Gauga, previously known as Oscar c7c5, is an up and coming Tatar band located in Kazan, Russia. Made up of lead vocalist Oscar Yunusov, guitarists Farhad Sibgatullin and Aidar Zakirov, keyboardist Ilnar Fatihov, and percussionists Albert Sadtrutdinov and Albert Sadtrutdinov, Oscar c7c5 emerged in recent years to revitalize the Tatar music scene.

In May 2016, after recording for a little less than a year, Oscar c7c5 released their first album. Titled Nindi Räxät, the album featured 10 songs, “Aha” and “Nindi Räxät” among fan favorites, marking the start of the band’s career. Following the release, Oscar c7c5 began playing at local venues in and surrounding Kazan, mainly to Tatar audiences.

In September, 2017, the group released their second album, Shilma, Tatar for “rascal,” or “swindler.” In an interview, Oscar revealed how the album holds a similar, “hooligan, mischievous, and juvenile” character. Recorded in Qadaq Studio near Freedom Square in Kazan, the band’s release explores themes of self-identity, youth, and finding success through hard work, and it is described as characterizing a fusion between rock and Brit-pop.

On the night the band debuted Shilma in the Kamalovsky Theater in Kazan, they revealed their decision to change their group name to “Gauga.” Their former title, Oscar c7c5, made reference to a chess move (Sicilian Defense), which is combative in nature. The group made the switch to the name Gauga, meaning “noise, hubbub, or dispute” in Spanish, as a means of characterizing their music uprising and rebellious spirit, as well as to be more recognizable to their fans.

Such a name change complements Gauga’s plans for the future; in a recent interview, Oscar mentioned the group’s plans to experiment with electronic music, as well as to explore themes of life, death, and philosophy in their lyrics. Additionally, Gauga wants to expand their audience base beyond Kazan in order to bring the Tatar music revolution to the Russian-speaking population.

You can listen to Gauga’s song “Аха,” from their first album, below:

Lyrics currently unavailable

 

Looking for something a little more sweet and sour? Check out “Grapefruit”:

Lyrics currently unavailable

 

Rylin McGee is a junior at the University of Richmond studying International Relations – Development and Change, with a focus on the environment and a minor in Russian Studies. Currently a SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar, she is working to improve her language skills and learn about Russia’s environmental history and policies by attending SRAS’s Russia and the Environment program in Irkutsk during the spring 2018 semester. Beyond studying, Rylin enjoys hiking, yoga, painting, coffee/tea, and exploring.