A huge 2015

It’s been a busy and exciting 2015 for Shameem. In the span of one year she has:

  • Released her sophomore album The Second City. The album and its singles (Beautiful Soul and Under One Sun) have garnered some great press coverage and reviews
  • Received airplay on over 80 Australian community/ ABC radio stations and 130 USA college radio stations, and charted in the Top 30 at 6 USA stations, including two Top 5 positions
  • Toured the Australian east coast twice – once with her band and once solo – each time performing 9 shows in 7 cities/ towns

Shameem is currently back in Perth, focussing on writing some new material in her home studio. She will be announcing her next tours in early 2016.

Why “The Second City”?

One pet question that I get whenever I’m doing an interview for a radio station, blog, streetpress or magazine is, “So, where does the title of your album The Second City come from?” So many people ask that question that I thought it would probably make for a good blog article, and that way I could take my sweet time explaining it, and not feel the need to rush to keep time available for other interview questions, haha.

So there’s a song on the album called “Chill in The Fire”. You can read in detail about the meaning of the lyrics in “Chill in The Fire” here, but the point is that it’s inspired by a Persian mystical work by Bahá’u’lláh called The Seven Valleys. The Seven Valleys is a highly poetic book describing the journey of the soul, using the imagery of travelling through seven valleys to explain ones spiritual journey. In the opening section it reads, “The stages that mark the wayfarer’s journey from the abode of dust to the heavenly homeland are said to be seven. Some have called these Seven Valleys, and others, Seven Cities. And they say that until the wayfarer taketh leave of self, and traverseth these stages, he shall never reach to the ocean of nearness and union, nor drink of the peerless wine.”

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The lyrics of “Chill in The Fire” are inspired by the second of these seven valleys, or seven cities, which is called The Valley of Love. I’m particularly enchanted by the imagery and language of that chapter in the book. So, since that song is inspired by the second valley/ city, and because this is my second album, I thought “The Second City” would make an apt title for the album. My second choice for the album title would have been “Beautiful Soul” (the title of the first track on the album), but I like the mystery behind “The Second City” more. Plus it gave me the excuse to have the album photoshoot with the skyline of my beautiful hometown, Perth city, in the background.

You can check out a lyric video that I made for “Chill in The Fire”, using photos from The Second City photoshoot, here. The album is available for purchase on iTunes or BandCamp.

Echo – Under One Sun

A nice little Q&A from Byron Bay’s Echo.

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With a strong soul influence and a unique jazz sensibility, and peddling an important message, Under One Sun (her latest single release) is a catchy soul pop number that will leave you singing the heartfelt lyrics long after song’s end. Touching on how humanity has a common root, the chorus sees Shameem sing, ‘everyone’s dreaming under one sun’.

What does it mean to you to be a ‘socially conscious’ artist?
It means to use music and lyrics to raise people’s awareness of social issues, and to encourage them to engage in meaningful actions that can improve the state of their community.

What are the issues that you are most passionate about?
I’m very passionate about unity and the overcoming of prejudice, as I feel that disunity is the root cause behind most of the problems that we face in the world today. I’m also quite passionate about the education of children and young people, as they hold the keys to the future of the world; they will shape what the world will become.
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The Music – Album Reviews

Another album review, published in Australian streetpress The Music.

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Shameem’s 15-track album is fascinating Sunday arvo, lounge material.

Early numbers Beautiful Soul and It’s All Illusion emphasise the artist’s mannered rhythms and layered, sultry vocals. Hit single, Under One Sun’s catchy hooks and charming melody make for a highlight, while Other Half Of My Heart further softens the tempo. Give Me A Reason’s soothing love ballad vibe matches Chill In The Fire’s warm, eclectic harmonies. Expectation’s silky electric guitar riffs and I Give Thanks’ energetic beat shake up the album’s dulcet tones. It, though a few songs too many, comes out a textured and sexy compilation.

Xpress Magazine – New Noise (album review)

An album review from Xpress magazine.

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With a variety of background and influence behind her, Perth artist Shameem has continued on her mission to produce lyrically-strong music on her sophomore release, The Second City,whilst evolving her sound into a pop-friendly approach that is bubbly, uplifting and settling.
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Newcastle Herald – Shameem: The journey of the soul to its goal

Another nice Newcastle write-up from Newcastle Herald this time…

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IT’S rare to have music that’s consistently upbeat. But in her latest album Second City, Perth artist Shameem is trying her best.

The singer-songwriter, full name Shameem Taheri-Lee, has had her soulful tracks compared to the likes of Alicia Keys. Since her latest record was released in January, she’s had scores of similarly positive feedback.

Shameem named the album after a favourite Persian poem of hers, The Seven Cities.

“It’s like a big analogy of the journey of the soul to its ultimate goal,” she says.
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Weekend Notes – Interview with Shameem

This is an awesome, humongous, fantastic write up from the popular blog Weekend Notes! It includes a cool live review of the Perth album launch show for The Second City.

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Wardrobe changes and wardrobe malfunctions have oft outshone music performances. If you sat back and thought of the key moments in pop history (who can forget Janet Jackson) no doubt Britney Spears, Madonna and perhaps even Alicia Keys might spring to mind. While these women move and shake their thang on a global scale, Perth soul songtress Shameem is keepin’ the wardrobe change alive and well on a local scale.
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That’s Entertainment (The Newcastle Post) – Putting her soul on line

Article published in The Newcastle Post.

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For Perth-based songstress Shameem, who has just released her stirring sophomore record Under One Sun after a relatively protracted period, the creative process is much like the miracle of childbirth.

“It’s such a relief to have the album out there and seeing it so well received,” Shameem told TE.
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The Brag and Beat Magazine – Shameem

This is a really nice write-up from The Brag, which was also published in Beat Magazine.

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Shameem’s new album, The Second City, is an uplifting and contemplative soul-pop record brimming with rich vocals, infectious R&B rhythms, jazz-infused melodies and spiritual undertones. It’s also filled with beautiful messages. For instance, her new single ‘Under One Sun’ is a heartfelt cry for unity between people of different races, ethnicities and religions.
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BMA Magazine – Shameem, The Second City (album review)

Album review from BMA Magazine!

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Made with crowd funding and WA Government support, singer songwriter Shameem Taheri-Lee has released her second album. Her website likes to compare Shameem to US warbler Alicia Keys and the West Australian does have both a voice with similar qualities and a fondness for the metronomic beat Keys favours in some of her songs (such as ‘Un-Thinkable’).
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