Shamir Bailey

We spent the weekend in Shamir Bailey's North Town, aka North Las Vegas, descending into caves for jam sessions, and to his bedroom for confessions.

It’s just after 6 am when Shamir, River and Theresa descend the stairs of Shamir’s house. They’re rubbing their eyes, jonesing for coffee- they didn’t sleep last night and it shows. With the desert comes the heat, and if you want to make it to the caves in one piece, you gotta get there before the relentless Vegas sun gets serious.Shamir_Yours_Truly_Gari_Askew-3.jpg#asse

The crew, now mostly awake, hike to some caves River found. “It’s like ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’,” Shamir laughs while steadily hiking his way into the darkness. “We have satanic ritual orgies and we just chill.” River blows cigarette O’s, and plays one of his songs on guitar, harmonizing with Shamir as Theresa holds a lantern. The caves are at least 20 degrees cooler than the desert outside, and a million miles away from Shamir’s Northtown. The houses sit on endless rows like dominos- the colors of tan and asphalt gray smeared by heat waves into soot. The fact that anything or anyone as unique as Shamir could have come from this place shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it does.

Back from the cave, Shamir lies on his bed in his room alone, surrounded by stuffed animals, “I always felt like when we started off as humans we were androgynous,” he pauses, playing with the stuffing of a bear, “I don’t know. I feel like I’m somewhere in between which used to really confuse me and annoy me, but now it’s okay. I try to bring androgyny into my style, into my clothing” Piece by piece, he shows examples of clothes that aren’t feminine or masculine. Looking up from his hands that minutes ago were busy unfolding shirts, jeans, overalls, he adds, “I think that if everyone was, like, like that- not having a one track mind that everything would be a lot more open. Everything would be great.”

"I always felt like when we started off as humans we were androgynous."

“I think that if everyone was, like, like that- not having a one track mind that everything would be a lot more open. Everything would be great.”