Bonnaroo Artist | Shamir
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | TBA
As we’ve been doing for the past several years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with as many bands as we can from Bonnaroo‘s impressive 2016 lineup. We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up, paying special attention to the smaller and lesser known acts on this year’s bill. Keep reading for your Bonnaroo Band of the Day…
Androgynous both on a personal level and a musical one, Shamir’s sound defies classification, pulling from elements of pop, disco, electronic, and hip hop, his debut album Ratchet serving as one of last year’s most unique releases. Born and raised in North Las Vegas (the largely suburban city adjacent to Vegas proper), Shamir, full name Shamir Bailey, was raised in musical household, and developed an early appreciation for a wide range of artists, from classic to contemporary. He (though Shamir is genderqueer, he tends to use male pronouns) began writing music of his own after receiving his first guitar at age 9, going on to dabble in punk in high school, before ultimately finding his own voice as a solo artist.
The now 21 year old sent a demo to Nick Sylvester, the head of New York label Godmode, shortly after graduating high school, and was promptly scooped up, releasing his debut EP, Northtown, in 2014. Propelled by opening track “It Wasn’t True,” Shamir’s hard to peg sound quickly resonated with the blogosphere, and landed him on many “best of” and “artist to watch” lists, grabbing the attention of tastmaking label XL Recordings. Through XL, Shamir dropped what is inarguably his breakthrough single, “On the Regular,” in late 2014, soon followed by Ratchet early last year. Commercial placements, late night TV appearances, and even more media buzz soon followed, and, thanks to his individuality, eclectic musical ear, and refusal to adhere to any one label or style, he’s fast becoming one of the most promising young artists in the indie world. Singers like Shamir are what we love most about Bonnaroo; new, fresh, and on the rise, he absolutely needs to be on your must-see list this summer.
LISTEN | “If It Wasn’t True”
WATCH | “On the Regular” (Official Video)