The newest “Golden Voice of the Turkic World” belongs to Kazakh singer Zhanar Dungalova, winner of the recent Turkvision Song Contest. The competition was organised within the framework of the celebration programme dedicated to “Kazan – the cultural capital of Turkic world 2014.”
Twenty-five vocalists competed for the award and the 15 with the highest scores advanced to the finals. Among them were singers from Moscow, Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Yakutia, Azerbaijan, Bolgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey.
The contestants’ talents were judged by an international jury composed of one representative from each participating country. With her song “Izin Korem” Dungalova was ranked third in the semifinal, but after scoring 225 of a possible 240 points in the final, she left her rivals far behind and gained a merit victory. As a reward, she will receive an honorarium and her music video will be aired on TMB TV, the international Turkish channel reaching 100 million spectators in 12 countries.
Second place was given to Tatarstan singer Aidar Suleiman, who scored 201 points. The Bashkir music group “Zaman,” with 199 points, took third.
Turkvision, an analogue of Eurovision Song Contest, includes participants from Turkic countries, with the total audience reaching more than 300 million people. The first competition kicked off last year in the Turkish city of Eskihisar, offering an opportunity to award the top singing talent among representatives from 24 countries and regions. Kazakhstan was represented by the group Rin’Go, which finished ninth.
Dungalova, who started singing at the age of five, also composes songs and has appeared in different films. She was a member of the popular Kazakh pop group “КешYou,” which won the Eurasian musical and Astana Zhuldyzy awards.
Speaking after her victorious performance on stage, Dungalova confessed she didn’t plan to enter the competition.
“I don’t enjoy participating in different contests because I am always very nervous. The idea belonged to my producer Bayan Essentayeva, who persuaded me to go and try my skills and I am very thankful to her for that. I think this is the most important ingredient of success for a creative personality – to feel that other people believe in you,” she said.
Dungalova added she dedicated her victory to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. She also noted the great support coming from Kazakh fans that she could literally feel under her skin during the contest.
According to Essentayeva, it was obvoius from the very beginning that the Kazakh singer could count on a prize.
“I was following her performance not from backstage, but from the odeum. I felt all the energy and feelings she expressed on the stage – that was a powerful performance,” she said.