Shaman, or the voice of the Putin Jugend generation

Recently, on the wPolityce portal, I wrote about “Generation Z”, that is, today’s Russian youth under the great influence of the Kremlin, which uses social media to indoctrinate young people, combining imperialist and nationalistic content with an attractive and entertaining format. The name of this generation comes from the letter “Z”, which appears on Russian tanks and combat vehicles during the armed aggression against Ukraine.

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Shaman today has become the voice of the “Putin Youth” generation. This artistic pseudonym is worn by 32-year-old Jarozla Dronov, Russia’s rock answer to the challenge of the West. If Moscow’s “political technocrats” are to win the culture clash with the United States, they must realize that they cannot concede any ground to the enemy and must give it a chance at every level of the contest. One such sphere is rock music, which interests millions of young people in Russia. That is why Shaman’s song “Zha Ruskij” (I am a Russian) has become the anthem of “Generation Z” today.

“I was made in the Soviet Union”

So far, one such character for the first generation to enter adulthood after the collapse of the Soviet Union is Oleg Kasmanov’s rock song “Stellen w CCCP” (produced in the USSR), which is a response to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”. It is similar in sound. It’s the anthemic “Soyuz Orphans,” expressing longing for a fallen empire. The song begins with the words:

Ukraine and Crimea, Belarus and Moldova –

This is my country.

Sakhalin and Kamchatka, Ural Mountains –

This is my country.

Krasnoyarsk Territory, Siberia and the Volga,

Kazakhstan and the Caucasus and Baltic States:

I was born in the Soviet Union.

I was created in the Soviet Union.

The next part of the song is all about: Rurikovichs and Romanovs, Lenin and Stalin, Pushkin, Yesenin, Vysotsky and Gagarin, destroyed churches and rebuilt temples, reapers and torpedoes, oligarchs and poor, KGB, oil, diamonds, gold, gas, navy, ballet aviation. , Opera, Spetsnaz, Vodka, Caviar, Rockets, Hermitage, etc. The piece ends with the observation that when they were all together, the Soviet Union won World War II and was the most powerful country in the world. , which is in stark contrast to what happened later. “How are you without us?” sang Kamchanov in the last verse of the song, posing this question to the former citizens of the Soviet Union, separated by borders after 1991.

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This song became very popular not only in Russia. Kamsanov performed it, for example, on May 9, 2012 during the Victory Day celebration in Kharkiv. Tens of thousands of young Ukrainians sang with him in Russian, enthusiastically received the performance of the singer, a huge order with a hammer and sickle above his head on stage.

“I’m Russian, I’m going to the end”

Today, such a situation is unthinkable in Ukraine. A lot has changed in Russia too. In the context of the war, the role of Casmano is taken by the already mentioned shaman, who is 40 years younger than him. In the last decade, he tried unsuccessfully to break into the local show business. He participated in various competitions and festivals, singing “covers” of great rock stars or simple, romantic songs about love. without success. He got the chance of a lifetime when Kremlin propagandists began looking for an actor who could become the voice of “Generation Z.” Established singers have no intention of engaging in this type of performance. So Drono accepted the offer. His advantage was that he did not look like an apparatchik, but like a “krasavczyk”, dressed in fashionable clothes and with yellow dreadlocks on his head, he could tell the young people “I am one of you”.

Coincidentally, his song “Let’s Rise” had its premiere on February 23, 2022, ahead of the full-scale aggression against Ukraine. It is a hymn and patriotic song, referring to the Russian past and the memory of national heroes, affirming that God and truth are on Russia’s side. The rock ballad was quickly promoted in the media and became a popular hit.

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The song became an even bigger hit. “I am Russian”, which premiered in July 2022. For nine months it has been sung by young people on all-Russian radio, in discos and in schools. The music video accompanying the song has garnered over 32 million views on YouTube. The clip features the shaman in two interwoven scenes: first, as a rock star, giving deafening concerts in arenas full of fans, and second, a fair-haired young man walking alone in a Yesenin-style linen shirt. Through wheat fields. Tirono sings, among others:

I’m Russian, I’m going to the end.

I am Russian, my father’s blood.

I’m Russian, I’m lucky.

I am Russian in spite of the whole world.

I am Russian.

The last scene of the music video shows a spaceship flying through the sky with observers from extraterrestrials, who pick up indistinct sounds from Earth on their listening devices. At one point, the shaman’s song plays over the speakers. The aliens momentarily pick up on the words and begin singing “I’m Russian” as they dance.

“We – One Truth for the whole world”

Over the past year, the shaman has performed several concerts to packed halls across the country, performing not only his songs, but also the Russian national anthem. During a concert titled “Together Forever,” he sang the Russian national anthem to a packed Red Square in Moscow, flanked by Vladimir Putin and other state officials. Dronov also performed in the occupied Ukrainian territories, e.g. In Mariupol and Luhansk, it insists that it is Russian land.

Recently, the singer was offered the role of Prince Vladimir the Great in the planned new rock opera of Kievan Rus (his baptism in 988 went down in history as the baptism of Rus). This will most likely be another propaganda project aimed at proving that today’s Moscow is the true successor of Kievan Rus.

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Many critics consider Szaman’s work to be sly and pretentious, but they don’t dare to talk about it publicly. One of the few was comedian Alexander Gutkov, who parodied the song “Ja Ruskij” as “Ja Uskij” (I’m short). His music video has received 7.2 million views on YouTube. For this reason, MP Yelena Afanasyeva appealed to the prosecutor’s office to charge the satirist with “Russophobia”, and the FSB opened an investigation into Gutkov’s “extremism”.

A few days ago, on April 20, Shaman released the music video of his latest song on the Internet. “We are”. The clip is maintained in fascist poetry (we are talking about artistic stylistics, not ideological overtones). It depicts a blond-haired artist wearing tall black boots and a short black leather jacket, with an apron in the colors of the Russian flag, as he marches through Red Square in Moscow and sings:

A pleasant day.

The banner goes up.

Hope and love are with us.

God is with us.

We – it is eternal in our blood

And my generation.

We – connected by one sky,…

We – We will not let anyone break us

We do not live on our knees.

We – this is the only truth in the whole world – we.

Some netizens criticized Drono for her clothes associating her with Nazi Germany. They also recalled that the song’s release date – April 20 – coincides with Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Overall, however, positive reviews prevailed, and the music video has already garnered nearly 2 million views.

Shaman’s popularity is not only due to the penetrating publicity of his songs. It not only shapes the thinking and attitude of Russian youth, but also fits perfectly into the mindset of a large part of local society. This does not bode well for the future…

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