Kyrgyz Music Friday

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 artist is Kanykei, singing “Кара Чан” (Kara Chan, “Black Dust”). The video is kind of ominous and dystopian (which I’m sure reflects the mood of the song’s lyrics), and the song has more of a rock and roll edge to it than previous songs I’ve posted.

Kanykei is, without a doubt, Kyrgyzstan’s most famous and popular female pop-star at the moment. She sings in Kyrgyz and always sports some sort of avant-garde, over-the-top fashion and make-up. I could describe her as Kyrgyzstan’s answer to Lady Gaga, but it would do a disservice to what I think is a very distinct and unique singing style in this part of the world.

(Maybe it will hit you that she sounds just like the lead singer of the Cranberries. Oh no? You don’t think so? Check out this video, skipping ahead to 16:00)

I had a chance to meet her producer, Chingiz “CeeTee” Torobekov, a couple months ago and it sounds like there are exciting things coming up in Kanykei’s musical career. A possible English-language album? World domination? The second one definitely seems likely, as she’s constantly posting photos from Turkey, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc, on her official facebook page. I just wish she’d get back to Bishkek and organize a concert here so that I could finally see her perform live!

I bet I’d freak out, I’m totally obsessed with Kanykei.

So what do you think of Kanykei? Too strange for you? Do you think she’d fit in on US pop music charts?

4 replies on “Kyrgyz Music Friday”

    1. It has definitely inspired me to add gold eye shadow to my everyday makeup routine.

  1. Thanks for posting the link for Kanykei. Judging from this vid, I think she could make it as an indy singer in the US, with some English language thrown in!

    Love your blog, as usual — putting up singers each week is brilliant!

    1. I think she has a really good voice, I’m still debating with myself about whether it’s exportable though. She just released a new song and unfortunately, it was SUPER SUPER processed and I didn’t really like it. I think if she stuck to her natural talent, an English language album could be well-received in the US. I guess we’ll see what happens!

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