Russian R&B And Armenian Rabiz In The Heart Of The Undemanding Armenian Listener

Today, the absolute favorites of the Armenian music listener are the so-called rabiz (pop with oriental motifs) and Russian R&B like that of Black Star. Such compositions are attracting thousands of people in Armenia, and the views of the clips of Armenian rabiz performers are several times higher than the views of other music videos.

For example, this year, Armenian singer Shprot stood out with her vulgar video clip. And generally, she is known in Armenia for interpreting folk songs in a club, vulgar fashion. Besides, Arman and Lilit Hovhannisyan with their Indian (if you can call it that) motives have already gained 19 million views.

Last year, Timati gave a concert in Armenia, gathering about 45 thousand people in the very center of Yerevan, on the Republic Square. He was sincerely amazed that so many people came. On his Instagram page, Timati among other enthusiastic remarks wrote that “such platforms and such an audience are the dreams of any artist.”

For comparison, on the eve of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 2015, a concert by the world-famous Armenian group System of a Down, a world-wide event that attracted fans from all around the world, gathered 50 thousand people on the same square – not that much more than Timati.

Interestingly, Timati is not allowed into Dagestan due to a conflict between him and some Dagestanis – in particular, famous MMA fighter Khabib – because they don’t want “immoral music” to play in their republic. “We are solely responsible for the future of the republic,” said Khabib.

In this regard, the society of Russia got divided into two camps. Well-known public people and the President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov joined the debate as well. In response, Timati stated that “no one can tell him where to give and where not to give concerts”, but his concert was still canceled.

Meanwhile, the artists of Black Star were preparing for the next trip to Yerevan (ticket prices were from 5 thousand to 50 thousand drams) where they would be very warmly greeted.

Every year, the tastes of the Armenian listener become more and more simplified. It seems that you can’t go simpler, but then, something new appears, further fascinating Armenian hearts.

Armenia is a free country, and everyone has the right to listen to what they want, but we should think about what prospects the society has in the near future with such musical preferences.

Anna Khalatian,

Timati and Yerevan 2015
Timati and Yerevan 2017 (concert on the Republic Square)

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