Gulzhigit Kalykov

Gulzhigit Kalykov / Гулжигит Калыков

Published: October 11, 2016

Gulzhigit Kalykov (Гулжигит Калыков) is a Kyrgyz pop singer and an occasional actor.

Kalykov hails from Bishkek. He began singing while in school, taking a few standard music classes but actually focusing more on soccer. Yet when all the other students in his music class gradually dropped out, his teacher noticed his potential and helped him participate in a local contest, and from that point on music took first place in his life. He participated in bigger and bigger contests, including the Young Talents (Юные таланты) contest, which is where he first started to attract attention. He then studied at the Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek according to his parents’ wishes, but once he finished, he enrolled in a conservatory.

Kalykov rose to fame in 2012, when he won the Star of Eurasia (Звезда Евразии) music festival. The festival took its participants on a tour of Eurasia, including performances in such locations as Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. After his big win Kalykov continued performing in contests, among them 2014’s Valor (Отвага)—a music competition for the CIS countries—in Azerbaijan.

While Kalykov’s primary genre is pop, he has also expressed interest in folk and classic Kyrgyz music. This began several years ago, when at the Star of Eurasia festival in 2012 he performed a rendition of a popular classic, “Rain” (“Жамгыр төктү”), by Tugolbay Kazakov (Туголбай Казаков). He was told that he had the perfect voice for singing the classics, and he later planned to release a full record of updates of Kyrgyz classics.

Kalykov has also had a smattering of success in Kyrgyz film, taking a minor role in Beauties and a Million (Красотки и миллион) and the lead role in Argument for a Million 2 (Спор на миллион 2), the latter in 2014. He also recorded the main song on the film’s soundtrack.


“At Least” (“Сен дегенде”):


Lyrics for “Сен дегенде”:

Сен дегенде күн батпайт да, таң атпайт,
Учкан куштай учкан жылдар санатпайт.
Баш айланткан бактылуулук мас болуп,
Ачыла элек барактарын барактайт.

Ай да таңда жылдыздарын түгөлдөйт,
Асыл ойлор арам ойду жүгөндөйт.
Түгөнүшү мүмкүн ушул өмүрдүн,
Бирок сага, бирок сага деген сүйүүм түгөнбөйт.

Буюрбаган күчтөсөң да кабылбайт,

Табылбаган издесең да табылбайт.
Эмне үчүн экендигин билбеймин,
Сени ойлосом жүрөк ырдайт, жан ырдайт.



“Rain” (“Жамгыр төктү”):


Lyrics for “Жамгыр төктү”:

Жамгыр төктү эч басылбай,
Биз келаттык көл-шал болуп.
Жол кароого көз ачырбай,
Бет алдымдан шамал согуп.

Күн күркүрөп, жамгыр төктү,
Ошол күндөр кайда кетти?
Жаштыгымдай же кечээги,
Кайрылбастан кете берди.

Жамгыр төктү, эске түштүң,
Алыс калган жаштыгымдай.
Сагынтасың жүрөктү эзип,
Колдон учкан ак куумдай.


Жылдар учат канаттуудай,
Жамгыр төгөт эч басылбай.
Жамгырларда эске түшөт,
Туңгуч сүйүү унутулбай

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