And the Winner is... Turkey, Emre Aydin!
On 6th November, in front of millions watching all over Europe, Turkish rocker Emre Aydin entered the select company of Turkish artists who have managed to win international music accolades.
He was chosen as "Europe's Favourite Act" at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards and accepted the honour from Tiziano Ferro and Laurie of The Rasmus, and they even pronounced his name correctly.
I was watching the awards with a friend that night, having lost hope of Emre winning some two days before, as the voting order suddenly changed, and Emre, leader for two weeks, fell back to fifth place, and Leona Lewis took over. When Tiziano Ferro announced the winner, I could not believe my ears and screamed out loud like crazy, jumping around in the room. I saw Hadi, the manager, insanely - and literally - lifting Emre up while roaring like a lion and Emre seemed like he didn't even know what happened. When he took the award, his voice trembled and couldn't speak too much.
Emre Aydin accepting his MTV EMA (© MTV Turkiye)
I'm sure Europe was expecting Leona Lewis to win and now everyone was asking the same: "Who's this guy?" A dream came true for Emre and now Europe might start recognising his name. But all that would not have happened without help.
When Emre was nominated for Best Turkish Act by MTV Turkey, his fanclub immediately started organising. Almost all the 125 thousand registered fans were sitting in front of their computers, day and night, voting and voting and voting. I know fans who took days off from school saying they were ill, just to be able to vote more. I know that many, many, many of them stopped doing their homework and preparing for their papers and exams, just to sit up until 3-4 in the morning and vote. This competition was not about who's more famous - it was about whose fans are the most enthusiastic, and Emre's fans deserve a huge standing ovation for what they have done. If Emre wants to thank anyone for this award, then he should thank his fans, which I am sure he will, and not only with words.
Roughly two years ago when first introducing Emre at Tarkan Deluxe, I had said I was sure we were going to hear more of him in the future. There we go, Emre is about to step through a door that has just opened for him. Let's hope he will know how to use this opportunity in the right way.
Photos from emreaydin.org and mtv.com.tr