Аяна Касымова

Ayana Kasymova (Аяна Касымова) is a young, emerging Kyrgyz pop singer. She sings in both English and Kyrgyz, though her repertoire also includes songs in French and Uzbek. Aside from the compositions written especially for her, among her favorite music to sing is Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. While her main genre is pop, she also sometimes sings jazz.

Kasymova was born in 1999 in Bishkek. Her family is musical—her father works at the Kyrgyz National Conservatory and performs as a jazz musician (and also works as Kasymova’s music producer), and her mother plays in a folk ensemble at the National Philharmonic. They encouraged her toward her musical path, and she started playing music when she was very young, singing in a children’s choir and often performing and competing with the group. Her debut as a soloist was, impressively, at a Mirbek Atabekov concert when she was only 10 years old. In 2014 she first rose to national attention, participating in the Russian TV show/competition Artist (Артист). She was the youngest participant, at only 15, and did very well among both the jury and the audience vote, which determined who would move on to the next round.

Kasymova’s career is still in its early stages, though she has recorded a number of songs and music videos. Her fame exists mostly on the Internet for now, particularly on her popular YouTube channel, where her songs and music videos get thousands of hits. She says she does plan to continue performing and forging ahead in her musical career, though she has other ideas for the future as well, and does not intend to enroll at the National Conservatory.

Kasymova often collaborates with other young, new-to-the-scene members of Kyrgyzstan’s pop culture, including Bayastan and Ayyma Ayylchieva.

 

“Photograph” (“Сүрөтүңө”):

 

Lyrics for “Сүрөтүңө”:

Сакта деп өзүң берген жалгыз сүрөт,
Сакталуу ошол бойдон менде жүрөт.
Тиктешиң тамашалап турган өңдүү,
Неге сен, неге сен,
Неге сен түштүң экен күлүмсүрөп.

Күлкүңө шектүү карап күткөн жүрөк,
Сезимге бир башкача ой түшүрөт.
Өкүнөм сен кайрылбай кеткениңе,
Калбай деп, калбай деп,
Калбай деп эч болбосо беттен бир өөп.

Өппөдүм мен өппөйүн, өкүнүч көп,
Мени алдап түшүмө окшоп кеттиң жөнөп.
Байкатпай мурдагыдай жүргөндүрсүң,
Башкалардын, башкалардын,
Башкалардын жүрөгүнө башың жөлөп.

Эгерде бирөө болсо менден бөлөк,
Же тытып сүрөтүңдү же өрттөмөк.
Мен тытпайм, күнөө сенде сүрөттө эмес,
Сүрөтүң, сүрөтүң, сүрөтүң
Жүрө берсин күлүмсүрөп.

 

“Lightning Bolt” (“Чагылган”):

 

Lyrics for “Чагылган”:

Көрүшкөндө көздөр тике карабай,
Эки мүнөз уяң өскөн баладай.
Жүрөк сырын жүзүбүздөн байкашып,
Баратабыз гүлдүү бакты аралай.

Биз ал күнү таанышканбыз жаңыдан,
Жарым карыш чыккым келбейт жаныңдан.
“Аппагыңды көрүп алчы” дегенсип,
Аңгыча эле жарк дей түштү чагылган.

Жарк дегенде неге сени карадым?
Жүрөк булкуп жайнап турду жамалың.
Дагы, дагы жарк дей түшсө экен деп,
Ошондо мен чагылганды самадым.

Басылганча туралы деп кичине,
Баш катабыз бир күрмөнүн ичине.
Ошол түндү дал ошентип өткөрдүк,
Неге мынча сүйүү кызык кишиге?

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.