June 15, 2012
By Mitch Hare
The music world lost a pioneer today. Eduard Khil, the one time king of Soviet pop died Monday at the age of 77. Although unwitting in the business sense and possibly the music sense, the singer left a lasting legacy that spanned several generation of music fans. That his music may have turned to camp shouldn’t lessen the impact he had on music In fact, his music endures because of it.
If you’re not familiar with Khil, you should be. He is now most widely known for his non-lexical vocable version of the song I Am Glad, ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home. Hard to describe what non-loxical voacble is. I found the definition on wikipedia, which is apt because it’s in the wide world of interweb where we go to use non-loxical voacble things like ‘wiki’ or ‘google’ to find out about lost Russian pop music stars. The short definition is gibberish. Nice gibberish but still.
How is he a pioneer? How many other Russian pop musicians do you know? Granted, he didn’t actually set out to blaze a trail for campy well dressed 1970’s Russian singers, but he did. He had some help from the You Tube. You used to be able to get by dressing in ridiculous era defined fashions. Who would know, except a couple of of family friends, if you wore a snazzy brown polyester blazer and a tie with a knot the size of an orange? Now, today’s hipster indie artists need not only to dress for today but also for the ages. Someone will find them in 2042 dressed all weird. Mr Khil is a pioneer in the way musical artists will think about their future persona, not to mention their potential popularity in a future where no bit of information or creation is lost. It will carry on until it runs into some opposing cultural shift where it will surface and make either the artist or Google some money.
In the end, Mr Kihl was glad he was finally home in his singing element. We’re glad too.
Mitch Hare is the Dean of Media Arts and Production programs for The Institute of Production and Recording and Broadview Entertainment Arts University.