If one word could accurately describe Albanian-American artist Gashi, it would have to be “unique”. While the rags-to-riches narrative is a common characterization of many rappers’ ascent to musical and financial success, Gashi’s story becomes increasingly singular the closer it’s examined. Born to Albanian parents, regional conflicts forced his family to flee Kosovo when he was a child, seeking refuge and opportunity in foreign lands. The family’s journey to America would be a lengthy one. By the time they found residence in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, Gashi would have spent time in 24 different countries, learning multiple languages and adapting to multiple cultures along the way. The multicultural immersion he experienced in his formative years has had a clear influence on his artistry, which boasts a diverse catalogue of music as well as numerous collabs with artists from all over the globe.
One of Gashi’s greatest strengths is sheer variety. The self-described “Trap Phil Collins” can seemingly work in any genre and find chemistry with any artist. While he continues to bubble inches under the surface of American superstardom, he’s a regular on the European charts and has carved a wide lane for himself internationally with a globally accessible sound that is consistent and effortless. While his musical bread is buttered on melodic pop, he regularly releases music that showcases his broad taste. His passion project 1984 disregarded current trends, instead opting for an authentic resurrection of the 80s in 2020. Commercially, the album’s numbers were marginal, but will likely age far better than most of the music that has outperformed it by adhering more closely temporary trends.
Gashi’s latest single, Don’t Pass On Love, sees Gashi returning to the present and kicking off the release cycle for his upcoming album Elevators. It’s release at the height of summer matches the vibe perfectly, with a soft electric guitar intro that sets the tone for a carefree, tropical-tinged beat that is matched by Gashi’s melodic and equally carefree commentary on a girl that has caught his attention. Whether it’s a love for life or a summer fling is left up to the listener to decide, which makes it all the more appropriate for the season.
The accompanying music video is a visually pleasing addition that enhances everything good about the song. Relatively low budget compared to many of the more over-the-top visuals we are given by major artists nowadays, the video does everything a music video should, making the song shine brighter rather than distracting from it. The visuals perfectly reflect Gashi’s personal style and preference for class over glamor.
Don’t Pass On Love is reportedly the first of four singles Gashi will be releasing prior to the Elevators album drop. He has teased a lot of music over the last couple months ranging from melodic to hard trap and drill, suggesting that this album may be his most sonically diverse collection of work to date, which is all the more reason to anticipate the album, since Gashi has proven he can make any genre his own. Whether or not we’ll get a further taste of how broad this album will be with the remaining singles is remains to be seen, but Don’t Pass On Love will do the job of creating awareness through an easily accessible sound that at the very least is hard to hate. We’ll have to wait and see if the following singles keep the same broad appeal or commit harder to specific genres to once again showcase his diversity. Regardless, he hasn’t released a dud album yet, and with such consistency he’s certain to only add onto the support of an already passionate fanbase.