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 video is called “Бир сендей” by Arsen (Арсен), and it was one of the top 10 songs played on Manas radio this week.

(I have a handful of absurdly so-bad-they’re-good videos, but for the sake of sharing songs that are actually popular, I’ll save those for another time.)

This is a perfect example of Kyrgyz R&B; there’s no other way to describe it. I’m sure if I put the time and effort into it, I could find an R. Kelly video from the 90s that closely mimics Arsen’s soulful crooning. The video itself doesn’t have much of a story, showing what seems like the demise of a couple played in reverse, but it has dreamy, vintage-style colors (like an Instagram-filter) and good camera work. After spending the week uploading videos I took of Plov for Two, I can appreciate the work that goes into a steady shot.

Can anybody help me out with the title? I know бир means “one”, but that’s as far as my own Kyrgyz skills will take me.

Overall, the song isn’t bad, though it’s a bit too smooth for my tastes. But there must be something about Arsen, because I know for a fact that he’s a pretty popular heartthrob in Kyrgyzstan.

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