Performances of Azerbaijani meykhana singers Intigam and Ehtiram Rustamov became a new factor in Azerbaijani-Russian national relations, when the video with Azerbaijani “ditties” was suddenly and rapidly spread on YouTube.
The video was made at the wedding in the southern-azerbaijani region, in Astara. Everything would be ok, if Russians did not believe that meykhana came after Eurovision Song Contest. Two brothers, who became popular after this video disagree with the fact that Russians also compare meykhana to American rap. Meykhana is a different kind of “ditties”. Meykhana is an ancient azeri folk genre, which remind Russian ditties. Improvising, the singers of meykhana compete with each other, without any preparation composing and performing on the fly the sharp verses on current issues.
Film from wedding
Before the performance singers of meykhana talk about the rhyme and chorus, under which immediately the first verse of meykhana is performed, then another performer reads the second verse, which he composes himself. The microphone goes back to the first singer or third, if there are more artists. Usually the verses are read under a simple musical accompaniment. During Soviet times, the art of performance of “meykhana” was discouraged by authorities because folk singers were composing sharp verses about the Soviet reality. Singers of “meykhana” were not invited to the radio and television, but the tapes were secretly spread.
And now azerbaijani folk singers have become the object of attention in Russia because the chorus of meykhana – “Ti kto takoj? Davay, idi, do svidanija” (“Who are you? Come on, go away, good-bye”) which was performed in broken Russian language subtly hint at the social and public dissatisfaction. What are they dissatisfied with? It is hard to say according to the texts, because the allegory of azerbaijani folk singers is at altitude. The refrain “Ti kto takoj? Davay, idi, do svidanija” sounds on TV, not only in Azerbaijan but also in Russia.