“Yuxu” Rock Band in the ‘90s

Text by: Leman Seferli
Source: Chai-Khana & BBC Azeri

Yuxu (The Dream) rock band – was one of the most unforgettable Azerbaijani music bands at the end of the ‘80s and beginning of the ‘90s in Sumqayit. Because of the city’s terrible environmental problems and horrifying concentrated industrial use of chemicals, Sumgayit was often referred to as the “Soviet’s Pride, Azerbaijan’s Hell”. The city was known for its extremely diverse and rebellious population, as well as for its high poverty rates. For these reasons, Sumgayit had favorable conditions for the emergence of rock music.

THE FIRST STEPS

The founder of the band, Ibrahim Emin says that he started to be engaged in the music industry in the beginning of the ‘80s. “When we were adults we listened to Deep Purple and Led Zeppeline on BBC radio surreptitiously. Later, they developed into a school for us, we started to play rock, taking our inspiration from them. In 1988, our band was created. We recorded the song “Xəzərin sahilində” (on the shore of the Caspian Sea). The words of that song belonged to my father, I slightly changed the words and then we performed it. After one year, we performed with this song in the Golden Autumn music festival and won it. Everything started after that.”

TURKISH MEMORIES

“Xəzərin sahilində”  song became a kind of ‘visa’ for the Yuxu music band. Before long, a french woman, Paskal, saw the video clip of this song and invited them to France. At that time, there was no opportunity to travel to France from the Soviet Union, so they decided to travel there via Turkey. However, for unknown reasons, they were not able to travel to France and stayed in Turkey, continuing their activity there.

Since the group started their activity in Turkey, they soon began to gain popularity. Three of their albums were published and spread across Turkey – “On the coast of Caspian Sea” (1988), “Sumqayit” (1994), “No solutions for death” (1998). ” We have just arrived to Istanbul. We were going to perform in one of the clubs in Istanbul, but because our clothes did not fit the style of the club, they did not let us enter. We were dressed in usual clothes, not like rockers, so they didn’t take us seriously. Only after connecting with one of the organisers, they let us inside. In the beginning, each of us drank a bottle of vodka, and they were very surprised, because no one in Turkey had vodka like this. Then, when we had our turn, we performed on the stage. Everyone was surprised, because no one expected such a performance from Azerbaijan. How that could have happened from such a closed Soviet country like Azerbaijan, and how such a music band could have appeared out of nowhere, was a marvel. With the first performance, we broke all these stereotypes.”

This performance became the start of their popularity, and they started to accept invitations to perform in TV and at public events, and began to teach new freshmen in music. One of the Turkish media outlets Eksisozluk.com mentioned that the group was called “the father group” by those who listened to them. “If you listen to them once in your life, then you will never forget them and can be as an example for all groups. I am lucky that I had a chance to listen to them in the ‘Jaravan’ bar. If only they could return and start to perform again.”

TODAY IN COMPARISON TO THE ‘90s.

The earthquake in Turkey in the ‘90s brought forth a phase of stagnation in the Turkish music industry. It affected the Yuxu group, as well. The band split up and the members started to be busy with different things. Ibrahim remembers the problems of the ‘90s:

“You know, there was one poor child, there was another, a lazy child. We were like indigent children of the ‘90s. We did not have anyone who could be responsible for us. Today, it is easier to stand up when you fall down. However, we tried to do something according to the times, and we tried to change something. At that time, unlike today, not many people understood or loved rock. We trained new bands, but now the tendency has been changed, and the rock genre has not found its place in society. Sure, I am involved in, and playing music now, and many of my friends inspired me to start, but still I cannot find our audience. For this reason, I don’t know, I don’t have anything here related to me except my mother, the only thing that keeps me here.”

“I WILL NEVER CHANGE ROCK”

“Those who know me, know that I will never change my music genre. I feel rock, rock is a music of freedom and rebellion. It is my music.

FURTHER ACTIVITIES OF THE MUSIC BAND

The founder of the music band, Ibrahim Emin, created a new rock band “Sirr” (the secret) in Sumqayit in 2004. However, after they released a new album, the group split up. Currently, Ibrahim Emin draws pictures and sells or just gives them to his friends.

The band’s guitarist Namiq Naqdaliyev continues his music activity in Turkey. He works with Kirach, Haluk Levent, Funda Arar and other famous musicians. The drummer Chingiz Eyvazov also lived in Turkey and continued his music activity, will simultaneously working as a tattoo master. Currently, he returned to Azerbaijan and continues his tatoo activity here. The vocalist Jasur Nematov lives in Russia.

With such rock bands in Sumgayit that appeared, it is considered to be the home of rock and was credited as the main regional driving force behind the rock bands of the 1990s including Yuxu, Miraj, Mozalan, and Sirr.

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Ibrahim Emin (founder of “Yuxu” band).

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Ibrahim Emin’s guitar on his bed in front of the map of Europe on the wall.

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I.Emin shows his photos and posters on the wall of his own room.

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I.Emin come in to the parlour room, which Ataturk’s picture hung up on the wall.

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I.Emin shows his drawings

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I.Emin hides his face from the sun

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I.Emin and his mother’s TV set

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Ibrahim Emin and his mother

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“Yuxu”s old pictures.

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Ibrahim Emin and his father

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