It’s exciting times in Astana as Kazakh broadcaster Khabar TV is currently enjoying its first year as an Associate Member of the EBU. Ever since they joined in January, Eurofans have been busy debating whether Kazakhstan should ever compete at Eurovision.
And today the EBU poured even more fuel on the fire when they revealed that they are “reviewing the rules” ahead of next year’s competition and will publish them “in due course”.
As we wait for the EBU to clarify precisely what that means, we’ve rummaged through Kazakhstan’s growing list of musicians and pop stars and have settled on ten artists we’d love to see represent Kazakhstan at Eurovision, if the opportunity ever arises.
An obvious candidate, Zhanar Dugalova won Türkvizyon 2014 with the amazing etnho-pop song “Izin korem”. After leaving the group KeshYou to forge a solo career, Zhanar has kept busy, releasing the amazing track “Ayta bersin” (Let Them Talk).
Some Toir are a young indie-pop band hailing from Almaty. And trust us: They are most def among the hottest young indie-pop bands in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains. Their single “Romantic Crap” is quite the track, drawing on indie, pop and dance. They haven’t released any new music recently, but they have appeared on MTV Russia. That’s gotta count for something, right?!
After collaborating with Eurovision 2010 singer Thomas N’evergreen on “Falling For You”, A-Studio are still going strong with tracks like “Vot ona lyubov'”. Their linguistic skills mean they could possibly sing in Russian, Kazakh, English, or maybe even Georgian, since the lead singer hails from the Caucuses nation.
Having won the second series of X Factor Kazakhstan, Andrey has already proven he can handle a big competition. He has stayed relatively quiet since his first big hit “Tomorrow is Today”, a dreamy pop ballad all about love.
Another X Factor winner, Daria won the very first edition of the show, with judges describing her as ‘The Kazakh Beyoncé’. Her voice is pure power, akin to the likes of Sanna Nielson and Lisa Angell. This girl has spice and she can werk that emotion.
Placing in the top 5 of the Kazakh version of Idol back in 2002, Makpal has kept the momentum going with tracks like “Habarlaspa”, which shows off her amazing vocals. Her charisma and soothing voice would surely appeal to voters from all across Europe.
This young girl knows how to slay well beyond their years! Ethnopop is their speciality, and that’s a specialty of Eurovision, so their masterpieces like “Zhasa, Tugan Zherim” could totally work. Their music reminds me of Turkey’s old days at Eurovision, and it’s about time we got that spice back into the contest.
Aygul is probably the oldest singer on the list. She’s approaching her fortieth birthday, but she can still make modern music. “Sen” is probably the most poppy pop song on the list so far, as it has a catchy beat, memorable lyrics, a great dance vibe and excellent backing vocals. If Aygul could produce something like this for Eurovision, it’s possible that we could find ourselves in Almaty very soon indeed!
She made it to the finals of The Voice, narrowly missing out on a win. But that only made this diva stronger. She built on her success with “Zharygym” — a ferocious dance track that once again showed off her animalistic voice. Hear her roar!
Ilona & Push King
I’m rounding out our first Kazakh wishlist with the rather unusual duo of Ilona & Push King, who have delivered a genre-bending song that crosses pop, opera and rap. It may be too much for the casual voter to take on, but at the end of the day, it’s catchy, and changes quickly, which works with Ilona’s voice and Pop King’s rap on “Sladkiy Noyabr'”.
Who do YOU want to see for Kazakhstan should they make it to Eurovision? You can let us know in the comments box below.