Kyrgyz Music Friday is a (sometimes) 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!
Two-for-one! These videos by Daiyir Ismadiyarov go hand-in-hand, so it seems logical to feature them both at the same time, for your viewing pleasure.
First we have the emotional ballad, “Caginba” (“Don’t Miss Me” in Kyrgyz). Stay focused, the story gets complicated. Daiyir is dating a girl. Girl goes out with her friends for a night of drinking fancy drinks while wearing tiny dresses and gigantic heels. She sees a report on TV that Daiyir has been hurt in a car accident, and awkwardly tottles to the hospital as fast as she can. Seeing a covered body being wheeled away, she has a nervous breakdown.
Somberly walking down the street, she’s too sad to even hold onto her books. A kind stranger mistakes her emotions for being cold and puts his jacket on her. That’s apparently the way to this girl’s heart, as two years later (a long courtship for Kyrgyz standards, in my [limited] experience) they’re getting married. On their wedding day, who rolls up but Daiyir, who’s merely crippled, not dead. Oh the tragedy! The flashback scene makes it appear that he busted his legs falling out of his hospital bed after hearing his girl’s cries and then he might have told his friend to go find her and/or date her? That whole part is unclear. Either way, everybody’s really upset now and the story is “to be continued”.
Problems with this video:
– Seeing a news report about a car accident in a fancy club is illogical, as all fancy clubs in Bishkek play Fashion TV only.
– Why didn’t girl just take her dang stilettos off? If she’s okay with completely breaking down in public, she should at least make the whole experience easier on her ankles and just go barefoot for a bit.
– Two years go by and Daiyir never thinks, “I wonder what happened to my girlfriend, maybe I should call her?” And it never comes up between him and his friend, “Oh yeah, your girlfriend thinks you’re dead and I think I’m going to marry her.”
– From my experience rolling around Bishkek with a stroller, I know for a fact that it’s nearly impossible to get around in a wheelchair, especially on your own. I’m not buying it, Daiyir.
Onto the next video, which we’re all expecting to be a continuation of this dramatic story, right?
Wrong! The video starts off with a quick flashback of the “Caginba” video before Daiyir wakes up, revealing the whole thing was a dream.
In this video for the song “Janym” (which literally means “soul” in Kyrgyz, but is used like darling or sweetheart), Daiyir walks around Almaty (the Burger King gave it away) doing good deeds, fueled by his good mood that he only dreamed that he was in a paralyzing car accident that somehow led to his best friend and girlfriend getting married. He gives his guitar to a guy staring longingly at a guitar advertisement, he gives changes to ladies standing helplessly at a pay phone and a rose to a guy fighting with his girlfriend. Then he meets up with his best friend (who has his own girlfriend) and his girlfriend. As they walk around looking blissful and stylish, Daiyir has a flashback to his dream when his friend knocks over another girl’s books in real life! And of course, there wouldn’t be a point to his girlfriend carrying balloons if they weren’t going to be let go.
Problems with this video:
– Nobody uses pay phones.
– He obviously has no idea how to play the guitar, and realizing this, that’s why he unloads it onto a stranger. He just wants us to think he’s being nice.
Which song do you like better? Sorry to say, but Janym bored me to tears. It’s so repetitive, monotonous and breathy. The words sound really similar, so it just sounds like he’s singing “janymjanymjanym” over and over. “Caginba” has some emotion to it, but it’s also really wispy. Maybe that’s his style, but I prefer a bit more power from singers.
Also, fun anecdote, last night I went to the super exclusive album premier for Gulzada (the first KMF artist!) and I literally bumped into Daiyir Ismadiyarov. Our shoulders touched (that’s a really creepy thing to say). I felt incredibly awkward and sort of star-struck, but also preemptively guilty for poking fun at his music videos. I’m sure he’s an incredibly nice guy, and let’s be honest, pretty talented compared to some other Kyrgyz musicians I’ve seen. As for Gulzada’s album debut, I’ll have a post about that next week.