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Sir [headache]

Progressive R&B specialist SiR is known most for ballads and slow jams that are both pensive and atmospheric. Part of a deeply musical family with a rock-solid gospel foundation, the Inglewood, California native started his career in earnest around the turn of the 2010s, writing material for Ginuwine, Jill Scott, and Tyrese before developing associations with peers such as Chris Dave and Anderson .Paak. Seven Sundays (2014), his debut LP, led to a long-term stay on the roster of Top Dawg Entertainment, initiated with appearances on tracks by Jay Rock and Isaiah Rashad before a couple promising EPs and his second album, November (2018). His third proper full-length, Chasing Summer (2019), put him on the Billboard 200 with a little help from another TDE artist, Kendrick Lamar. Since earning two Grammy nominations for "Back to Love," a duet with Alex Isley recorded for Robert Glasper's Run the World soundtrack, SiR has returned to the charts with the hard-fought Heavy (2024). Music runs through SiR's family. He's the son of vocalist and longtime minister of music Jackie Gouché, the brother of rapper/songwriter D Smoke and songwriter Davion Farris, the nephew of bassist Andrew Gouché, and the cousin of fellow singer/songwriter Tiffany Gouché, all of whom are highly accomplished. Born and raised in Inglewood, SiR came up in the church, where he started singing. Favoring basketball as a teenager, he resisted his parents' desire for him to pursue music, but he matriculated at the Los Angeles Film School and earned a degree in recording arts. Although he had been developing his songwriting, arranging, engineering, and production talents, he didn't put all his stock into music until 2011, the year he co-wrote Ginuwine's "Frozen" with his brothers, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Kendrick Dean, and also contributed to Casey Veggies' "Loved Then Alone." Over the next few years, SiR wrote material for Oceana, Jill Scott, and Tyrese, appeared on Anderson .Paak's "Already," and put together the solo mixtapes Wooden Voodoo (2012) and the J Dilla tribute Long Live Dilla (2014). For the latter tape, SiR worked closely with Chris Dave and received additional assistance and appearances from cousin Tiffany and Shafiq Husayn. All of those developments primed SiR for his first album, Seven Sundays. Uploaded independently in 2014 and given a commercial release in July 2015 through the Fresh Selects label, it involved Knxwledge, J.LBS, and DK the Punisher each producing multiple tracks, with Tiffany Gouché and Chris Dave among those who also chipped in. The LP reached Dave Free at Top Dawg Entertainment, and before long, SiR was featured on tracks by TDE artists Jay Rock and Isaiah Rashad. Armed with a TDE deal of his own, SiR quickly issued two EPs, HER and HER Too, between October 2016 and the following February. The sequel contained something of a breakthrough track for SiR, "Ooh Nah Nah," a love-stoned slow jam with an assist from Masego. SiR continued to help other artists such as LeToya Luckett before he returned in January 2018 with November, his second proper LP. Despite its assortment of producers, November maintained a hazy, dreamlike quality, and resonated most with the ScHoolboy Q collaboration "Something Foreign" and the heady "D'Evils." Later that month, Chris Dave issued Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, for which SiR co-wrote and sang on a handful of songs. The Blue Note release was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album. His profile higher than ever, SiR scored his first charting album with Chasing Summer, a highly collaborative set that entered the Billboard 200 (at number 64) immediately after its August 2019 release. Darker in hue and with SiR as ruminative as ever, Chasing Summer started with a track graced by Top Dawg labelmate Kendrick Lamar, and also contained featured roles for the disparate likes of Lil Wayne, Jill Scott, Kadhja Bonet, and Zacari. By the end of the year, SiR was a common factor on numerous additional projects that were either nominated for or won Grammy Awards. These included Anderson .Paak's Ventura, Robert Glasper's Fuck Yo Feelings, and Kaytranada's Grammy-winning Bubba. SiR's 2020 and 2021 were comparatively quiet, though he co-starred on tracks by D Smoke, Rapsody, and Tiana Major9, contributed to the soundtrack of Judas and the Black Messiah, and recorded a faithful version of the Isley Brothers' "Footsteps in the Dark," among other material. He continued in 2022 with "Satisfaction," a yearning ballad with a touch of early-'70s Al Green. His work in 2023 was highlighted by an appearance beside Alex Isley on Robert Glasper's soundtrack for the television series Run the World. Their romantic ballad "Back to Love" was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards. The next year, SiR returned with the descriptively titled Heavy, a portion of which originated as poems he wrote while in rehabilitation. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 120 and reached number 49 on the R&B/hip-hop chart.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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