April 10, 2020
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The Strange Power Of The Internet

The Strange Power Of The Internet


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

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