Twenty year-old singer/songwriter Shamir Bailey is a force to be reckoned with. He has been noticed and praised for his remarkable singing voice, yet he is difficult to place in a box. Critic Jamieson Cox writing for Pitchfork compared Shamir’s unique voice and style to “…Prince masquerading as Camille and the cracking adolescent soul of the teenage Michael Jackson..[and he] dismantles the expectations maintained for vocalists based on their gender, demanding instead that the focus be placed on his agile, fluttering performance.” Shamir says that he first and foremost makes music for himself because that way it will be more honest, but as an artist he is creating music that is also a welcome, shared experience. Like his music Shamir himself defies easy categorization. Brought up as a Muslim in North Las Vegas, which he calls “cookie cutter suburban,” Shamir says he is more spiritual than religious and he doesn’t identify as either male or female.
Bailey has put out an EP and an LP and is gaining momentum. You can check him out here via the Lowdown, a video interview series powered by LANDR, the audio post production software that is backed by rapper Nas.