In the city of Turkmenbashi, there was a boy who did not intend to connect his life with music, and now he is known by the whole country and abroad as a talented singer and musician. His stage name is Ilyas Pasha.
Almost on every “apparatus” in due time it was heard the melodies of his famous songs, instantly becoming hits. “Jamila”, “My East”, “Mother” and the most rousing “Salam Alleikam” – sung by several Asian bands at once, brought their author a real success in the musical field.
But according to Ilyas Rejepov, the creative profession carries a lot of tests, and how to go by steep and toilsome ways to the stars, he knows firsthand.
– I was an ordinary boy, I enjoyed playing football, chatting with friends, and suddenly guests from the capital came in search of talents, listened to me, so I was enrolled in the Republican Music Boarding School in Ashgabat. An independent life set in, I studied in bassoon department, honestly saying, under compulsion. My first teacher Klych Annageldyevich was very particular about my musical efforts, as he said later, he saw my natural musical gift. I had to study for 12 hours a day, there was no time for homesickness.
Even being a schoolboy, Ilyas played the most complex classical works, so after entering the music school, teachers were surprised by the fellow’s talent and predicted him a great future. Having mastered the bassoon, interest of Ilyas spread to the bass guitar and soon the young man was invited to join the Philharmonic ensemble, with which he toured since the age of 16.
– In 73, the musicians and I heard Turkmen folk songs in a modern arrangement, divided into four parts, no one had ever done this before. Shamamed Byashimov was one of the first to start working on folk classics, and, of course, we wanted to collaborate with him. So I got to “Gunesh”, where I played solo guitar and sang. Then I was called up for military service, even there I went further with music, played in a military ensemble, and on return home again became a member of the group.
The legendary “Gunesh” band toured the entire Soviet Union, but soon Ilyas Pasha decided that it’s time to reorient to another musical format, so it was created the “Destan” band.
– We wanted something new, so we organized “Destan”, played mostly folk-rock, and gave ten concerts a day. People sometimes could not get a ticket to our concert, the constant sell-out and love of the audience inspired and stimulated. I could decompose any text into a melody in a few minutes, and I could hear music in every word. The period from 83 to 90s was probably the most productive time of my life, and then the muse suddenly disappeared.
Finding the strength, after a while Ilyas pulled through and created the “Asia” group, with which he went to Almaty for the competition “Voice of Asia”. From that moment, a whole series of performances and invitations to different countries began. Russia, Turkey, the cooperation with Ibrahim Tatlises – singer, whom the whole of the East worships. However, at some point, feeling an internal fracture, Ilyas Pasha disappeared from the musical sphere for 19 years.
– The musician’s talent is given from above, there are those who achieve everything by hard work, and those who are favored by fate itself, granting ability for music. The main thing is to find a good teacher, because even talents need professionals. When I started thinking about my work, the lyrics, the music I was composing, everything went away. We stop at the very moment when we are trying to explain to ourselves what is given to us as a gift from above – it is completely unsettling. Then I made a conclusion for myself: it is necessary just to do your job. For a long period outside of creativity, I have mastered a different profession, leaving for a completely opposite field of activity. But down the years, nevertheless the music has taken its toll.
Ilyas Pasha – Rejepov is happy that he lives in his homeland, he still appears on the scene and presents the audience his creativity. The singer and musician has many fans among young people, as before the whole auditorium sings his author’s songs.
Music has become a determining factor in his fate, when you talk to Ilyas, you realize that you are talking to a person who actually knows what success in show business is and how to achieve it, not making it an end in itself, but using it as a way to share your vision of the beauty of the resonant world with people.