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!
During my first few months in Bishkek, I remember once asking some friends, “Who is Kyrgyzstan’s most popular singer? I mean, the one all the girls go crazy for.” And yes, Kanykei is a big deal, but the unanimous response was that the ladies love Mirbek Atabekov. This week’s video is his most recent, called “Sagyngan Kezde” (“Сагынган кезде”, which means something like “When I miss you”).
Things I love about this video: the action-packed plot, how Mirbek bravely jumps off a balcony within the first few seconds, how the bad guys get in a slow-motion car crash (complete with CGI shattered glass), and how Mirbek’s blonde sidekick mixes up a quick and easy DIY bomb in a travel mug.
Things I love about this song: it reminds me of my days as a teeny-bopper Backstreet Boys fanatic. It has a bit of that brooding, dark feel to it while still being completely poppy, but it’s all too familiar to my boy band-saturated childhood. At first I thought, maybe he is singing about something dramatic, but someone with native Kyrgyz skills set me straight. It’s about love, it’s about missing someone, it’s not about being pursued by bad guys that you have to blow up with IEDs.
Although I greatly enjoyed watching this video, and now I have the tune stuck in my head, I have to say that Mirbek Atabekov doesn’t quite live up to his heartthrob hype in my eyes.
What do you think? Love it, hate it, don’t care for it? Did the song strike you as sounding a bit dated or am I stuck in the past?