Akmaral Zykayeva (born December 21, 1985), better known by the stage name Mergen, is a Kazakh artist, singer, songwriter, violinist, music video director and record producer. Born and raised in Almaty she graduated from Kazakh National Conservatory of Music (violin classes) in 2008 and Musicians Institute, Hollywood LA, USA in 2010. To date she has released and produced independently four studio albums and an EP under different eponyms.
At 16 she starts writing her first poems under alias Mergen which she then records and self-produces into songs. A debut album 13 sees it’s release in 2009. Akmaral graduates from the MI with the Outstanding Project Award beating other 120 artists. In 2011 she releases the second album AYAN.
In 2012 Akmaral works in cinema post production at the Kazakhfilm Studios as sound director, sound engineer, foley artist and ADR editor.
In 2012-2013 she became Head of Bilim Media Group Recording Studios working on her third album entitled Qazaq Lounge as the producer engrossing more than 40 professionals including other producers, vocalists and musicians.
In 2015 she recorded an EP under her real name in an orchestral cinematic style playing most violin parts herself.
She took part in various educational projects inspiring younger artists to create unique content.
In the end of 2017 Akmaral presented her third album as a singer Mergen “TYH” (Night), which was dedicated for her grandfather.
From 2018-2019 Akmaral actively began to work in the film industry, as a film composer she presented herself in such films like the Horse Thieves: Roads of Time (dir. Yerlan Nurmukhambetov, 2019), Dissolve (dir. Kim Ki Duk, 2019).
Currently Akmaral says that she is working on the next album, and planing to release it next year (2020).