The ethno-rock group Irenek Khan have been selected to represent Khakassia at the 2016 Turkvizyon Song Contest in Turkey this December.

Khakassia are to be represented by the rock group Irenek Khan at the Turkvizyon Song Contest 2016. The group won the Khakas selection process which was held yesterday in the regions Capital, Abakan. Irenek Khan are known for their songs which feature tales from both Khakas and Altai Folklore, the group is well-known throughout Khakassia for their distinct style and performances.

The group earlier this year began work on recording their first album which they hope to release by the end of this year. They wish to focus on the sound of folklore for their first album, but in the second album there will be a lot of experimentation, electronics, mysticism and trance.

Khakassia was one of the original 24 countries and regions to compete in the first edition of the Turkvizyon Song Contest in 2013. They were represented by Vladimir Dorju but failed to qualify for the final. In 2014 they were then represented by Sayana Saburova with the song “Alzhaas”, she finished 22nd in the semi final with 148 points, they received the maximum of 10 points from Kyrgyzstan.

In 2015 Sayana Saburova was selected to represent Khakassia again at the contest in Istanbul. She was due to perform alongside Olga Vasilyeva, however Khakassia were forced to withdraw from the contest. Khakassia has not yet announced whether they will be participating in the Bala Turkvizyon Song Contest 2016.

Watch their performance from the Khakas selection below:

The Turkvizyon Song Contest was first held in 2013 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. The contest which is open to Turkic nations and regions such as Turkey, Kazakhstan and Yakutia. The contest follows a similar format to the Eurovision Song Contest, with songs limited to being 4 minutes long. To date Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have won the contest.