Folk

Folk influences are particularly strong in most parts of the former USSR. Folk traditions were strong under tsarism, remained largely supported under Communism, and have remained an intricate part of national identity into the modern era. Many successful pop and rock bands maintain a distinctive and marketable sound by using elements of folk music. Particularly striking examples can be found in metal, punk, and dance music. Elements used can include cord patterns, vocal stylings, instrumentation, as well as costuming and stage presence. Pop folk is a genre that makes wholesale use of traditional songs and introduces pop, rock, or electronic influence.

Note that none of the bands below are wholly folk. If you are interested in more purely folk music, see the folk music section at our sister site, Folkways.today.

Languages: Search for folk-influenced music performed in Uzbek, Kyrgyz, or Tatar, or in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, or Belarusian, or in Baltic, Caucasian, or Other languages.

Aygul Barieva / Айгуль Бариева

Aygul Barieva (Айгуль Бариева in Russian) is a renowned Tatar singer who’s been performing now for more than 20 years. She’s a Distinguished Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, among many other awards. Most of her repertoire is in the Tatar language, though she occasionally performs in Russian as well. Barieva is from Kazan, the capital of […]

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