Kyrgyz Music Friday is a weekly feature in which I post a pop music video from an artist in Kyrgyzstan. It could be catchy, annoying, funny, insightful, brilliant, awful, or anything in between. It’s what’s playing on the radio, what all the cool kids are listening to these days. Kyrgyz Music Friday is not trying to appeal to your musical taste (which I’m sure is awesome), but simply gives you a glimpse into how pop music is done on this side of the world. Feel free to share your thoughts on this week’s video in the comment section!
This week’s video is a bit different from the past few. It’s in Russian (which, as we all know, is widely spoken in Bishkek), it’s performed by a group of artists, and it’s very much a rap song. But I can rarely leave my house without hearing it on a marshrutka, in a grocery store, or blaring out the window of someone’s car at a stoplight. This song, without a doubt, is popular. I even saw it performed live at a benefit show last November, and when these guys held their mics out to the audience of screaming girls, they knew all the words.
The song is performed by Nurbek, CeeTee (Kanykei’s producer!) and a rap-duo known as Oakland (I’m still trying to decipher the Bishkek-Oakland connection, but they play the part well. Look for when one-half of the duo strolls by a bunch of limos carrying a bottle of something in a brown paper bag.) for the soundtrack to the movie “Bishkek, I Love You” (Бишкек, Я люблю тебя).
The video is interspersed with some clips from the film, which I haven’t seen yet. I really should just get down to a bazaar and try to find a copy (or does anybody know how I can watch it online?), because it has been out for over a year now and I’m the only one of my friends that hasn’t seen it. At this point, mostly everybody involved with the making of “Bishkek, I Love You” has moved onto a new project, “Salam, New York“.
From what I can tell, “Bishkek, I Love You” follows a similar construction to “Paris, Je t’aime” and “New York, I love you“, where different directors and actors collaborate on a series of short episodes about various aspects of Bishkek life. I’ve heard plenty of opinions from people who love it and hate it, so while I can guess which way my cynical heart will lean, I’ll reserve judgment until I see it.
Overall, this is a song I actually enjoy listening to, not just because of any kitsch value. It has a catchy hook, good production, it’s not overly auto-tuned, and the video is just as well-made as the song. I hope we all agree, this song just does not suck (and believe me, there are some songs coming out of this country that do).
So, you agree with me, right? This song is awesome?