Shamir is best known for his buoyant, elastic electro-pop-rap song "On The Regular," but his live shows careen in altogether different directions. For one, the 20-year-old Las Vegas native sings far more often than he raps, with a high but rich voice versatile enough to accommodate Sylvester-esque disco, sleekly modern pop and robust funk. For another, Shamir is canny enough to back the preprogrammed components of his sound with not only backup singers, but also stormy live drums.
Onstage March 18 as part of NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, Shamir presided over all that spectacle with a charismatic mix of lightness, confidence and humor. But make no mistake: These three songs came packaged with real heft, with a polyrhythmic but rigid thump that aligns smartly with the frontman's playful lightness.
Sporting a Yo Gabba Gabba T-shirt (bearing the face of Brobee, to be precise), Shamir clearly came to have a blast; you'll never see a singer throw out a middle finger with so much good cheer. But this compact and focused set is also also about giving notice of a major arrival — of Ratchet, Shamir's forthcoming full-length debut, and of the singer himself.
- "On The Regular"
- "In For The Kill"
- "Head In The Clouds"
Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans; Technical Director: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Katie Hayes Luke, Morgan Walker, Carlos Waters, A.J. Wilhelm; Audio: Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Assistant Editor: Carlos Waters; Production Assistants: Lizzie Chen, Nathan Gaar; Special Thanks: SXSW, Stubb's BBQ; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann