Zere Asylbek (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic) has just released her debut album Bashtalos (the title is a play on words that mixes Kyrgyz and Russian words for “It has started” — Å). The album includes 5 songs in English and Kyrgyz: Daddy told, Men Bashkacha (feat. Beitaanysh), Baby Boy, Ilgeri-Ilgeri, and Kyz (Wargo-S remix).
Zere Asylbek is an activist and musician from Bishkek. Her debut song and video Kyz were released to the Web in the fall. One of the reasons behind creation of the song was the murder of 19-year-old Burulay Turdaliyeva.
Kyz became one of the biggest events in music and culture of Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, causing a broad public debate within Kyrgyz Republic and beyond. In her song and video Zere addresses such current issues as violence and harassment, kidnapping and murder of girls, and advocates protection of women’s rights. After the release of the video the activist and musician received numerous messages threatening her health and life.
Zere commented to ADAMDAR/CA, “The album cover has references to the threats and the reaction that I expect to be the most widespread towards what I do… The main goal of the album title and its cover is to make someone download the album and listen to it despite his/her attitude towards me or my views. Bashtalos is the beginning. It is not only the beginning of my career in music, but it is also the beginning of the actions that lead to freedom and equality…”
The album reflects Zere’s views on feminism, as well as freedom as a whole and the power of freedom of choice.
According to Zere, “the album is a logical follow-up to all the buzz around Kyz video and at the same time, it is the beginning of actions that lead to freedom and changes in the perception of women in the society».