ex-Soviet and modern Russian music

Monday, February 28, 2005

Liza Umarova

Liza Umarova is the most popular modern Chechen singer today called "Chechen Edith Piaf". Chechens policemen, russian soldiers, children and adults are her songs' admirers. Her CD was recorded in awful conditions but distributed in a moment (about 2000 illegal copies). "I think it cost $50 [to make the recording]," she said. "I was sewing, earning money to feed the children at that time. I sewed sets of linen swaddling for newborn babies. And I had a lot of cloth, rolls of cotton. I sold all those rolls at the market, on the cheap, and made back the $50."
Liza and her family live in Moscow for a long time but she keeps in mind events had place in Grozny 10 years ago.
The beginning of war caught her in Grozny but her children were so little to run away. Moreover she thought government would gain an understanding and the war would stop soon. But then her brother came from Novosibirsk and told the republic encircled with armade - he saw the troops while getting Grozny. He rescued family to Ingushetia and they began to wait war ending. Then she left for Almaty (Kazakhstan is her native country) riding as illegal passenger with children. While this trip her little daughter caught nephritis.
In 1997 the war ended and Liza's family came back to Grozny but in 1999 they decided to move to Moscow despite of the fact lots of chechens emigrated to Germany or Norway but Liza had refused.
Liza Umarova's songs are about tragedies the war had brought to chechens and russians. She's real patriot of Motherland more than generals and politicians. She considers combatants should negotiate and stop war.

... Grozny, you're hero-city today
and all the chechens are proud of you
although your streets are broken down
and our childhood's under ruins
but we're proud of you, capital,
Grozny's hero-sity ...

Grozny is hero-sity.mp3
Blind harmonist.mp3
My Soul.mp3
Get up, Russia.mp3
San Nokhchiycho.mp3 (in chechen)
Chechen Woman.mp3
Ma elkha san nana.mp3 (in chechen)

1 comment:

Katja R. said...

I like Taty, and Leningrad Cowboys. Leningrad Cowboys is like Wierd Al Yankovic on steroids, and Taty is just plain fun. Especially really loud. Thanks for starting this site! Please consider linking to Yakima Gulag Literary Gazette