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Queer Artist Shamir Drops Surprise Album ‘Hope’ Without a Record Label

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Without a record label, Shamir dropped a new album titled Hope that he recorded over the weekend. The new music comes two years after his last release Ratchet. Contemplating retiring from music altogether, Bailey is defying industry norms by going solo after being dropped by his label XL Recordings.

Shamir posted on Soundcloud:

I was gonna quit music this weekend. From day 1 it was clear i was an accidental pop star. I loved the idea of it, i mean who doesn’t? Still the wear of staying polished with how im presented and how my music was presented took a huge toll on me mentally. I started to hate music, the thing i loved the most! When i would listen to immaculate recordings with my friends their praise over the quality of the art as opposed to the art itself made me feel really sad for music as a medium in general. My music only feels exciting for me if its in the moment, and thats what this album is. I made this album this past weekend stuck in my room with just a 4 track feeling hopeless about my love for music. Im not gonna lie, this album is hard to listen to, but it was even harder for me to share. I love pop music, i love outsider music, and i love lofi music, this is my way of combining all 3. Anyway I played, wrote, produced, and mixed everything and big thanks to Kieran Ferris for Mastering an album with an hours notice! its free! Enjoy! Love Yall! Still more 2 come!!!!!!!

Shamir opened up more about his release with Out magazine:

This album is kind of, I don’t want to say a “fuck you” to the industry, but also kind of. I really, really, really tried to work with the music machine and industry machine, but I think it was in the cards for me not to. I think everyone was shocked—only my close friends knew—when they saw I was dropped from XL. This record is why, because this wouldn’t have come out if I was still signed, right now, and I’d probably be super fucking miserable.

I wanted to make something real, and I knew that if I did something real, it would be in its own lane and completely different. Everyone around me thought the next step was for me to be more accessible, and I’m not trying to be inaccessible, but I also want to bring something real into the world. There’s so much fake in pop music and it really took a toll on me. I still think of myself as a pop artist, but I don’t see why I can’t be a lo-fi pop artist.

Listen to Shamir’s new album Hope right here: