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Monday, June 16, 2008

Tarkan Weekend at Number 1

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan with love; the artist's personal message to Number 1 used as opening title in the special weekend show
To Number 1 with with love; Tarkan's message used as opening title in the weekend show
Hailing the release of the music video to "Arada Bir", Turkish music station Number 1 declared 14-15 June 2008 as Tarkan Weekend for its "Special Weekend" show last week.

Airing 6 segments each an hour long over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the TV slots included an interview with the star during the filming of Tarkan's third music video from his award-winning album Metamorfoz and various music videos from the Turkish pop singer's illustrious career.

NR1TV had aired TV promos and a news bulletin about the slots prior to its screening last weekend.

NR1 Talks with Tarkan and Arada Bir Film Crew

Screen-shots from NR1TVDuring the two separate days of filming for "Arada Bir", NR1TV's cameras were on location with Tarkan and his film crew in northwestern Turkey (on the European continent), to tape the filming to the hotly anticipated video.

The aired report documents that the first day of filming was with Tarkan in the Vize district of Kırklareli (where he also took time out to mix with the locals to take pictures and sign autographs), while a month later the crew set up at Saray in the Tekirdağ Province to film the parts of the video with the Turkish pop artist and Romanian model Anda Mocanu, starring as his girlfriend.

While the music artist's co-star Anda briefly chatted to NR1TV in English, expressing that this was her first time in Turkey and found it enjoyable working with a star also well known in her own country, the report with Tarkan was longer and in Turkish - covering subjects ranging from his busy summer concert schedule to his motivations in music and his father-figure mentor, the late media mogul Ahmet Ertegün, who had first encouraged him to move to New York in 1994 and to sing in English.

Tarkan's Turning Points

Talking about the loss of Ertegün, the artist explained that although the Turkish-born US music giant had not helped him extensively career-wise, he had been very supportive emotionally, and that now with his death, he did not enjoy staying in New York as he had once done.

Describing death as inevitable, but his as tragic and ironic - the 83-year-old Ertegün fell into a coma after tripping down some steps at a Rolling Stones concert - Tarkan recollected, "I could visit his office or home any time, and he would tell me of his memories working with the greats."

Although no longer a fan of New York, the artist did admit moving to the US city he had always wanted to see and learning English - which he stressed had "helped him a lot" - was a turning point in his career.

Although in a previous report Tarkan had said the turning point had been his songs making the international charts, continuing on the subject in the "Tarkan Weekend" report, the artist also commented that every album he had released had been a turning point for him.

"After "Kıl Oldum" [Yine Sensiz, 1992], A-acayipsin was a turning point ... all the songs were great ... Ölürüm Sana opened me up to international markets ... Karma was more spiritual," he said.

In regard to the songs Tarkan made famous in Europe - notably Turkish pop diva Sezen Aksu's songs "Şıkıdım" (A-acayipsin, 1994) and "Şımarık" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997) - the artist praised Aksu's song writing abilities that spoke successfully to international audiences, and said he had been very honoured to win a Cannes Midem award for "Şımarık".

He also spoke of his special connection with his Russian fans - due to the warm welcome he always receives and his sold out Russian concerts - and that he saw Russia as his second home.

When asked if he was considering a compilation album of his greatest hits in ten years time, the artist readily agreed, but was not warm to the idea of re-covering his classics suggesting that songs usually "lost their magic" when re-produced a second time.

Emphasising he was still young and dynamic and planning to create a lot more new works - and that he was always trying to change his direction and be original - Tarkan also talked about his 2007 studio album in the NR1TV report.

Describing Metamorfoz as an album with something for everyone, he said it was a record where he touched on matters he kept silent on previously - such as his attitude to his critics ("Dilli Düdük"), press gossip ("Dedikodu"), political matters ("Hop Hop") and his childhood ("Pare Pare").

Working with Other Artists

On questions about working with other artists during his career, Tarkan commented that he really wanted to record a duet with his "queen", Aksu - even going so far as to look at the camera and ask "his dear Sezen" to record a song with him - while also expressing that one of his favourite duets had been with Müzeyyen Senar, the doyen of his favourite genre Turkish classical music.

In another excursion into the traditional music of his home nation, when asked why he had chosen to cover the folk song "Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım" for his 2003 EP release Dudu, he said it was because he respected the work of highly regarded poet of Turkish folk literature Aşık Veysel, and - revealing that they have folk singers on his mother's side of the family - partly in tribute to his mother, who he revealed is a fan of the traditional genre and raised him by singing folk songs.

Working on Location

Screen-shots from NR1TVAlongside talking with Tarkan, NR1TV pointed the microphone at the video's director Metin Arolat and director of photography Altan Dönmez (who directed Tarkan in "Pare Pare"), revealing "Arada Bir" had brought together the team that had produced hit videos "Salına Salına Sinsice" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997), "Kuzu Kuzu" (Karma, 2001), "Sorma Kalbim" and "Gülümse Kaderine" (Dudu, 2003) once more.

While talking with Arolat and Tarkan together in the report, Tarkan revealed that Arolat wanted to direct the video to "Arada Bir", as it was one of his favourite tracks.

The pop artist explained that they had been planning to film a video to "Dedikodu", when Arolat suggested "Arada Bir" instead, but the artist said he was hoping to produce more videos to include the winning choice of the official music poll "Dedikodu", second favourite "Dilli Düdük" (posted as official winner of the poll), and possibly to slow ballad "Istanbul Ağlıyor" and socio-politically charged "Hop Hop".

Tarkan on location for Arada BirAbout the video to "Arada Bir", Arolat explained that "without giving too much away", it was a road video, sticking faithfully to the song's meaning, with Tarkan trying to persuade his girlfriend to forgive him. During various takes, Arolat explained that from the scenarios presented, this had been his favourite, and although he liked "most everything suggested" to him, sometimes they deviated from the plan with new ideas during filming.

