Shahrizoda (Uzbek Cyrillic: Шаҳризода; Uyghur script: شهريزاده) is a music group (guruhi) from Uzbekistan, each line-up consisting of three girls. The group began in 2003 and more than twelve different girls have been part of the group at one time or another. The original trio was intermittently based in Ürümqi, the provincial capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China.
Their music could be described as traditional ethnic music, ethno-pop and dance pop. The majority of Shahrizoda’s songs are sung in Uzbek, however occasionally they have sung in Uyghur and two songs in Chinese Mandarin.
The name Shahrizoda is the transliteration of the Uzbek and Uyghur variants of Scheherezade, the legendary Arabian princess and story teller of One Thousand and One Nights.
In 2006 the girls released a CD/VCD album called Oynasun, featuring a series of videos shot in various locations across Xinjiang. The song “Oynasun” (Uzbek: O’ynasin), a remake of a popular Uyghur folk song, became an instant hit. A second DVD album (Bilat tilayman) was produced in 2007, containing a couple of songs in Chinese in an attempt to break into the large Han Chinese market. However this album was only moderately successful. In 2010 their third album, Qalb isyoni, was released.
Several new songs have appeared online as of November 2014 and it is unknown whether a fourth album is impending. Few resources are available from Uzbekistan because of limited media coverage. It is difficult to find any information about the girls and any new songs they might have released.
Shahrizoda’s producer is Sa’dulla Abdullayev, and an interview from late 2014 reveals that the group was originally created in order to sing at friend’s weddings! Their producer also says that as the group is women only, it can be hard when they get married and therefore have to leave the group due to family commitments. This would probably explain why there have been so many different girls representing the name.
Shahrizoda is not to be confused with Uzbek singer Shahzoda (aka Zilola Bahodirovna Musaeva), or Uzbek singer Shahrizoda Ahrorxo’jayeva. The latter has several songs on YouTube simply using her first name. You will be able to tell this isn’t the guruhi (group) because it only features one girl singing.
Here are all the known line-ups and girls of Shahrizoda. I have gathered this information from a variety of places, but most particularly the official Shahrizoda Instagram page. Thank you! Katta rahmat.
I have tried to put things in SOMEWHAT sequential order, however it gets a little confusing at times because a few ladies have come and go periodically. For example I think a few, like Gulnoza, Zebo and possibly Shahnoza Y, got married and left the group and then returned a few years later.
To start off, we have the original line-up of the group, well-loved and known. This is where it all began!
Subsequent line-ups featured Sarvar* replacing either Shahnoza or Aziza. And then some new faces starting appearing!
After Qalb isyoni, the girls seem to mix and match a lot. Gulnoza leaves and is replaced by one of the unknown girls I unfortunately don’t have the name of. Then the unknown girl is replaced by ANOTHER unknown girl (bear with me!) and Shahnoza Y is replaced with Zebo. Shahnoza is the only constant. In fact, in the song “Amira” from 2013, Shahnoza’s voice is the only one you hear distinctly. (In most Shahrizoda songs, each one of the three girls gets a unique verse or two to sing).
The second unknown girl is replaced by Risolat, and this combination sings “Dutor” and “Qo’llarim rulda” together. Zebo then leaves, and TV presenter and singer Jayrona sings with Gulnoza and Shahnoza Y who have returned (I suspect they both got married and/or had children and that’s why they left the group earlier).
Our original member, Shahnoza, returns to sing with Risolat and Gulnoza at several events, including Ayol va Muqaddassan concert in 2016. They sing “Ayol“. Lastly, the final photo of Risolat, Gulnoza and Shahnoza Y is the latest version of the group. They sing (in English!) “Happy New Year” at a New Year’s event at the end of 2016, at the Ayol va Muqaddassan concert for 2017, and at a Navruz (Persian New Year) event in Xumson, Uzbekistan.