Ayşe Hatun Önal

Former fashion model and Miss Turkey Ayşe Hatun Önal has become an established name in the Turkish music world. After her first EP in 2003 – Sonunda – she has released award-winning songs in very different musical flavours, but always instantly recognizable because of her characteristic voice.

Ayşe Hatun Önal – Efsane (October 2019)

Her latest single Efsane (Legend) dates from last month, and was written by up and coming Turkish Cypriot rock singer Fikri Karayel.

IG: @aysehatunonal

In the video for Efsane, Ayşe is dressed by Azeri fashion designer Rufat İsmayil. During New York Fashion Week last September, Ayşe also showed the collection of İsmayil’s brand AFFFAIR on the catwalk.

Zeynep and Mustafa

Just a few weeks ago I posted a video of Zeynep Bastık, in which she did a cover of a Mustafa Sandal song.

Now the two made a duet – Mod – and the video clip premiered yesterday.

Mod – Mustafa Sandal, Zeynep Bastık (November 2019)

Mustafa Sandal is a sort of legend in Turkey, he has been active in the music world since the early 90s. Sandal sold more than 14 million albums inside and outside of Turkey and also wrote countless hits for big names like Ajda Pekkan, Sezen Aksu and Sertab Erener. Sandal’s single İsyankar (2005) reached the charts in several European countries.

The singer-songwriter also collaborated with many artists, such as Gülben Ergen, Greek singer Natalia, Eros Ramazzotti, Serbian singer Emina Jahović (now his ex-wife), Gülşen and Turkish rapper Eypio. And – luckily for us – the lovely Zeynep Bastık.

IG: @zeynepbastik

Just a reminder for everyone in the Netherlands: Zeynep will perform in the Melkweg Amsterdam on December 21, 2019.

Melek Mosso

Singer and musician Melek Mosso recently posted an acoustic version of her self-written song Gönül gözü on her YouTube channel. And I love it! Check it out:

Melek Mosso – Gönül gözü (October 2019)

Melek started making music as a 9-year-old girl. Later she took lessons in Turkish folk music at the conservatory. She started playing the flute at the Fine Arts High School and finished her studies at the university as a music teacher.

After moving to Istanbul, she gave music lessons in the Beşiktaş and Kadıköy districts. At the same time she performed with her own “jazzy” band Zbam.

Çukur 15. Bölüm – No.1 Feat. Melek Mosso – Hiç Işık Yok

In 2016, Melek (under her real name Melek Davarcı) participated in O Ses Türkiye, the Turkish edition of The Voice. A year later, her vocals were featured in the epic song Hiç Işık Yok, the soundtrack to the Çukur TV series. Melek’s first solo single Kedi (2018) immediately reached the Turkish charts.

You can follow Melek Mosso online on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Gökçe Kılınçer

In the very first post of this blog I already put the spotlight on Gökçe Kılınçer. Famous for her retro sound reminiscent of the 60s and 70s. If Quentin Tarantino were to make a Turkish film, Gökçe’s music would be the perfect soundtrack.

Gökçe Kılınçer – Neyleyim (October 2019)

Gökçe, who was born in Ankara, has been living in London for several years after winning a scholarship for the Metropolitan University. The multicultural character of the English capital has unmistakably influenced Gökçe’s music. At the same time, she wants to introduce the world to Anatolian music. Neyleyim, one of the two videos that Gökçe posted on YouTube last week, very well reflects those influences and her ambition.

IG: @gokcekilincer

Her first single – Aşk Beni Bulunca – was released in 2014. Gökçe recorded her first album in a London studio: Kalbimde İzi Var (2016). A handful of maxi singles followed, and Gökçe is currently working on a new album.

Please check out Gökçe Kılınçer’s accounts on Instagram and YouTube.

Zeynep Bastık

One of my favourite Turkish artists on YouTube is Zeynep Bastık. The singer and actress regularly posts videos of intimate acoustic sessions.

Earlier this year, the cover of Ezhel‘s Felaket went viral (59 million views and counting). But this is yesterday’s video, Zeynep’s version of the Mustafa Sandal hit Kalmadı.

