Las Vegas' Shamir is an eclectic artist whose music spans lo-fi indie rock, the confessional style of country singer/songwriters, and witty electro-pop.
Growing up in the city's Northtown area, Shamir Bailey listened to music ranging from rock to jazz and found inspiration in his songwriter aunt. After getting a guitar from his mother, he taught himself to play it (albeit upside down). With his friend Christina Thompson, Bailey formed the indie pop duo Anorexia, who released the 2013 EP Bedroom Songs and played South by Southwest. He also began writing songs with dance beats, and sent some of his work to writer/producer Nick Sylvester, who helped shape Shamir's new approach into pulsing yet affecting songs that drew on '90s house, pop, and R&B and earned favorable comparisons to the likes of Grace Jones and the DFA Records roster. The first fruit of their collaboration, "If It Wasn't True," arrived in February 2014 via Sylvester's God Mode label. That June saw the release of the Northtown EP, which included that song as well as a cover of Canadian country singer Lindi Ortega's "Lived and Died Alone." Shamir signed to XL soon after the EP arrived, and released his breakthrough single "On the Regular" -- a cheeky mix of house and hip-hop that he wrote within minutes -- in October. His debut album, Ratchet, arrived in May 2015. After parting ways with XL, he released the free album Hope, a return to his lo-fi roots, in April 2017. Not long after its release, Bailey was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and spent a short amount of time in a psychiatric hospital. He returned to Las Vegas to recover, and wrote and recorded the bulk of his second album, Revelations, on a four-track recorder in two weeks. Father/Daughter Records released the album in November 2017. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi