Bulgarian Pop Folk Singer Makes It Into NYTimes' Music Shortlist

Culture | March 11, 2016, Friday // 14:45|  views

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A song by Bulgarian pop folk singer Azis has entered a list of 25 songs that, according to the New York Times, are showing trends and directions in music.

Featured under No. 25 in the list of "25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music is Going", the song Habibi is in the company of artists from all around the world.

"In buttoned-up Bulgaria, a viral sensation who plows through every taboo," reads the short summary, next to a few paragraphs dedicated to Azis.

The NY Times notes that Habibi's video has surpassed 20 million views on YouTube since is release in November of last year.

"Azis is dressed like a “Faith”-era George Michael instead of in his signature style: sexpot drag."

"In 2015, Azis was the most Googled person in his home country, but this was barely covered in the Bulgarian press. “They are ready to embrace foreign gay artists rather than admit they have their own gay celebrity,” he says."

Pop-folk music, often dubbed "chalga" (even though some listeners argue there is a difference between the two terms), entered the Bulgarian musical landscape from neighboring Serbia, Turkey and Greece. It sparks controversy for being considered by some as music that partly confirms stereotypes of the importance of money, sex and a superficial view of relations between men and women. Many pop-folk fans, on the other hand, argue the songs carry deep meaning and are mostly about love.

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Tags: Azis, chalga, pop-folk


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