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Shamir at L.A. PRIDE 6/11/16. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13)

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When I first saw the video for Shamir’s “On The Regular”, I was not only drawn to his quirky and charismatic lyrical delivery, but also the colorfully, artistic nature of the visuals therein. In delving further into the rest the music in his repertoire, it became clear to me that this young talent’s musical style was just as colorful. It is a sound that is an amalgam of electronic dance music, pop and hip-hop that unexpectedly compliments his soft, tenor vocal tone and skillful lyricism.

When he took the stage dressed all in black, I was a bit surprised. I guess you could say I was expecting something more colorful from him based on what I knew of his music. But at the end of the day, costumes and wardrobe were simply unnecessary for Shamir. He expressed himself through his music, and the music was as colorful as anticipated.

The title of his debut album, which was released earlier this year, is “Ratchet”. Critics have suggested that using that word as the album’s title may be Shamir’s way of reclaiming its meaning, that the music, rooted in urban ghetto culture, is in fact diva worthy, demanding the attention of those who may hear it. Based on the reaction from the crowd, that may have well been the case.

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