SuperAlisa

SuperAlisa (СуперАлиса in Russian; also written as SUPERӘLİSӘ in Tatar; real name Alisa Khusainova, in Russian transliteration, or Алиса Шамил кызы Хөсәенова in Tatar) is a contemporary/recent Tatar pop(ish) singer, and an extremely individual figure on the Tatar music scene. She sings mostly in Tatar.

SuperAlisa’s music is a highly unusual mix of electronica arrangements, traditional Tatar melodies, and Muslim themes. Some of her songs are about Islam; and she always performs in traditional Muslim dress, including a burka (паранджа in Russian)—though the burkas are untraditional, often leopard-printed or bright purple. That aside, though, her music is unique and interesting, even drawing comparisons to such groups as the Sex Pistols. She’s experimented in genres including techno, industrial, synthopop, and others.

In 2004 SuperAlisa both released her first and only album to date, Tatarstan Super Good (recorded and produced independently), and began performing live concerts. These, too, were known for their extraordinary nature and kitsch. She was joined by dancer Alberto del Kosmiko (Альберто дель Космико, real name Albert Valuev / Альберт Валуев, who is actually SuperAlisa’s husband), who dressed as an alien in concert.

SuperAlisa took a long break starting in 2006, but a few years ago she reemerged and has been releasing music again. Her most recent clip is “Ghenghis Khan” (“Çingiz Xan” in Tatar, in the Roman alphabet), and she is currently working on her second album, which she has said will include many traditional Tatar instruments.

SuperAlisa has fans among both the Tatar- and Russian-speaking world. She’s controversial, of course, but definitely attention-grabbing.On her Facebook she names herself “the khatun of Tartar electropentatonics and Tartar electromelismatics” [sic], and on her Vimeo she calls herself “an extravagant performance artist.” She’s even been called “the pride of the Tatar nation” (possibly tongue-in-cheek) and “the queen of Tatar electropentatonics.”

 

“Tatarstan Super Good,” 2004:

 

Lyrics to “Tatarstan Super Good”:

Ментимер Шаймиев, Рудольф Нуриев, Губайдуллина Софья, Ринат Ибрагимов, Алсу, Марат Сафин (лар), Дасаев Ринат, Хаматова Чулпан!

Бер, ике, оч, дурт Татарстан супер гуд!

Иш, алтэ, жиде, сикдэс
Рахим Итыгэс!

Ментимер Шаймиев, Рудольф Нуриев, Губайдуллина Софья, Ринат Ибрагимов, Алсу, Марат Сафин (лар), Дасаев Ринат, Хаматова Чулпан

Бер, ике, оч, дурт Татарстан супер гуд!

Иш, алтэ, жиде, сикдэс

Рахим Итыгэс!

Ментимер Шаймиев, Рудольф Нуриев, Губайдуллина Софья, Ринат Ибрагимов, Алсу, Марат Сафин (лар), Дасаев Ринат, Хаматова Чулпан

Бер, ике, оч, дурт Татарстан супер гуд!

Иш, алтэ, жиде, сикдэс
Рахим Итыгэс!

Ментимер Шаймиев, Рудольф Нуриев, Губайдуллина Софья, Ринат Ибрагимов, Алсу, Марат Сафин (лар), Дасаев Ринат, Хаматова Чулпан

 

“Çingiz Xan,” one of SuperAlisa’s most recent songs:

Lyrics are included in the video.

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.