The special report documents that one such idea came on the second day of filming, when Tarkan jumped from one moving vehicle to another. Indicating that others on the set were unsure of scene - including director Arolat - Tarkan insisted on performing all the sequences for the moving vehicles himself.

"Although it has never been necessary for any video, I enjoy extreme sports and being active. So in a way this filming fulfils that to a small extent," Tarkan said.

Arada Bir Unites Special Chemistry

Explaining that it was always exciting to work with Tarkan, Arolat said, "We've been working together for a long time, and every time we work together we do something new. You get used to someone you've worked with for a long time, but it's not like that with Tarkan. I meet a different Tarkan every time," he said.

Of Arolat, Tarkan said, "He's my friend above all else, and I am comfortable with him. I've known him since my [first album Yine Sensiz] and filmed our first video together then to a song called "Kimdi". I was a postman ... it was a fun video. We've also filmed "Kuzu Kuzu" and "Yak Bütün Fotoğrafları" (Gülümse Kaderine) ... we have a chemistry together."

Also on location, his long-term bodyguard Levent Ağaoğlu and Tarkan's 12-year make-up artist Neriman Eroğuz were asked what it was like to work with Tarkan.

While both spoke of the star's high work ethic, Eroğuz commented that Tarkan had an unflagging energy, coming to the set early with the crew and leaving last - and getting involved in every aspect of the filming.

"As you can see he doesn't use any stunt doubles, he does all his own takes," she said in NR1TV's report.

Things to Watch Out For

The "Tarkan Weekend" hourly slots were aired last Saturday and Sunday on NR1TV at 10.00, 16.00 and 19.00, local Turkish time. However, as NR1TV did not run the hourly show identically for every broadcast, the entire weekend consists of six different parts.

Although most of the behind-the-scenes footage and the reports were similar within the segments, each morning, afternoon and evening segment were slightly different in its editing and extent of reports, as well as Saturday and Sunday's slots also differing with each other to varying degrees.

Screen-shots from NR1TVTwo main changes involved the evening segments, which ended with a goodbye message from Tarkan (as aired in the TV promo for the weekend special), and both morning slots that included a 2006 English interview with Tarkan about his Come Closer album. An independent recording that had been broadcast on various European channels to promote his Come Closer Tour, parts of this English interview had also been used in an interview published in state broadcaster TRT's monthly subscriber magazine, hailed as his first report of 2008.

Another major difference between the segments are the music videos that were played between the scenes taped on location for "Arada Bir" during the two days. No segment played the same list of videos and a total of 24 videos were rotated (19 different music videos, 5 repeated) during the six slots.

With the Tarkan fan community distributing recordings of the NR1TV's special Tarkan weekend shows, Tarkan Deluxe is providing broadcast information of the video playlist of each segment below, so that those interested can check which segment they have seen.

Tarkan Weekend Video Playlist, Saturday, 14 June 2008 »
    Tarkan Weekend (1st Segment, 10:00 Turkish time)
  • Arada Bir (Metamorfoz, 2007)
  • Dudu (Dudu, 2003)
  • Gelipte Halimi Gördün Mü (Yine Sensiz, 1992)
  • Gülümse Kaderine (Dudu, 2003)
  • Bounce (Come Closer, 2006)

  • Come Closer interview

    Tarkan Weekend (2nd Segment, 16:00 Turkish time)
  • Bounce (Come Closer, 2006)
  • Şımarık (Turkish version/Ölürüm Sana, 1997)
  • Hüp (Karma, 2001)

    Tarkan Weekend (3rd Segment, 19:00 Turkish time)
  • Gelipte Halimi Gördün Mü (Yine Sensiz, 1992)
  • Kuzu Kuzu Acoustic (Kuzu Kuzu (single), 2001)
  • Hepsi Senin Mi (Şıkdım original edit/A-acayipsin, 1994)
  • Start the Fire (Come Closer, 2006)

  • End message from Tarkan
Tarkan Weekend Video Playlist, Sunday, 15 June 2008 »
    Tarkan Weekend (1st Segment, 10:00 Turkish time)
  • Pare Pare (Metamorfoz, 2007)
  • Verme (Karma, 2001)
  • Don Bebeğim (Edited version/A-acayipsin, 1994)
  • Şıkıdım (European version/Tarkan, 1999)

  • Come Closer interview

    Tarkan Weekend (2nd Segment, 16:00 Turkish time)
  • Uzun Ince Yoldayım (Dudu, 2003)
  • Kuzu Kuzu Original (Kuzu Kuzu (single), 2001)
  • Sorma Kalbim (Dudu, 2003)
  • Vay Anam Vay (Metamorfoz, 2007)

    Tarkan Weekend (3rd Segment, 19:00 Turkish time)
  • Pare Pare (Metamorfoz, 2007)
  • Bounce (Come Closer, 2006)
  • Bu Gece (European version/Tarkan, 1999)
  • Start the Fire (Come Closer, 2006)

  • End message from Tarkan

And finally other things to watch out for: there are some titling mistakes during the slots, including incorrect Turkish translations of the Romanian model's report, the Turkish district of Saray being printed as being in the Kirklareli Province, spelling bodyguard Levent's surname wrong, and writing Tarkan's "Dudu" song as "Dudu Dudu" when played during the morning slot on Saturday.

Other mistakes came in the seemingly clumsy edits of the first two segments on Saturday, which were corrected in following broadcasts. One obvious one is in the very first morning show, where Dönmez introduced the music video "Pare Pare", but the video to "Arada Bir" ran instead. This was corrected in Sunday's morning broadcast.

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