POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Sep 12, 2009 AT 16:11 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 12, 2009 17:00 IST

 

So you grew up hearing about the insane popularity of songs such as Aawara HuuN in Russia? Meet Tajik Jimmy. In the words of the New York Times:

The rise of Mr. Allaberiyev, widely known as Tajik Jimmy, a migrant worker in a provincial Russian stockroom who delivers astonishing renditions of Bollywood musical numbers, is one more testament to the strange power of the Internet.

A little more than a year after one of his performances was filmed by a co-worker with a cellphone and posted online, Mr. Allaberiyev cannot walk through a crowd in the Russian capital without being stopped by fans. This is especially remarkable given the place that Central Asian migrants occupy in Russian society: members of a vast and nearly invisible work force, targets of derision and occasional violence...

...Indeed, the voice seems to come out of nowhere — a clear, warbling Hindi falsetto, complete with percussion and twanging sitar solos. For an impoverished boy growing up on a Tajik collective farm, there was no greater pleasure than Bollywood films, which were approved by the Communist Party as a politically safe diversion. Mr. Allaberiyev’s family understood that he had a gift; by the age of 7 or 8, he could commit songs to memory and repeat them with eerie accuracy, after watching a movie twice.

...HE sang as he watched 1,700 sheep and fed cows for a wealthy Uzbek trade..

Clearly, Bappi Da has one more hit to crow about. More at the NYT: On Web, Storeroom Crooner From Tajikistan Is a Star

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Sep 12, 2009 AT 16:11 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 12, 2009 17:00 IST
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