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Monday, September 25, 2006

Emre: The Man in Loneliness

"Cultural Mosaics" by Timi, writing from Kisvárda, Hungary

In my opinion Turkey has a lot of talented people in every field of the arts, and especially in music. Think of Tarkan, Sertab, Teoman, Kargo, Şebnem Ferah, Sezen Aksu... and a hundred more I don't have the time or space to list. And in the meantime, day by day, new talents are born. I have already introduced a few, like maNga and Aydilge and now I would like to showcase a young man called Emre Aydın.

Emre AydınExactly a month ago I met him at the Sziget Festival in Hungary. He came with his girlfriend to have fun and mix with the multinational crowd of the island. I was with Hadi Elazzi, the manager of young talents, such as maNga, Göksel and Gripin (and Emre himself). We were searching for the members of maNga, who had got lost at the HammerWorld (metal) stage and instead of finding them we bumped into Emre all of a sudden. Life is like that. Among 50 thousand people you bump into a Turkish singer. Emre is quite short and slim, and handsome - when you look at him you would never think he's got such a powerful voice. But he has.

A week ago or so, Hadi showed me two of his songs, making me promise not to show anyone else, as the album is not out yet at time of writing. I kept it confidential, but I think I can share my opinion on them. One of the two, entitled "Belki Bir Gün" (Maybe One Day) has been showcased on Emre's official site.

Before getting to the songs themselves, I want to express how glad I am that people like Hadi Elazzi exist. Without their work probably we would never meet such talented people - and these talents wouldn't have the chance to emerge from obscurity and show off. There are thousands of talented poets, musicians and singers everywhere but 99% of them never get this chance. Hadi and other managers like him have devoted their life to help these rough diamonds become true artists and I admire them for that. Recently Turkey saw the rise of a new wave of stars, including maNga, Çilekeş etc, filling up a void in the music life of Turkey, adding a new colour to the usual popish-arabesk and Britney-like copies (I don't want to list Turkish names here but just think of all those blonde "singers" who usually can't even sing just have big breasts and good looks - and surprisingly uncensored erotic videos, whereas Tarkan's famous Hüp kiss caused such a stir).

Among all the pop trash more and more people are turning towards alternative music, for the same reason I have done. They make MUSIC. They don't only sing things someone else had written (of course if you think of Celine Dion you wouldn't say it's crap because she only sings; however, can you see my point?) but compose their own music and write their own lyrics, too.

Emre is one of these guys. His music is soft guitar rock and his voice fits this category surprisingly well. Strong but smooth at the same time. Not as characteristic as Teoman's or Koray Candemir's and not as smooth as Tarkan's, but somewhere in the middle, with some indescribable spice in it, which makes this voice interesting. If you know a little Turkish, pay attention to his lyrics. For half an hour Hadi was telling me how talented a poet Emre is. And he is quite right. Emre had been the lead singer for rock group 6. Cadde (6th Street), who won the competition "Sing Your Song" - in the same competition maNga came second. But while maNga became successful, 6. Cadde couldn't. So now Emre is trying to swim out on his own. His debut solo album is called Afili Yalnızlık (Ostentatious Loneliness) and the video for the title song is available at his official site, watchable online embedded by YouTube.

The song with the same title is a recent favourite of mine (and to be honest, it is so difficult to choose ONE favourite, as there are so many great songs I love, my hitlist is daily changing - stuffed with maNga, Kargo, Şebnem Ferah, Emre Aydın, Teoman, Mor ve Ötesi, Ayna and the like). It has an appealing musical composition (for I am not a musician, I cannot describe it in another way, just on the basis of the feelings it creates in me), sticky, a little bit ironic and gloomy but still makes you imitate the beat with your fingers and feet. So a song you will definitely like and will learn to sing easily (even though it's lyrics are quite complex).

I really hope that in the future we are going to see more young talents emerge and take over the pop trash of Turkey. That radio stations will prefer the music of singer-songwriters over a thousand Britney sound-alikes ... because Turkey has the potential. A potential able to meet the requirements of a world music market. If only the world knew...

Read about Emre Aydın a year on here.

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