Ali Gatie To Bring Sense of Intimacy to Upcoming Concert at House of Blues

Singer-songwriter performs on Monday

Ali Gatie. - Hyghly Allen
Hyghly Allen
Ali Gatie.
A superb R&B/pop singer, Yemen-born Ali Gatie grew up in Toronto, where he was surrounded by many different cultures and many different types of music. Those influences helped shape and form his unique approach to songwriting.

“Sound-wise, I feel like [Toronto] has influenced me,” he says in a recent email interview. He performs on Monday at House of Blues. “The people, the style of the city and the weather — it’s all made me who I am. I’m also very grateful that my parents risked everything to come to this city which gave me the opportunity and the experiences I did.”

Unlike his teenager friends, Gatie gravitated toward a variety of musical styles.

“All my friends grew up listening to mostly hip-hop and rap, more urban music,” he says. “I was definitely very into that type of music, but I was also that one kid from my whole friend group that would listen to more pop music that nobody thought was cool at the time. Sometimes, my melodies in my music can be very unique, and I feel like it can compare to or sounds like some Arabic music. Middle Eastern music can be very lyrical and poetic, and I would say the music that I create is the same.”

The first few songs he wrote were all freestyles or freestyle mash-ups. Eventually, he began to incorporate his love for poetry into the mix.

“I always loved writing/poetry in general, and once I started to actually think about my lyrics and take that time to create real meaning in my music, I discovered my passion for songwriting and fell in love with it,” he says, adding that he self-released his first few singles before signing a deal with Warner Records. “Having the freedom to release music in any way you want is such an important tool for any artist, it helps you understand your artistry and shape it — I think it’s crucial before signing a deal.

Released in 2019, “It’s You,” a song that shows off his soulful, quivering vocals, became a huge hit.

“I feel like that song was just so organic and real,” says Gatie when asked about the track. “It was just pure emotion and very simple. I feel like that’s what usually connects with people and what they can relate to. Once you complicate a song or try to do too much, it’s harder for people to connect to because it is so specific.”

The deluxe version of his EP Who Hurt You that came out earlier this year features 23 songs and provides a great overview of his career to date.

“I honestly just wanted to give my fans more music from me,” says Gatie. “I also wanted to put this album out, so I could go tour this album and see my fans from everywhere and give them a full show.”

One album highlight finds Gatie teaming up with Kehlani on the funky “The Look.”

“It’s always a huge blessing when an established artist with such a busy life loans me their time to contribute to my music,” says Gatie. “Kehalni is an amazing artist, and I am a huge fan. It was a very fun experience start to finish.”

“Butterflies” has a folk-pop feel to it, and Gatie gives props to his collaborator, pop singer-songwriter MAX.

“I have to give Max credit for that song – he sent it to me basically 75 percent done, and I just added my spice to it. I knew it was special the first time I heard it because he wrote it about his family.”

Gatie’s latest single, “IDK,” a tune with percolating synths and cooing vocals, comes off as a classic love song.

“For ‘IDK,’ I tried to show the happier side [of love] when usually I’m showcasing the not-so-happy side,” he says.

Gatie says the upcoming House of Blues show will be an “intimate” affair, something he hopes for all of his live gigs no matter the size of the crowd.

“It’s what I aim for every show to be,” he says. “Whether 100 or 10,000 people show up, for me, the show is the same.”

Coming soon: Cleveland Scene Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting Cleveland stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing. Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
Scroll to read more Music News articles

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.