Photo Credit: Marcus Maddox
When I think of Shamir, I imagine that this is a person who has always presented themselves as a creative force. As if being a skilled painter with a brush in hand was not enough, Shamir also does wonders with music. As can be heard on not only previous releases, but the upcoming – February 2022’s ‘Hetereoseuxality.’ We talked about the painting, the music, and more in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: Your friend, Fiona Campbell, once described you as “cursed with talent.” Not the worst thing in the world to be cursed with, right? But I want to dive into that and find out when you started to gravitate towards the more creative side of life?
Shamir: I’m not sure when. I’ve just always been creative because I grew up watching my aunt write songs with her friends since I was in kindergarten.
Kendra: Do you feel like you get to explore a different side of yourself when you paint versus when you sing?
Shamir: Absolutely! I tap into my inner child when I paint, I don’t even feel like myself when I paint.
Kendra: Which, let’s talk more about your music as ‘Heterosexuality’ drops this February. You’ve noted this album was about acknowledging your own trauma. Did you find the recording experience therapeutic?
Shamir: It was extremely therapeutic to make. Especially since I feel like it’s my best album yet.
Kendra: Also, I always wonder when an artist pours so much into a song or a record like this, are they ever worried about having to perform those songs live for years to come?
Shamir: I don’t mind at all because I wouldn’t release it if it was too hard to sing. I think about these things earlier on.
Kendra: In your single, “Cisgender,” you state your stance on your identity and bottom line, you’re here to exist. Now, the idea of gender, transsexuality, non-binary – all have existed since humans started walking around the earth it’s just that in recent years the conversation around these ideas has been louder than ever. Why do you think we’ve started to shift more towards this idea of stripping away labels and dismantling gender constructs now?
Shamir: Honestly, not sure, but I’d like to think social change is a natural side effect of time.
Kendra: On top of everything you do, you also launched the Bipolar Butterfly clothing line and portions of the proceeds made from that will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Like with these conversations about gender, mental health has also been given more of a spotlight in recent years compared to even…20 years ago. Do you feel we’re taking steps in the right direction to take the stigma away from being open about our mental health?
Shamir: Oh for sure. I think it’s become a conversation due to the pandemic. It’s forced people who never thought about mental health to consider it and take care of it.
Kendra: We’re going to take a step away from all of the above for a second because with it being February, I’m asking everyone to please share their favorite love song and give us a little insight as to why it’s their favorite…
Shamir: My favorite right now is “Love is Weird” by Julia Michaels.
Kendra: Okay, so to wrap this up – ‘Heterosexuality’ is out February 11th, but what else can fans both new and old be on the lookout for from you in the months ahead?
Shamir: Touring with Courtney Barnett, and SXSW so far.