In the City: Shamir Bailey

When he raps, as he does on his latest single On The Regular, his flow resembles an unruly child on a sugar high. And, like a child, he uses all the colours in the crayon box: the song's middle eight is a pure Nina Simone throwback, but the cowbell-driven house beat that precedes it is anything but. Not since Azealia Banks’s viral hit 212 has urban music been redefined so playfully.

Inspired by his songwriter aunt, Bailey initially worked within the parameters of country music before playing Texas music festival SXSW in 2013 with Anorexia, his short-lived high school punk band. An encounter with a Dr Groove drum machine kick-started his dance-pop reinvention, realised in his dynamic debut EP Northtown, named after where he grew up.
After impressing prestigious UK-based indie label XL Recordings, Bailey quit his job at Topshop in Las Vegas and relocated to New York, where he is preparing his full-length debut, slated for a Spring 2015 release.
by Hayden East
Learn More: @shamirbailey

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