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Welcome to Voice Memos, a new audio diary series from the Talkhouse Podcast. Our featured artist for this inaugural episode is the brilliant and chameleonic singer-songwriter Shamir.
Shamir Bailey rose to fame in 2015 with his oh-so-danceable debut LP, Ratchet, and its ubiquitous single, “On the Regular.” Earlier this year, seemingly out of the blue, he self-released a followup, Hope. In stark contrast to its predecessor, Hope was an eminently DIY affair; it was recorded on a four-track over a single weekend in his bedroom in Philadelphia. Critics and fans were surprised and divided.
What happened next, though, is the subject of today’s podcast. A devastating manic episode saw Shamir admitted to a mental hospital. After being released, he retreated to his home city of Las Vegas to recuperate. As part of this healing, Shamir began speaking diary entries into his Voice Memos, trying to work through what had happened, and what life would look like going forward. He also began writing new songs in earnest all about his current experiences, again demoing them on his phone. Those powerful home-recorded journals and gorgeous unheard compositions comprise this episode.
—Elia Einhorn, Talkhouse Podcast host and producer @eliaeinhorn
Today’s podcast was recorded by Shamir Bailey. It was co-produced by Mark Yoshizumi.
(Original Photo Credit: David Brandon Geeting)