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Sevara Nazarkhan

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Sevara Nazarkhan is the first musician from Uzbekistan to find a warm welcome in the West. The Central Asian state is proud of its ancient cultural history and across several millennia much fine music has travelled from the ancient cities of Samarkand and Tashkent down the Silk Road so to cross-pollinate across Western Asia. Yet under Soviet rule little was heard from Uzbekistan and its culture largely existed in a vacuum.

Sevara has busily been making up for lost time: growing up in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent she attended music classes from an early age, studying the traditional instrument, the doutar. In 1996 she joined an all-women doutar ensemble and then enrolled in the Uzbek National Conservatory. In 1999 she was drafted in as a member of Uzbekistan's answer to The Spice Girls and became something of a pop star in Uzbekistan. Yet Sevara's ambitions did not stop at being the local Geri Haliwell, instead she made contact with the UK's Real World label. This lead to her being offered a suddenly vacant space at Womad 2000. Here the unknown singer managed to impressed all who saw her – including Peter Gabriel. Gabriel duly signed Sevara to Real World and matched her up with noted French Algerian producer Hector Zazou.

Zazou came to Uzbekistan and managed to match his lush, electronic production style with Sevara's traditional Uzbeki sensibility so resulting in her acclaimed 2003 Real World debut "Yol Bolsin". Sevara has since gone on to open concerts for Peter Gabriel as he toured the world, guest on Charlie Gillett's BBC London radio show and headline The Barbican's X-Bloc Revisited festival. All the while her musical beauty opens ears to the sound of Uzbekistan.

"Instruments and music are always travelling and developing," says Sevara. "That's why I believe it is so important to listen to traditional music and the instruments. This in turn enables me to go further and experiment with other sounds."

Garth Cartwright (courtesy of fRoots) 

Yol Bolsin album review
Video and Audio from R3 Awards for World Music 2004
Visit Realworld for news and video on Sevara
Your Comments
Olim Prague,Czech republic
Long time we had not heard real classic uzbek music.Sevara filled that vacuum with new idea. Sevara,Come to Prague and perform the power of uzbek music.

I knew about her from the albums of Peter Gabriel and Russian musician B.Grebenshikov- she is popular all over the world already, but not in Uzbekistan, why? I wish her good luck!

Farruh from Moscow, Russia
I was very impressed with album "Yo'l Bo'lsin" which mixes modern music with classic Uzbek songs. I think it is new very nice and perspective modern way on music world. Sevara you are best as was allways. Katta Rahmat senga, Vatamnimning go'zal qizi!

Kitti Yanukovitch
Thank you and God Bless you.

Paul Smirnoff
I love this site, there is so much information to be found. Thank you.

Susana , Hereford
Yol Bolsin is one of my most favourite CDs. It's wearing thin!. when is Severa Nazarkhan going to produce another CD?

Fred, Uzbekistan
I wish her luck and take the award 2005, she deserves it

The only singer in Uzbekistan I respect and like is Sevara Nazarkhan. She is realy good singer and is more better and intellectual than Yulduz Usmanova.

Louisa, Uzbekistan
She's very talented singer. Sevara one of the famous musicians in our country. Her songs are so wonderful! Especially, "yur muhhabat".

Peter Demirdjian Boston, USA
I saw Sevara tour concert with Peter Gabriel, She's great musician and singer so I searched to find some information about her, I loved her voice very much.

Ulugbek from Tashkent
her songs very amazing i love

Munisa- NJ
Couldn't be more proud of you Ms.Nazarkhan! Thanks for all the great taraflarga ham keling, kutamiz :) Wishing you all the best.

she's good, a fine mordern blend & traditional sense.

David in Pennsylvania-USA
I saw Sevara tour with Peter Gabriel in 2003. I really enjoyed her set and bought Yol Bolsin....Nice music!!!!......I hope to see her perform live again someday........or a dvd would be cool too.........Cheers !!! David

Mashkhura, London, UK
I love her music and her voice, I think she is one of the best singers in Central Asia. Recently I've heard her song in one of the shops in Ealing Shopping centre, and was wondering if is there any uzbek, but I couldt find anybody, I was so surprised, but I felt proud of my culture, of my language, and of course I was proud of Sevara. She has got much more potential in her, I believe she is going to be well known in the world. Best wishes to you Sevara! Good luck!

Aliya from Phila, USA
She's great musician and singer. I wish she performed here in the states, but for now I'll have to enjoy the CDs.

Sarvar USA
Sevara's music sometimes makes you sad. Because she sings very soft, her voice is amazing!

Montu Saxena, Cambridge
While I like Sevara's work very much, it would be wrong to say that she is the first singer from Uzbekistan to be recognised in the west. Yulduz Usmanova has been know for quite sometime!

Farhod. Tashkent, Uzbekistan
We are proud of you, Sevara opa! Waitin for your concert in Tashkent with impatience

Farmon, USA
I myself do not have a strong desire to listen to her musics, and if the the west likes it, then something is wrong with my understanding of her musics.

Dilsuz from Berlin
She is the best one among Uzbek female singers. We are proud of her. Just Now way to the Bach go ahead Sevara we are with you. Just good luck may allaah blesses You:)

Sevara is the best Uzbek artist. She makes Uzbek culture well known in the world. Thank you Sevara! We love you

Andy Charles, Bristol
A fantastic performer with a fantastic album out. She is going to go so far as she is still very young!

Russell Jackson, UK West Yorkshire
Seen at The Wardrobe in Leeds - wonderful performer and backing musicians - a strong candidate to win this year's award.

Derek Reeves - Cambridgeshire
absolutely bloody brilliant. This is World music at its best, listen to this even if you listen to nothing else - the rest of her music is great too

Richard Dorrell
It's also very heartening, in a time when much of Central Asia appears to be engaging in cultural meltdown (in Uzbekistan, the case of Ruslan Sharipov as an example), that Uzbek culture is travelling beyond its political confines- Sevara Nazarkhan is not only a brilliant singer and doutar player, her continual work in the face of political adversity is to be applauded.

Barry from Co. Durham, UK
In a word 'captivating'. I obviously have no idea what the words mean, but I do understand the meaning behind the words. However, my words could never do her music justice, suffice to say to me she is an unearthly creature whose voice seems to have captured the very essence of her soul or perhaps a nation’s soul. Respect the Nazarkhan.

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