- Title: Mongolia's throat singing rappers bring rural edge to urban hip hop
- Date: 28th July 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Mongolian) 50 YEAR-OLD TEACHER, OTGONBILEG, SAYING: "Our traditional arts can develop in a combination with modern music styles. I have heard such performances before and such performances can make Mongolians proud of their cultural heritage." AUDIENCE WATCHING
- Embargoed: 11th August 2017 09:56
- Keywords: Mongolia throat singing hip pop Fish Symboled Stamp
- Location: NALAIKH DISTRICT AND ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA
- City: NALAIKH DISTRICT AND ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA
- Country: Mongolia
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA00B6RRRYVT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The traditional art of throat singing, or 'Khoomei' as it is known in Mongolia, has a new ring to it in the urban music scene of Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolian rap group "Fish Symboled Stamp" has blended modern hip hop tunes with the vocal tradition, which has a near thousand-year-old history in cultures across Siberia and Central Asia and uses the folds of the singer's throat as reverberation chambers.
The group was founded in 2010 and quickly found an audience of varying ages. But finding their 'voice' took some time.
"I couldn't figure out what voice I should use," said lead bass vocalist Sanjjav Baatar, 32, of when he met his musical partner Battogtokh Odsaikhan, 30, and started experimenting with styles in a provincial town just outside the Mongolian capital.
"One day my partner said, 'why don't you rhyme with your Khoomei voice?' I tried it out and it sounded really good. My Khoomei voice is the deepest bass in hip hop."
Odsaikhan says regular Mongolian hop hop, which remains one of the country's most popular forms of music, is just a "copy and paste" from Western urban rap beats. Fish Symboled Stamp's tunes on the other hand are unique, he says.
The group's lyrics evoke feelings of nationalism and refer heavily to the country's historical legacies. One of their songs is called "I am a Mongolian" and the group's name refers to an old seal traditionally used to mark the back of horses in the landlocked North Asian nation.
The pair say they were inspired by Mongolian folk religion and their frequent visits to the country's vast grasslands during their childhood.
Although throat singing is not newly flourishing in the country of just over three million people, small, private-run schools that teach the art to the younger generation continue to attract students.
At a recent opening of a local artist's gallery where Fish Symboled Stamp performed as representatives of Mongolian art, one 50-year-old member of the audience, Otgonbileg, said the group's work - combining both old and new - makes "Mongolians proud."
To date, the group have produced one album and 30 songs. Odsaikhan, a part-time cameraman, produced and shot most of the music videos.
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