Week 43 of my music challenge, and this week it's music from Tajikistan!
Also known as Misha but better known as Muboraksho, this singer-songwriter is considered highly influential in the Tajik music scene. Active from 1988 until his death in 2000, Muboraksho actually composed his first song, Chor javon when he was fourteen. It was later recorded, and became popular across Tajikistan. You can listen to it above :)
Muboraksho's music sounds quite unlike the pop/rock I'm used to; it's the sort of thing that would be found here on 'world music' compilations--the kind of thing my parents used to listen to on trips to Glastonbury (the town, not the festival)!
Apparently a lot of Muboraksho's lyrics were about sadness and mysticism, and even without understanding the language, that really shines through in the music and his soft tone of voice (and explains why it reminds me of those compilations!)
As with several of the new-to-me acts I've heard recently, it sounds as though Muboraksho used lots of traditional instruments in his recordings, which really adds to the feeling evoked by the tracks.
I really didn't know what to expect when I listened to the first song, as I had no idea what Tajik music might sound like. But Muboraksho's music is really nice! I'll probably listen again.
Muboraksho Official Website
Originally studying to become a doctor, Nigina Amonqulova (also written as Neginah Amonkulova) pursued a music career after performing at a school leaving party.
Nigina has become well-known for singing traditional Tajik folk songs, rather than singing in a more pop-like style. She also performs in colourful traditional costume, which makes her videos extra interesting to watch.
The songs themselves obviously don't have the sound I would automatically associate with the 'folk' genre, simply because these songs are Tajik folk, rather than Western folk. Despite not understanding the lyrics, I still enjoyed Nigina's music. Her voice is very gentle and emotive, and pleasant to listen to!
(Official website seems to be down. Boo!)
Though both of these acts perform in Tajik, there are translations of some of their songs online. My number one port of call is usually LyricsTranslate because nine times out of ten it has the songs I'm looking for!