Call It Off | Shamir


Jacob Richards

The soon-to-be biggest breakout act of 2015, Shamir Bailey, dropped a relatively overlooked EP back in 2014 called Northtown. Within the five tracks, Shamir tackled soulful R&B, bombastic pop, disco grooves, and even lo-fi piano ballads; more styles than some artists ever attempt – let alone excel in – throughout their entire careers. It was a bold first taste of this new voice that showcased Shamir’s amazing vocal range (that many mistake for a women upon first listen), and his impressive repertoire of styles. The only issue was that it lacked a sticky single and had very little commercial appeal.

Not only have Shamir’s most recent offerings, “On the Regular” and “Call it Off”, maintained his unique approach that he established on his debut EP, but they are some of the most pure fun and catchy songs heard within the last year, hands down. While the first single, “On the Regular”, radiates confidence and is essentially a brag track, demanding: “Ain’t got no time for you ratchet-a** goons / and just settle down, listen to my tunes,” it was a great first look at what was to come.

The newest slice of candy-coated pop from the Las Vegas artist is much more personal than “On the Regular”, not only putting his sexuality on full display, but also aiming to help other people who have to deal with sh***y boyfriends, which I think we can all relate to in some way. The track maintains the same bubbling, infectious synth lines from the first single, and the cowbell – OHH, THE COWBELL – while yearning to help his fans with the chorus: “Just can’t make a thot a wife / No more basic ratchet guys / Listen up, I’m saving you / From all the hell you’ll go through.”

Shamir is barely one year older than I at 20 years old and his music most certainly sounds like it. From the obnoxiously synthetic instrumentation, to the references to “thots,” Shamir makes music for the 20-something year old queer college kids who just want to have fun, and don’t take themselves too seriously – luckily, I fit that criteria.