Саида Мухаметзянова (Saida Mukhametzyanova) is a young Russian musical phenomenon known for her renditions of classic Tatar folk songs. Born in the Upper Pyshma of the Sverdlovsk Region in Russian, Saida began her musical education at a folklore singing studio at the age of four, where her teachers noticed her musical talent and encouraged her to further her education.

By five years old, Saida and her family moved to Kazan, where she became a member of the folklore singing group Ak Kalfak. It was here where she learned to sing Islamic hymns. Attending Tatar-English School No. 16 by day, Saida studied at Music School No. 22 of Privolzhsky by night, where she took vocal and piano lessons.

Saida was picked to compete on Russia’s The Voice: Children (2015) musical reality TV series. While this represented a major opportunity, Saida initially faced a dilemma; according to her family’s religious beliefs, women should avoid public speaking, and a career in singing challenged these ideals. Eventually, however, Saida decided to use the opportunity to showcase her cultural heritage by sharing the beauty of Tatar folk song: “Su Builap” (Along the Water).

During the competition, Saida managed to balance her studies with rehearsals and shooting. While she did not win the overall competition, the opportunity furthered her career and since then, she has been given a solo concert and works as a TV presenter, all while continuing both her academic and musical education.

Saida’s breakthrough performance of “Su Builap”:

Lyrics: 

Идел бит ул,

тир?н бит ул,

Тир?н бит ул,

ки? бит ул шул,

Тир?н бит ул,

ки? бит ул.

Кара?гы т?н,

болытлы к?н –

Без аерылган к?н бит ул.

Идел бит ул – бик мул елга,

Ул бит ди?гезг? кит? шул,

Ул бит ди?гезг? кит?.

Аккан сулар, иск?н ?илл?р

Й?р?гемне ?илкет?.

Идел буйларына барсам,

?йтер идем Иделг? шул,

?йтер идем Иделг?:

Минем кайгыларымны да

Алып кит, дип, ди? гезг?.

Су буйлары мо?су иде

Без аерылган чагында шул,

Без аерылган чагында.

Тормыш дулкыннары безне

Кушар ?ле тагын да

 

An early recording of Saida singing “Зәңгәр күлмәк” (2008 Cover, Фэннур Хасанов):

Lyrics: 

Ильяс Зиннуров көе Әхмәт Рәшитов сүзләре Зәңгәр күлмәгеңне киясең дә,

Зәңгәр күлгә көн дә киләсең.

Йөрәгеңдә нинди утлар яна?

— Уйларыңны килә беләсем.

Зәңгәр күлмәгеңне киясең дә,

Яшел болыннардан үтәсең.

Болын чәчәкләрен җыя-җыя,

Кемне болай сагынып көтәсең?

 

Зәңгәр күлмәгеңнең зәңгәрлеге

Хәтерләтә аяз күкләрне.

Нинди иркә сүзләр ачар икән

Күңелеңнең серле бикләрен?!

пер.

Голубое платье надеваешь,

И каждый день на голубое озеро приходишь.

Какой огонь горит в твоём сердце?

– Хочу знать мысли твои. Голубое платье надеваешь,

И по зелёному лугу приходишь.

Луговые цветы собирая, Кого, так тоскуя ждёшь?

Голубизна твоего голубого платья Безоблачное небо напоминает.

Какие ласковые слова раскроют

Тайный уголок твоей души?!

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.