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КешYOU – 13 Хитов

I guess one doesn’t approach the Kazakh pop music on daily basis, unless he or she has become a КешYOU addict like me. Yes, I am unashamedly admit it.

And indeed, there shoud be no shame in that, because one should never be ashamed of being happy listening to happy tunes sung by beautiful women. What’s wrong with it, right?

Truth is, as with the majority of my discoveries, this one also fits in the category “how come I got there?” on Youtube. But to be completely honest, my wife has her hand in this, during the mandatory Covid-19 lockdown we used to watch many Russian pop videos (although there was no particular reason, unless one counts better looking women and no vulgarity) and somehow Kazakh female group Gaukhartas has slipped in the playlist with this amazing video:

What to say, I was hooked instantly. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to come up with the information about the current Kazakh pop music, so Rudolf once again had to become an internet detective.

But then КешYOU also appeared in the recommended videos with their hit single “Ризамын” and folks…I was in a loss of words. OK, I didn’t understand a word, but hey – I listen to Indonesian dangdut koplo and I don’t understand much either…and love it anyway!

КешYOU is a created group (the work of the producer Bayan Yessentayeva), not unlike female pop bands Spice Girls or – and this will probably be more fitting – trio Sugababes. КешYOU is also a trio, and it also went through line-up changes, in its ranks you could find Kamshat Zholdybaeva, Aidana Medenova, Zhanar Dugalova, Moldir Auyelbekova, Zhyldyz Omirgali, Balzhan Bidash, Akbota Nur and currently Lyazzat Sulatanova, Balaussa Yergalina and Nargiz Altaibay. Have I forgotten someone? It could be…the information is hard to come buy to those of us who don’t speak Russian or Kazakh language.

КешYOU KeshYou album cover

Anyway, the group has released quite a few singles and in 2020 what I suspect is a compilation of these, under the title “13 Хитов” (13 hits), and luckily, it’s available on Spotify. It took me a while to find the whole playlist (I am not much of a Spotify user, you know), but I have managed to succeed. 🙂

Opening with the aptly named “13”, these lovely ladies present themselves with a R&B ballad, but to be honest – it’s pretty average. The charm for me is here, OK, the Kazakh language, but if this song is in English…well, average. Next!

The second song is much better, at least we have a distorted guitar sound present, which is always good! “Персона” has a nice guitar riff also, and sung in Russian, it resembles the Russian pop production the 2010+ (for those who are familiar with it). It’s OK – not great, but not bad.

Under number #3 you can find song “Сугір” and with the underlying current of the Kazakh folk melody with fitting vocals and the use of the native accoustic instrument, I am pretty sure people will be pretty much divided over this one. For some (me, here! Here!) this is a perfect example of the marriage of the traditional, folk music and modern music, those more immersed into the mainstream modern music will probably shun it. However, they will do it to their own loss.

However, the fourth one is the aforementioned “Ризамын”, this one is probably the best known single from КешYOU and rightly so. Although I more-less love all their production, this one is the closest to my heart and I can see I am not alone with this sentiment. Simply beautiful and if you have functioning ears, you’ll agree.

Fifth to dance is “Әлиа”, a ballad in which sadness, however of that elegant fashion, pours through my speakers and I am thinking about the heartbreaks of the past…what a beautiful song! One of the favourites indeed!!!!

Back to R&B waters in “Казақ қыздары”, much to my delight this is more of 1990s R&B, and that kind I am enjoying immensely…that’s a bit of Spice Girls there, but also I’d say En Vogue and similar bands from the 90s. Not bad at all – not the usual style to listen to, but there’s something in their vocals (besides the exotic language), which mesmerize me.

“Асықпа” is hidden under the #7, and as the previous one, this one borrows from Kelly Clarkson’s single “Stronger” (if I am not mistaken). I like such “artistic borrowing” (and I have nothing against Kelly Clarkson), and because I like those Kazakh girls signing, again – I am not complaining. I know, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hey…we like what we like.

“Келші жаныма” marks the number 8, and again, this one is more to my liking, as the national roots are audibly present. Although I am pretty sure producers (and singers themselves as well, why not) would probably welcome more impact on the worldwide scene, personally speaking, I like the ethno-fusion more.


And “Армандаймын” luckily continues in this atmosphere and not only that, but it’s even better! It’s hard to say if it’s a live recording or the false audience noise, but it doesn’t change the fact that the song is catchy as hell. Are my legs moving, or is it still my restless legs’ syndrome? 🙂 You know the true answer to that, don’t you? Another hit track for this album! Number 9 on the album, by the way.

The honor of being #10 belongs to “Махаббат”, which presents a clever use of Haddaway’s 1993 hit “What is Love?” and again – one can’t complain. Great vocal harmonies and in the Youtube videos I am watching beatiful women singing…like I will complain! Never!

And the very next song (if you need to know the title, here it is – “Калай ғана?”) proves my point. This is again much in the vein of modern R&B, but much, much better. We have also a female rap part here, so those who enjoy hip-hop, will be satisfied (although we, Westerners, wouldn’t understand a thing). But it’s catchy and it counts.

КешYOU KeshYou cover of the single QazaQstan

The #12 song is “Неге?”, and no, it’s not “Here” English it would be “Nege”. So much for a quick Russian language lesson, now let’s back to the song. The sound is modern indeed (I like that synth sample) and I am in vain trying to remember which other songs employ it. Not that I want to accuse КешYOU’s producers of stealing, we’re talking about a particular sample sound. I like the chorus parts, but as a whole…hmmm….there were much much better songs from these girls, I am afraid.

With the final song, titled “Уят емес” we’re going deeper into the modern R&B … and I am not that much of a fan, I have to admit. The song itself is not bad, but it has nothing on the previous ones. It’s still passable, but definitely not my favourite.

Summed up – if Western so-called modern pop-music bore you to tears, that alone should be no reason to shun the music itself. Just look elsewhere! And you are not afraid of language you don’t understand, you will find plethora of music to please one’s heart. КешYOU are no exception – some of the songs can be a little miss, but the majority of them are proper hits. And you don’t have to be Kazakh to enjoy them.

Actually…there is one big negative. I regret I haven’t discovered them earlier, because I would enjoy their music for longer. That’s it.


Rudolf Schütz

The creative mind behind the,a fervent connoisseur of cultural treasures, with an unwavering passion for Asian and Indonesian movies and music. He is a true aficionado, driven by a desire to unearth hidden gems and shed light on the often-overlooked. From the grand stages of mainstream performances to the gritty underground scenes, Rudolf is equally at home, recognizing that every note and frame tells a unique tale. As a cultural enthusiast, Rudolf is not just an observer but a storyteller in their own right. Through his insights, analyses, and reviews, he shares the captivating narratives that ripple through Asia's music and movie scenes. Whether it's a haunting melody that resonates from Indonesia's hidden corners or a cinematic masterpiece that transports you across time, Rudolf is your trusted guide to the captivating world of cultural expressions.

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