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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Buzzword

It's not just Tarkan Deluxe that has Turkish recording artist Tarkan as its main buzzword for English speakers. Below are five articles on the net from the past and present that have tagged the artist in English:

1. Top 10 Songs of Tarkan, Dianna Zaragoza © Associated Content, 20 April, 2009

Top 10 Songs of Tarkan by Dianna Zaragoza @ Associated Content, 20 April, 2009

Picking tracks ranging from his 2006 English language album to the "kiss heard around the world" in 1999, reviewer Dianna Zaragoza offers her own top 10 beginner's list of Tarkan songs to look out for as she introduces the Turkish recording artist in her post at Associated Content. In her introduction she says:

He is a Turkish singing star with Elvis-proportions in Europe and the Middle East ... Once you've seen Tarkan, it's over. Wow. Green eyes. Dancing. Flirtacious smile. I'm drooling. I'm melting...what a world what a world. Forget Justin Timberlake. Where has Europe been hiding this guy?

2. Tarkan Live at Wembley © Wessex Scene, The Edge, Issue e08, 13 April 2008

Tarkan Live at Wembley @ Wessex Scene, The Edge, Issue e08, 13 April 2008

Tarkan's appearance at England's capital city venue Wembley was covered by student entertainment magazine The Edge, issued along with The Wessex Scene, the oldest and only newspaper publication issued at the University of Southampton, in print since 1936. Widely distributed, its website and online edition were nominated for best website at the Guardian Student Media Awards for three years in a row before finally winning the award in 2004.

In its live section, it marked out the Turkish star's April 2008 show for review, stating:

Seven years is an awfully long time to wait to see your favourite artist perform. Luckily ... no one could deny it was most definitely well worth the wait ... If there's one thing Tarkan can do it's perform, and perform he did. The man has the moves of a God, and he made his backing dancers look like a group of clumsy idiots with two left feet.

3. Tarkan Reprise, Oz Ibrahim © MySongbird.co.uk, 28 August 2006

Tarkan Reprise by Oz Ibrahim @ My Songbird.co.uk, 28 August 2006

Music site Mysongbird.co.uk added Tarkan and his music to their Reprise section in anticipation of the artist's English language début in 2006, where they file away music from the past that they feel deserved greater acclaim than it received first time round. In 2009 it reads like a poignant tale of success tainted with unfulfilled ambition:

In 1993 a young Turkish artist recorded an album, which transformed the face of pop music in Turkey forever. At 34, Tarkan is now a global pop superstar boasting six multi-million selling albums and sell-out international stadium tours. So why isn't he a household name here? A setback involving Atlantic Records may hold the answer and the question may soon be redundant with a new English album imminent.

4. I'm Not Gay But... © Observations of the Mentally Ill, 15 August 2005

I'm Not Gay But... @ Observations of the Mentally Ill, 15 August 2005

Tarkan has had his fair share of bloggers write about him, but this American, bipolar, male lawyer with a military career stands out for not being your average Tarkan fan. Writing that he first heard Tarkan on a trip to Turkey in 1994, where he and members of his squadron bought the artist's albums, his observations chime best when he talks of Tarkan's lyrical sexuality, where he ends his post by comparing the singer to the Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi:

Tarkan's lyrics use the poetic language of the Sufi masters. He talks about being drunk and burned in love. Rumi's poetry, which every Turk knows, uses almost identical language to describe love. Tarkan further speaks of losing himself in love ... Yunus Emre, the 13th century troubadour, discussed the Sufi concept of losing one's self in love. Although the Sufis spoke of Divine Love and Tarkan speaks of mortal love, the conceptual links between Tarkan's lyrics and the 13th century lyrical poetry are obvious.

5. Turkish Singer's Latin Success Sealed With a Kiss, or Two, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez © Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2000

Turkish Singer's Latin Success Sealed With a Kiss, or Two by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez @ Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2000

This staff writer for the LA Times presents a blast from the past, as she writes in the time of the kiss that touched Latin America. It seemed such an important piece of Tarkan history to document that the Tarkan Deluxe team paid for the rights to archive the article at our sister site Tarkan Translations for future fans to read should the link disappear. Describing Tarkan's success as historic, because he became the first artist to land near the top of Billboard's world music chart because of sales generated in the U.S. Latin pop market, Valdes-Rodriguez credits the Turkish artist with opening the door to Latin artists in the American music industry. However looking back, it also rings out Tarkan's failures in the plans for global stardom that never materialised.

So far in the U.S., Tarkan's self-titled album has shipped 50,000 copies and is selling briskly enough to put it at No. 4 on Billboard's world music chart, just below Cuban singer Omara Portuondo, at about 4,000 copies per week. The magazine's Mayfield says that for a record to reach Billboard's Hot 100 chart, it must sell about 6,000 copies a week, a goal Tarkan's label hopes to reach.

Oh, for what could have been.

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