I love the idea that the most genuine art is free of expectation. Perhaps too much of a romantic myself, I believe art has the power to lift the veil of reality and reveal deeper truths underneath the surface, and that artists everywhere connect to a space of spiritual expression. I’ve been meeting musicians in Kosovo that feel these deep connections.
Shpat Deda, a self-taught and locally acclaimed singer-songwriter, is one example. His music is very genuine; his lyrics are often based on his own love and heartbreak. Kindred spirits, we discussed music in an interview. We talked about his work, being a Kosovo artist, and the blossoming underground music scene which includes jazz, punk, and hip-hop amongst other genres coming from original, often independent artists. These artists seem to have little air space on television and radio stations dominated by what some call a hyper-commercialized music industry (something that’s arguably a regional characteristic not specific to Kosovo alone). But Shpat’s music is pretty well known and adored, perhaps making him a creator that intuitively breached a mysterious and invisible threshold to the masses. I was curious to learn more about what he thought made his music relatable to a larger audience.
We additionally discussed a long-term, multi-collaborative idea for creating some type of music exchange between friends in Kosovo and friends in the US. Kosovo is the youngest democracy in Europe, having recently celebrated its 5th anniversary as a nation. Its population is literally composed of a majority of young people. How young people connect to the world and in what capacity they have the opportunity to do so is important, especially to developing, young nations. Deda elaborates on this a little more, while also sharing perhaps little known insights into the Albanian language, linguistically said to be one of the oldest in Europe.
Plus, he was kind enough to share some of his music with us. Enjoy!