There doesn’t seem to be a western musical genre that hasn’t found its way to Mongolia over the last twenty years or more. I get a kick out listening to pop, rock, jazz, etc, with lyrics sung in Mongolian. There are covers of western songs, but most are original compositions by Mongolian songwriters. There are standards too, obviously well-loved songs that have been recorded many times.
Rock arrived in Mongolia very shortly after democracy. Groups like Haranga, Chono and Nisvanis were extremely popular and there are still lots of videos of their music on YouTube. Today the alt rock band The Lemons is very popular.
Boy Bands were big in the United States at the same time the youth music scene started up in Ulaanbaatar. The most successful Mongolian group in this pop genre was Camerton, four guys with great voices who created wonderful harmonies. They’ve all done solo albums and one member, Bold, has gone on to write, record and produce at least a half dozen albums and now has his own production company, B Productions.
Hip Hop isn’t really my thing at all, but it’s a very important genre in Mongolia and often is used to draw attention to serious social issues like alcoholism. I chose this one because it’s about the Democracy Movement and includes images from that time.
Next week: Mongol music that is a synthesis of traditional and western styles