Shamir // In Short

Shamir visions

Ever since I was eight I was attached to the mic, says Shamir Bailey. Now 20, he describes himself as a musician, comedian, singer, rapper, twerker, chef, writer, filmmaker and skinny fat ass. But the big question, he asks, is can you love me?!

You can share your thoughts – or even better, your love – with the Las Vegas native when he arrives in Hackney for the Visions festival. Spread over six venues with an eyebrow-raising collection of artists on each stage, the party on Saturday, August 8, also includes a street food festival, markets and even a screen printing class.

Now signed to London’s XL Recordings, Shamir released his debut album Ratchet this spring, which is a masterclass of bouncy disco-pop ‘n’ jump-rope electro rhythms from the Nevada-born gender-bender, destined to appeal to fans of Spank Rock and Musical Youth.

In his teens, he played in a punk band called Anorexia while teaching himself to play the guitar by learning old country songs. And like a good down home tune can make you feel better, Shamir knows how to be exuberant and share his infectious joy with the listener. He can also sing about loneliness – and make us all feel a little bit less alone.

So if you want to share your love with Shamir, we think he’d like to share his with you. And he’d feel just a little bit better if you were to treat yourself to a ticket for Visions festival. We sat down with the day-glo rapper and quizzed him about working in discount retail hell, Death Grips and his dream of visiting Australia. Here’s how he handled the tough questions:

If I had to describe my music in 3 words, I’d use…
Honest, fearless, dissonant

My favourite film ever is…
Kids

The most famous person I’ve met is…
Mac DeMarco

The song I hate the most is…
All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
Working at Ross

If I was in a tribute band it would be…
Hole

My favourite word is…
Ratchet

If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
Mind reading

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
Australia

I think you should listen to…
Romp

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
Death Grips

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Shamir play Visions Festival in Hackney on Saturday 8th August