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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Pop Perusals [2]

You might enjoy getting to know these latest pop music princesses in Istanbul that sing to millions of other princesses and wannabe prince charmings. Click on pictures for links and information:
Female Pop Artists

Grup (Group) Hepsi

Turkish girl and boy pop bands had not managed to capture commercial success, until this band of four young girls called Hepsientered the market with their fresh mix 'n' match of pop and R&B.

Collaborating with talented director/singer songwriter Mete Özgencil, who has worked with such artists as Candan Erçetin, Hande Yener and Tarkan, they released their debut album Bir (One) in 2005.

The major difference from other girl bands is the noticeable quality of their music and videos. Cemre, Eren, Gülçin, and Yasemin all hail from the city of Istanbul, and have been cleverly promoted to endear themselves to a young audience. Most of their music videos include animated characters that represent them, and they each have their own colour - Cemre blue, Eren green, Gülçin pink, and Yasemin purple - which is symbolised in their clips. It has been a success as they have accumulated a large fan base comprising of mostly young girls.

Their "Yalan" (Lie) song also debuted the vocal talents of one time backing singer for Tarkan, Murat Boz - who has released music and has a growing fan base, too.

Recently a male equivalent of Hepsi has been formed, the group's name is made up of the first initials of the four boys, B.O.M.B. At the moment they are little more than a bad carbon copy of *NSYNC.

UPDATE: With member Gülçin Ergül going her separate way from the group, Hepsi has announced that they are a three-girl band as of 2009.

Websites: Official | Fan Forum
Pictures: 1 | 2
View their albums at: Tulumba
Listen to sample of:  "Yalan" (Lie)
Watch their music videos at: YouTube


Born in Istanbul, 1971, even though Göksel is the oldest artist in the group, her music is fresh and vital.

A rising young star despite her age, Göksel studied philosophy in college before devoting herself to music. She performed backing vocals for grand dame Sezen Aksu and Sertab Erener and then broke out on her own with her first Aksu supported album, Yollar (Roads), in 1997.

Göksel draws more from rock and funk than some of her contemporaries, although she retains her traditional inspirations, melding alternative sounds with Turkish retro pop. Her music and lyrics are thought provoking and original, though funky and fun at the same time.

She has charted number one on MTV's international airplay World Chart Express various times. Göksel doesn't confine herself to the realms of pop, as her critically acclaimed duet with nu-metal band maNga shows. Intelligent and thoughtful, she prefers to live a simple life with her music.

Websites: Official | MySpace | American Music Channel
Pictures: 1 | 2
View her albums at: Tulumba
Listen to sample of:  "Arka Bahçemde" (In My Back Garden)
Find her music videos at: YouTube

Nil Karaibrahimgil

Born in 1976, in Ankara, Nil Karaibrahimgil started her career by composing and singing jingles for TV commercials and became a known name after starring in a series of commercials for GSM operator Turkcell's Hazır Kart, including three in which Tarkan made an appearance as part of the "Freedom Within Us" campaign.

On the wave of this success she decided to release her first album in 2002, supported by Tarkan's long time music arranger engineer Ozan Çolakoğlu. It was quirky, with her album art designed as a woman's magazine. Her song "XL" (Extra Large) received a lot of airplay.

Using sounds from all walks of life and lyrical modern slang, some argue that Karaibrahimgil does not fit easily into a pop category. However, while her music does seem to veer towards alternative music, under closer scrutiny it is clear that she cooks her hand-picked eclectic ingredients inside a pop oven.

Chaotic, beautiful, embarrassingly open, sometimes sad, always sharply funny, Karaibrahimgil is one of the most original artists to come out of the Turkish music industry for a long time.

Websites: Official | Official 2 | Fansite
Pictures: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
View her albums at: Tulumba
Listen to sample of:  "Pırlanta" (Jewel)
Official YouTube Channel: YouTube


Turkish soprano Meyra, full name Hümeyra, began her musical education at the age of 10.

Born in 1978, Istanbul, she released her first album at the age of 18, in 1995, after which she moved to America where she continued her musical education.

Some compare her vocals to Sarah Brightman and Sertab Erener, and her rendition of Albinoni's Adagio has garnered a lot of interest.

A powerful voice, and strong musical roots, pop fans hope Meyra will add some depth to a pool of popular music that some fear is becoming ever shallow.

Websites: Official
Pictures: 1 | 2 | 3
View her albums at: Tulumba
Listen to sample of:  "Elveda - Adagio" (Farewell)
Find her music videos at: YouTube

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