Gyunesh, the Belarusian daughter of the Orient

The name of Gyunesh Abasova, from the Turkish word “sunny”, is not unusual to the Belarusian ear
Gyunesh was born and grew up in Belarus’ Baranovichi. Her exotic oriental appearance is due to her origin: her forefathers come from Turkey and Azerbaijan. As for her excellent vocal cords that helped her become one of the most prominent young stars of the Belarusian pop music, she is certain she inherited then from her dad, who appears to have helped her musical career a lot. She was the leading singer in the school’s choir when she was just 9, and after she graduated she started singing in the Azerbaijani community in Baranovichi. She then met a talented composer and arranger Fyodor Zhilyak, who wrote her best songs (many of which were translated into Belarusian). Gyunesh sings in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish and French. Besides, she composes her own songs in Turkish and Azerbaijani.

This summer it was like this: she went to Latvia’s Yurmala, swam in the sea at daytime and wrote new songs late at night.

Gyunesh works for Belarus’ Variety Theater. Does she have idols on the Belarusian stage? Yes, she likes Valery Daineko and Anatoly Yarmolenko. Besides, she knows personally Azerbaijan’s vice-premier Abas Abasov. Abasov said she had the most beautiful voice he had ever heard and begged her to move to Azerbaijan and work there. But Gyunesh had to say no, as she is a true patriot.

Her way to the top was quite usual and her amazing ability to do her best helped her to take part in as many contests as possible and win many of them. In 2000 Gyunesh won the audience choice award at the contest of young singers “Malva — 2000” in Poland, in 2001 she took the first prize of the international contest of young singers that performed Ukrainian songs in the town of Chernovtsy, in Ukraine. In 2003, Gyunesh was named one of the five best singers of Europe in Bulgaria’s Varna, and in 2005 she took the second prize of the contest of young singers in Vitebsk, at the world-famous “Slavonic Bazaar”.

She has made one album so far, called “Gyunesh”, with some of her greatest hits that were on top of Belarus’ charts for months: “Daughter of the Orient”, “Call My Name”, “Time to Part”, “Connect the Hearts”.
This summer Gyunesh got into the finals of the V international pop music festival “New Wave” in Yurmala.

Gyunesh cannot imagine her life without singing.

— I understood that my place was there on stage as soon as I got there. I might be unable to give it up even if the man I choose to spend my life with asks me to.

Gyunesh hopes she will once find a man that will be creative and free enough to share the flamboyant life of the young singer and catch up with her.

by Yekaterina Sachenko
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