Mirbek Atambekov

Мirbek Аtabekov (Мирбек Атабеков) is known as the most famous Kyrgyz singer of today (or perhaps of all time). Limon.kg, a Kyrgyz online newspaper, has called him “our everything,” a title that refers to common way that Russians have of referring to Pushkin. He’s also a songwriter and starred in the 2014 Kyrgyz film Talisman (Талисман). He sings mainly in the pop genre and sings mainly in Kyrgyz, though also sometimes in English and Russian. His voice is smoth and pleasant, with occasional use of falsetto—he’s a true Kyrgyz pop heartthrob.

Atabekov was born in Zhon Aryk, a village in northwestern Kyrgyzstan. He started singing when he was a child, though only at home. He and his family moved to Bishkek when he was still in school, and he soon started looking for musical opportunities, singing in bars and restaurants. He says that he was quiet and unpopular at school, and that his classmates were surprised when he became a household name years later. He rose to fame in the mid-2000s, officially starting his solo career in 2005. Only in the past few years—after achieving his tremendous fame—has he studied at a conservatory.

Atabekov has given concerts all over the world, including in various Russian cities. He also toured America, and noted that “America is like America. However, I liked it.”

In his personal life, Atabekov several years ago lost his status as one of Kyrgyzstan’s most eligible bachelors (according to Limon.kg) when he married fashion editor Meerim Tolepbergen. The wedding was huge news in Kyrgyz media.

In August 2016, Atabekov was named a Distinguished Artist of the Kyrgyz Republic, a prestigious government prize.

 

“Kara Koez” (Кара көз):

Lyrics for “Кара көз”:

Мен эми башкамын, мен артыма кайтпаймын,
Ааламда, жалганда бир сени унутуш үчүн.
Жүрөктө так калды, көңүлүмдү ойлободуң сен,
Жүдөп чарчадым.
Сени эстеп сагынган, кайрадан кайгырган,
Жүрөктү эзбегин, мен эми башкамын.
Күн өтөт арадан, күтүүдөн тажагам,
Жүрөктү эзбегин эми.

Кайырмасы:
Кара көз, мени аябадың,
Жүрөктү жаралап койгон ырахатың сага.
Жалгандан өзүңсүз калсам да,
Ыраазымын тагдырга.

Мен эми кайгырбайм өткөн күндөрдү эстеп,
Сүйүүгө кабылган тагдырга таарынбайм.
Адашкан ак сүйүүм, азгырба мени, азгырба.

Сени эстеп сагынган, кайрадан кайгырган,
Жүрөктү эзбегин, мен эми башкамын.
Күн өтөт арадан, күтүүдөн тажагам,
Жүрөктү эзбегин эми.

Кайырмасы:
Кара көз, мени аябадың,
Жүрөктү жаралап койгон ырахатың сага.
Жалгандан өзүңсүз калсам да,
Ыраазымын тагдырга.

 

“Thank You” (“Благодарю”), an example of Atabekov singing in Russian:

 

Lyrics for “Thank You”:

Благодарю я за тебя судьбу
И жизнь прошу, храни её одну.
Не отыскать вечер наш прежний,
Как жаль, что ты вдаль ушла,
Не смог понять смысл надежды.
Слеза… напомнит мне твои глаза,
Издалека я вижу, как страдает душа,
Царит над нами луна, так холодна,
Одна ты мне нужна.

Я отпустил мечту свою любя, любя
Ты не грусти тебе споёт звезда, звезда,
Не забывай, помни я рядом,
Быть мне твоим суждено,
Не отпускай сердце ты взглядом,
Оно…напомнит мне твои глаза,
Издалека я вижу, как страдает душа,
Царит над нами луна, так холодна,
Одна ты мне нужна.

Не вернуть нам наше время, чтоб обнять тебя сильнее
Поставили надежду, понимая это грешно,
Но винить себя не будем, что связала нас любовь,
Развела свой образ и мои воспоминания
О тебе, о тебе…
Знай, глаза твои прекрасны, а твоя улыбка – счастье.
И за все минуты счастья… благодарю!

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.