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He is Famous Now

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Tajik Jimmy, who was mentioned on this blog back in May, has become famous!

But he is not the only Jimmy, Jimmy fan. The song has been covered by a Russian pop group:

And by M.I.A. as well:

Below, a sampling of the coverage of Tajik Jimmy:

The rise of Mr. Allaberiyev, widely known as Tajik Jimmy, a migrant worker in a provincial Russian stockroom who delivers astonishing renditions of Bollywood musical numbers, is one more testament to the strange power of the Internet. A little more than a year after one of his performances was filmed by a co-worker with a cellphone and posted online, Mr. Allaberiyev cannot walk through a crowd in the Russian capital without being stopped by fans. This is especially remarkable given the place that Central Asian migrants occupy in Russian society: members of a vast and nearly invisible work force, targets of derision and occasional violence. [New York Times]

Forget Susan Boyle. “Tajik Jimmy” is the new viral star of the Internet. Jimmy’s story is so unbelievable that it could easily become the next Hollywood/Bollywood hit like Slumdog Millionaire! [Foreign Policy]

In front of a packed crowd of twenty-somethings at Solaynka, one of Moscow’s hippest nightclubs, he steps onto the stage to yelps from adoring fans and belts out “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja”, a classic Bollywood number and his trademark song. Pretty young Russian girls, the kind who would cross the road to avoid Tajik labourers in real life, scream out “Jimmy Boy, we love you!” and the crowd claps along to the catchy melody. [The Independent, UK]

Via Ultrabrown, I also discovered a group of Nigerians singing Goron Ki Na Kaalon Ki.

As far as the future of Tajik Jimmy goes, I am not very optimistic. True, his life story is touching and the songs evoke a lot of nostalgia. But those two factors alone do not make a singing career (he seems to perform only two songs). Another talented Central Asian in Russia has been struggling to make a career out of singing Hindi songs for a while – and he is far more talented than Tajik Jimmy.

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