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Year in Review: So, How Was Your 2020, Shamir?

Philly musician explains how Car Seat Headrest, Gregg Araki and Girlfriends got him through this year


So, How Was Your 2020? is a series in which our favorite entertainers answer our questionnaire about the music, culture and memorable moments that shaped their year. We’ll be rolling these pieces out throughout December.

Shamir has long been an exceptionally productive artist, and this year was no different. In March, he released the grunge-y Cataclysm before making his grand return to pop with his self-titled October LP. The two markedly different albums highlight the height of a few years of independence for the Philly star, who now self-releases his own music and manages himself. Along with a busy year of his own music, Shamir has also run the label Accidental Popstar, named as a nod to his mainstream breakthrough in 2015 with the album Ratchet.

The album I listened to the most in 2020 was:
I guess I would have to say I Disagree by Poppy. It’s been the most consistent [for me] all year, of all the records this year.

My favorite TV show to stream during quarantine was:
Honestly, my Girlfriends binge got me through a nice patch. It’s so long and nice when I had a long day. Right before the record [Shamir] came out, it was a crazy, hectic time and this was the only thing that got me through it. Growing up, Girlfriends meant a lot to me because my mom had three sisters so I was used to seeing four very different, Gen X women making their way through life. They all remind me of my aunts in different ways.

The song that will define “2020” for me is: 

Would it be selfish to say my own? It was literally “On My Own.” Not even just because it really took over my 2020. It exceeded the expectations I had for it. The rest of my year was rushing to meet those expectations. Aside from doing everything myself and self-managing on top of running my own label, it defined my 2020 on a personal note. But also, I think it defined a lot of people’s 2020 because it’s about being alone.

I’d define my current state of mind as:
I’m so chill. I think this year has fully broken me down so I’m in that area where I’m like “Well, that happened.” I worked through that trauma so now I’m just chilling. I just turned 26 and I’ve felt this weird amount of peace.

The old-favorite album I returned to for comfort this year was:
I listened to a lot of Car Seat Headrest this year. I like a lot of his new stuff, but for some reason I kept returning to Teens of Denial.

The old-favorite movie I returned to for comfort this year was:
I re-watched the whole Gregg Araki Teen Apocalypse trilogy. Nowhere is my favorite. Exquisite aesthetic and everything. I want a physical copy because it’s really hard to find. Someone sent me really high-quality downloads of all three of them and I binged them in one weekend.

The celebrity I’d most want to quarantine with is:
I wouldn’t really want to quarantine with anyone, if I’m being honest. I’m such an introvert. Living alone during all of this has some challenged, but for the most part, I wouldn’t make any changes. Being close quarters with people like that, I couldn’t imagine.

Who is quiet? I feel like Rami Malek is quiet enough. He’d just sit in the corner and be weird, right?

The most interesting thing I learned to cook during quarantine was:
I was stress-baking flan for two weeks straight. It was my first time making it as well.

Something positive that happened to me that nobody noticed was:
My skin got clear after quitting smoking. It’s been a huge difference.

The viral video I kept coming back to in quarantine was:
Love Island, baby, won’t you meet me by the pool.” Rent free!


The mistake I learned the most from this year was:
I was truly blessed this year. There was no big no-no that I did this year because how can I? I haven’t even done anything to make mistakes. It’s been business as usual.

The biggest hero of 2020 was:
It’s AOC forever. She’s always the hero. She could never do any wrong.

A word or phrase I never want to hear again is:

The thing I’m least looking forward to in 2021 is:
The transition back to normal life. People are going to be so weird…if there is a transition. People are going to be excited and eager but they’re going to be weird about it because people have been weird about quarantining.

The thing I’m most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over is:
Releasing my next record and touring. I just want to get back on the road and be with my bass player and travel again.

My biggest hope for 2021 is:
That we start to get back to normal and human connection again.

From Rolling Stone US