Nazgul Toktakunova

Nazgul Toktakunova (Назгуль Токтакунова) is a Kyrgyz pop singer. Some of her music—she sings in both Kyrgyz and Russian—is influenced by rap and hip-hop stylings, though most of her music is more generally pop-y.

Toktakunova was born in 1987 in Bishkek. She always wanted to become a singer—and in 2015 she said she thought that her dream “has almost come true.” Her career is recent, her popularity only just developing in the last few years. She’s recorded several popular sings and collaborated with a number of other well-known young Kyrgyz singers, including K.A., rapper Begish, and rapper Bayastan. She was one of several guest contributors to Bayastan and Begish’s rap album, Zamanbap (Заманбап).

Toktakunova also has a fledgling acting career. In 2013—actually before her music career started gaining speed—she contributed to the soundtrack for the musical film Do and Fa 2 (До и фа 2). In 2014 she acted in the musical comedy #Odnoklassnikikg (#Одноклассникикг; the name refers to a popular Russian social media site, Одноклассники, which means “schoolmates”). In the film she appeared alongside popular Kyrgyz actress and TV host Cholponai Kenzhekulova (Чолпонай Кенжекулова) and musicians Arsen, Aibek Zamirov, Urmat Usenov, and many others.

In less achievement-focused news, she was also recognized by Sputnik Kyrgyzstan as among the “brightest Kyrgyz blondes on Instagram” in honor of the International Day of Blondes. Perhaps this indicates her popularity, if nothing else—she has 77,000 subscribers, by far the most of anyone on the list.

 

“Aim” (“Кусалык”):

 

Lyrics for “Кусалык”:

Жүрөктү ээлеп, эстен кетпей,
Канатым күүлөп, келем жетпей, көз ирмемде.
Сезимди ээлеп, бирок сезбей,
Кыялымда жашайсың дале.

Сага деп жетпей келип,
Сагынып эстей берип,
Жан ыргагым, зарыгамын.
Сезимим жүрөк эзип,
Сени издеп дүйнө кезип,
Издеп келем, мен издей берем.
Күндөрүм жылга айланып,
Убакыт жылбай калып,
Сагынып, сагынып, сагынып.
Кусалык кыйнап жанды,
Жалыным музга айланды.

Таң атат түркүн ойлор келип,
Уктабай сени ойлой берип, көз ирмебей.
Акылды азыр жүрөк жеңип,
Сезимиме баш ийип берип.

Күндөрүм жылга айланып,
Убакыт жылбай калып.
Кусалык кыйнап жанды,
Жалыным музга айланды.

 

“Others’ Roles” (“Чужие роли”):

 

Lyrics for “Чужие роли”:

Сердце устало,
В любовь играя.
Не замечали,
Но мы теряли,
Веру,
Так безбрежно.

Боль причиняя,
Мы убегали.
Маски менялись,
Душа искала,
Вечность,
Бесконечность.

Припев:
Отпусти себя на волю,
Не играй чужие роли.
Обернись, что будет дальше?
Белый лист рисуй без фальши.

Время летело,
Раны скрывая.
Все говорили,
Камни кидая,
В душу,
Так бездушно.

Всем улыбаясь,
Слезы скрывая.
Мы притворялись,
Маски меняя,
Вечность,
Бесконечность.

Припев

Сны покинули меня,
Разум шепчет,
Но не я.
Время вслед кричит,
Постой!
Я не знаю,
Что со мной.
Все меняется вокруг,
Лишь на миг дай все вернуть,
Я ведь больше не боюсь.

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.