Zeynep Bastık – Kalmadı Akustik (October 2019)

Having grown up in an artistic family, it was only to be expected that Istanbul-born Zeynep would study music, dance and theatre. Her musical career started as a singer of the cover band Jackpot in 2010. Following that, Zeynep was a background vocalist for Murat Dalkılıç.

In addition to music, Zeynep also became popular as an actress; recently in the Turkish FOX TV series Yasak Elma (Forbidden Apple), in which she plays the role of İrem.

IG: @zeynepbastik

Zeynep Bastık has built up a loyal fan base that follows her on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. She conquered their hearts with her music, but also with her empathetic personality. In August she donated the proceeds of a concert to the young daughter of Emine Bulut, a woman who had been horribly killed by her ex-husband – a murder that shocked the whole of Turkey.

Anyone who lives in the Netherlands – like me – can listen to and see Zeynep live in the Melkweg Amsterdam on Saturday December 21, 2019.

Feride Hilal Akın

At the age of 15, Feride Hilal Akın already made her own music videos and posted them on YouTube. Recorded at home on the couch, filmed with a broken smartphone.

It brought her fame as a singer, and also as an actress: she played the role of Şirin Bozok in the popular TV series Yeni Gelin (2017-2018).

Yeni Gelin 12. Bölüm – Ferhat ile Şirin: Ayrılık Zor (May 2017)

But making music is Feride’s true love. Earlier this year she released the single Yok Yok. Deviating from her earlier songs, more with a rap vibe that she thinks suits her better.

Feride Hilal Akın – Yok Yok (May 2019)

Feride is very active on social media. So check her Instagram and YouTube pages.

Sedef Sebüktekin

She is my favourite singer in Turkey right now: Sedef Sebüktekin. Perhaps to be described as “indie” with some jazzy influences, but Sedef says she likes to experiment in different genres.

Sedef chose music at the age of 21, after it turned out that her landscape architecture study had less to do with art or design than she had hoped.

Sedef Sebüktekin – Ara (September 2019)

Music was Sedef’s escape. She started writing and recording songs, often in collaboration with her close friend since college, Can Ozan. In recent years she has released a dozen singles.

The self-written song Ara dates from earlier this year, the dance-themed video was released last month. Sedef can be seen in the dazzling clip with Zeynep İlhan, who also did the choreography.

IG: @sedefsebuk

I put together a playlist on Deezer with Sedef Sebüktekin tracks. You can check it here.

Tuğba Yurt

Müslüm Gürses (1953-2013) is a musical legend in Turkey. With his mélange of arabesk, pop and rock, he became a cult hero in his time – and he still is for a lot of young Turks.

One of his best known songs, and probably one of the most beautiful songs in Turkish, is Nilüfer. There are a trillion Nilüfer covers on YouTube, but for me this version from Tuğba Yurt is one of the best.

Tuğba Yurt – Nilüfer (April 2019)

Tuğba, born in Belgium, is a true pop diva and has been one of the most successful female singers in Turkey in recent years. She had her big breakthrough in 2014 with Doğukan Manço’s cover of a Sezen Aksu song, Sakin Ol. The video is one of the most viewed on YouTube in Turkey.

Just like quite a few other Turkish pop singers, Tuğba has a past in classical music. She studied at the Uludağ conservatory and played the viola in several orchestras.

IG: @tugbayurt

Tuğba Yurt regularly posts videos of intimate acoustic sessions on YouTube. I therefore highly recommend following her channel.

Nova Norda

Singer and songwriter Nova Norda is one of the most eye-catching newcomers in the Turkish music world. Started playing the piano as a 7-year-old girl, studied music at Boğaziçi University and ended up in a corporate job in the media world.

Nova Norda – Zor Akustik (May 2019)

But two years ago her passion for making music eventually won, and since then Nova Norda has released a series of singles and EPs.

All songs are written by the vocalist herself, like Zor (Hard) from earlier this year. Turkish electro pop with a dash of R&B flavour. Personally, I really like the acoustic version – check the video above.

IG: @nova.norda