Published: April 23, 2017

Alqanat is a Tatar rock and metal band from Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, Russia. Their albums and website boast that they play “authentic Tatar rock music” (Tатарча рок); their uniqueness stems from their combining of their Tatar identity with very un-traditional music. While their music does have some folk elements, and they sing only in Tatar, the music itself is much more rock/metal in character., an online music ticket cashier, describes the band as a “combination of rock and metal with sincere Tatar charisma. They are an energetic, powerful stream of creativity and harmony that opens up a new view of Tatar music.” SoundCloud describes them as a “new wave of Tatar culture.”

The band’s current members are Ilnyaz Garaev (Илназ Гәрәев; guitar, vocals, lyrics), Artur Islamov (Артур Исламов; vocals, keyboards), Dina Zakirova (Динә Гарифуллина; violin), Ilnar Fatikhov (Илнар Фатыйхов; bass), and Rushan Shaybekov (Рушан Шайбәков; drums, vocals). Iskandar Khabibullin (Искандар Хабибуллин in Russian) is also sometimes listed as a drummer. Garaev also runs the band’s record label.

The band has been around since approximately 2004, according to information on their VK page. It’s not completely clear whether they are still active today, but plenty of their music is floating around the Internet for your enjoyment and language practice. The group has taken part in many international music festivals, including Traskulla Rock in Finland, Emergenza, and Turkvizyon (the Turkic-language countries’ Eurovision equivalent). Their one album, Tatar Music, was released in 2013 and boasts of being the first Tatar-language album to be sold on iTunes. The album has several tracks featuring other Tatar singers: legendary Tatar musician Salavat Fatkhutdinov (Салават Фатхутдинов in Russian) and up-and-comer Elmira Kalimullina (Эльмира Калимуллина in Russian).

Garaev also has a solo career; his first album appeared in September 2016.


“Yazmysh” (“Язмыш”), 2013:


Lyrics for “Язмыш”:

Әй бу сәер язмыш-
Кичә уналты-бүген алтмыш
Тиз укыла тормыш китабы…
Нигә яшьлекләрнен
Аңлыйбыз кадерләрен
Шул китапта узгач уртаны?

Кайларга илтсәдә
Гөмер язмышларым-
Туганнарым минем җанымда.
Ә иске сүрәттә шук кечкенә малай
Елмая әнисе янында.
Әнкәйләрнең яшь чагында…

160 җитез атны,
Алып сатулашмый
Җиктем мин капот астына…
Тик сагынам хаман
Алмачуар атта
Чапканым Идел ярыннан

Чишмәләр чыңлады,
Сандугач җырлады,
Мин эзләдем хаклык читләрдә…
Тик ул гади хаклык
Гөмер буе балкып
Торган Әткәмнең күзләрендә…


“Booshliq patshalary” (“Бушлык Патшалары”):


Lyrics for “Бушлык Патшалары”:

Мин шундый арыдым яңа юллар күзләп,
Җаваплар эзләп мин шундый алҗадым.
Бик зур биеклектән чумдым күңелемә –
Җиттем таш төбенә тик берни тапмадым,
Максатлар тулы мәгънәдә батмадым…

Озак булмас бу мәңгелек төн,
Әммә көн дә булмас аннары.
Без беркем тугел – нибары
Бушлык патшалары-
Вакытның билгесез саннары…

Мин салдым күңелемә иксез – чиксез галәм –
Әүлияләр белән күк моңын тыңладым…
Бик зур биеклектә мине һәрбер җисем белә-
Бушлык көе генә нигәдер тынмады,
Мәңгелек миңа ялгызлык юрады…

Озак булмас бу мәңгелек төн,
Тирә – юнне яңграта тынлык.
Сөйлә миңа ниләр тора
Синең йөрәгең?
Сөйлә безне үтергәнче бушлык…

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied 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.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Julie Hersh