BoomBox before taking the stage. "I kick s---, I rip my clothes off, stab myself. I try to keep it high-energy." Minus the self-inflicted stabbing, the singer did just that. Using his hands to express the passion of his lyrics, Bilal performed many of the songs from his third album, 'Airtight's Revenge,' as well as old tunes. While devout fans didn't get to hear classics like 'Soul Sista' or 'Fast Lane,' they were treated to 'Something to Hold On To,' off his sophomore effort, 'Love for Sale.' He segued into songs like 'Restart' and 'All Matters,' all while producer 88 Keys worked the turntables. As Bilal sang the 88 Keys-produced 'Think It Over,' sharing lyrics like, "You should be free to be, but for now, maybe the second time around will be sweeter ... " it was apparent his third album's material was just as sweet as his past work.