Shamir (pictured above), Leon Bridges, Slaves (below right), and The Districts are among the names on NME’s ones to watch list for 2015.
The full list of 10, revealed in NME’s annual Radar issue – on newsstands today and available digitally, also includes Madrid-based garage band Hinds, New Yorkers Public Access TV, LA singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr, noiseniks Bully, psych-folkies Neon Waltz and UK rapper Loyle Carner.
In the first in a week-long series of interviews with each of the acts, Las Vegas’ Shamir discussed his background and inspirations. He told NME he “stuck out like a sore thumb” at school “because of the way I dress, the way I look, the way I talk… I decided I’d give them something to look at, so I came to school dressed crazy and did my hair a different way every day”. His attitude meant he was eventually named ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Most Likely To Appear On The Cover Of Vogue’ by his classmates, and was even nominated for prom king. “I didn’t go to prom, because I was too punk, but if I ran I feel like I would have slayed them,” he said.
The rapper also divulged that he’s been inspired by his aunt, a paralegal who wrote poems as a hobby, and that he started writing songs at the age of eight, taught himself guitar at nine and by 13 had accompanied himself at his school’s talent show. “I was the only person who didn’t use a backing track,” he said. “That was my breakout performance.”
NME’s annual Radar issue is on newsstands now and available digitally. It features all the new bands set to dominate 2015, including Fat White Family, who discuss the year ahead, new music, the “awful” drugs they do, their record label, politics, and the EDL in a new interview.
Read more about the issue and listen to a playlist of NME’s top 50 picks here.
NME’s ones to watch for 2015 are:
Public Access TV
Tobias Jesso Jr