Bil Basmala sees your vision, and has created something you’re going to want to hear.
There’s nothing simplistic about the music of west coast visionary soul artist Bil Basmala. He prefers to push boundaries, and bridge gaps between genres, and generations.
The style he created, and dubbed visionary soul, is a mixture of computer based production, and live percussion, that brings together elements of hip-hop and electronic music. The sound has a soulful ambience, as it’s built on a layered combination of classic hip-hop drums, harmonious vocals, and abstract rap lyrics based in social commentary, and individual enlightenment.
Bil Basmala’s work has inspired rave reviews from the indie hip-hop community. Blogger, and producer, elmattic, said of Basmala’s music, “(It’s) from some alternative reality where (Eric) Dolphy and (Charles) Mingus invented the MPC, and jazz never ended.”
While his music may embody an alternate reality, changing his own reality has been a major theme for Basmala, who is a relatively new name, but not a new face, on the scene. Also recording as Hasan Atiq, which is the name he uses when he is strictly being a vocalist, Basmala’s history includes releasing five albums from 2005-2010 under the name Autolect, one of which featured production from 9th Wonder.
Bil Basmala, however, is more than just the latest in a line of monikers. It has a far deeper meaning. “Basmala is the intention behind everything I am doing,” he explains. “When you’re making music, especially in different genres, and writing lyrics, the process can become convoluted. Projects fall apart, and the cohesiveness of what you’re trying to achieve is lost. Basmala brought that wholeness back with focus. It allowed me to remove, or trim, the ego a bit in order to accomplish what needs to be accomplished, multi-project-wise. Basmala is, for lack of a better word, objective, aligned with decree/goals.”
The objective, and goals, of Basmala remain the same over the years, with his most recent inspiration coming from the world of visionary art. “As I left the Autolect stage (of my career) I was introduced to visionary art,” he says of his musical journey, “I sat with a visionary artist who explained the process, and outlook, to me. I related to a lot of what was explained, and it became obvious that this was a direction that I wanted to take my music in.”
Translating visual techniques to an audio world can be a challenge, but, Basmala has a process. “What visionary artists do with colors, we translate to sound, and this is done in various ways, but most important is the frequency your sound is on. How a visionary artist sees the field in spatial aspects can also be translated to sequencing a track, letting it breathe, and the placement of instruments in the sound field.”