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Monday, March 31, 2008

Tarkan in DJ Ritu's Guestroom

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan and DJ RitaRecorded last month in Istanbul, BBC London's DJ Ritu aired the first part of her interview with Tarkan on her radio show "A World in London", on Saturday, 29 March 2008.

Tarkan Deluxe had previously published a press release distributed by culture and communications agency Prickly Pear, while also posting an exclusive picture of DJ Ritu and Tarkan photographed together presented to the blog by the BBC, and a link for its readers to listen to the show.

During the first hour of "A World in London", in the run-up to the broadcast of the pre-recorded interview with the artist, viewers managed to hear exclusive radio spots promoting the event. These included the artist singing an excerpt of his 2001 hit track "Kuzu Kuzu" with his naked voice (which DJ Ritu reveals to be one of her favourite tracks in the interview) and an excerpt of the report where the artist expresses, "I can't imagine not being able to sing. It's what makes me, me."

In honour of Tarkan featuring in the show's guest slot, DJ Ritu also played Turkish tracks from various other artists on Saturday evening.

Arguably, no reporter from the Turkish press has ever managed to capture a report as insightful as DJ Ritu's rare audience with Tarkan, which is being hailed as a world exclusive peek into the heart and mind of Turkey's superstar by the BBC.

East London born DJ Ritu is a a pivotal figure in the British music scene working for over twenty years as a DJ, club promoter, record label A&R, artist, and radio presenter. She is now the presenter of several BBC radio shows including BBC London 94.9's Saturday night world music programme "A World in London".

Tarkan in "A World in London"

DJ Ritu's exclusive interview with TarkanIn the first half of the interview - which ran in the second hour of "A World in London" - Tarkan fans were given the rare chance to get to know their idol in a way previously unmatched by any other interview, while also listening to some of Tarkan's greatest and latest tracks.

Headlined as "a simply amazing guest to feast [the] ears on", "one of the most gorgeous men on earth" and an artist with "hit singles that will be played endlessly for years", DJ Ritu allowed fans on Saturday an hour-long glimpse of an artist that very rarely gives interviews to his own domestic press.

Managing to create a warm rapport with the elusive Turkish artist, the most insightful part of the interview came at Tarkan's most vulnerable, when the interview delved into his own personal doubts about his English album venture, and the future of how the global music industry could tackle illegal downloads.

Admitting that he hadn't promoted Come Closer as he should have done, and was now undecided whether or not he should re-release it, the artist also revealed that while media mogul Ahmet Ertegun was like a father to him during his stay in the States, they had been divided on the type of music Tarkan wanted to produce for Western audiences.

Other interesting highlights of the interview revealed DJ Ritu's description of the Turkish pop industry as a very lucrative business, the suggestion of a Shakira duet (suggesting that 2006's rumour did not materialise), and the fact that British pop star George Michael was a fan of Tarkan's English album.

As a star famed for his live performances, the radio show also touched on his Wembley Arena concert on April 13, with the artist expressing that there would be some musical surprises in store for his fans - possibly as yet unreleased remixes or songs.

DJ Ritu had been invited to Istanbul at a day's notice to interview Tarkan. As she revealed on the show, she jumped at the chance - and helped produce one of the most successful interviews ever recorded with the star.

Those interested who have yet to listen to the first part of the show can catch it again online for the next seven days only, using the "Listen Again" feature that can be accessed at www.bbc.co.uk/london.

The second part of the interview is scheduled to be aired next Saturday, April 5, 2008.

Read other thoughts on the interview: Mark Mayhey's article | Reader feedback >>

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