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.
Her latest single Efsane (Legend) dates from last month, and was written by up and coming Turkish Cypriot rock singer Fikri Karayel.
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.
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.
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.
Just a reminder for everyone in the Netherlands: Zeynep will perform in the Melkweg Amsterdam on December 21, 2019.
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 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Tuğba Yurt regularly posts videos of intimate acoustic sessions on YouTube. I therefore highly recommend following her channel.
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.
But two years ago her passion for making music eventually won, and since then Nova Norda has released a series of singles and EPs.