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Monday, May 10, 2010

Will Tarkan Face the Axe?

Editorial by Mark Mayhey reporting from London, UK

The rumours going around Facebook pages and forums say Tarkan will be making his comeback Karma-esque style, in that he will be releasing a single first in May, before releasing the album in June. It was the same thing Tarkan had done when he released Karma in 2001.

It is this new song - which some say will be getting radio play on 11 May on Turkish radio stations nationwide - that Tarkan will sing if he appears on Turkish music station Kral TV's VMAs.

If the rumours are true, and I'll bet there'll be fans waiting up all night to see, what will the coming days bring for Tarkan?

A Secure Legacy

In one respect, Tarkan's musical legacy is secure. His songs will be played at Turkish weddings and increasingly popular Turkish festivals abroad for years to come. To a generation of Turks wanting to put a European face on things, they'll put on a bit of Tarkan, and even play air guitar to the man's early stuff.

Some might even go so far as to say that Tarkan is like yoga. Listening to him will keep you young and improve your bedroom skills. It's even a way for Turkish boys to pick up Russian girls. Somewhere, someone who has heard Tarkan will always have a little bit of the artist in them. All well and good.

But unless we let nostalgia blind us, make no mistake, Tarkan is currently in a crisis. He has a court case coming up in May. And even if this crisis is only one of perception, it is one that will snowball similar to Britney Spears downfall in America. She had the potential to be another Madonna (and believe me I am hardly a fan of either), but the perception of someone "who has lost it" is hard to shake.

The only way to stop the snowballing - or indeed blackballing - is a strong media presence and of course an album that will rock everyone's socks off.

Has Tarkan Still Got What it Takes?

Tarkan on TV

Tarkan needs to take advice from expert spin doctors. There's nothing shameful in that. We know we're standing on the shoulders of giants when we follow good expert advice on any subject we want to excel in.

So, an album from Tarkan shouldn't just look good (the majority won't care if its got Nineties US siren Pamela Anderson on the cover or not). It's like the myth of beautiful web design. Great design can't dress over shabby content.

Throwing together a few songs he might happen to have in the bag with his buddy producer friend just won't do.

With people cynical that Tarkan is making music for either money or to prop up a flagging career, now more than ever the Ricky Martin of the East needs to feel the music he is making, so that he can successfully sell it to an audience - which thanks to the last few months of media reporting - believe Tarkan to be a washed-up cocaine user.

<< Read about Tarkan's four day detainment by Turkish authorities here

The magic will be in the music, but few of us at the moment believe in magic any more. The point is we want to believe, and Tarkan needs to make us believe he's still got what it takes.

It's an important point. Pop band The Scissor Sisters revealed they scrapped an entire 18 month album project, because they just weren't feeling it - and that its release would have meant they split up.

We know that Tarkan keeps on bouncing back. We know he has the ability to weather a media-driven crisis. But is it just me, or does the singer always come back a little less than before?

Coming in from the Cold

Tarkan hasn't helped to change his recent image, either by getting active on social media avenues or on his official website to deny or confirm the serious allegations being made about him. When I say this, I don't expect the guy to personally tweet everyday like some celebs, but he could have got together a team by now to help him grow a Twitter presence with dedicated followers helping to retweet (RT) his message across the internet.

For far too long Tarkan has kept his (hard) core fan base out in the wilderness, leaving them to fend for themselves in fan forums, only calling his flock in after a customary hiatus spanning a few years or so.

It's been a long time since any official award-nominated website from Tarkan has had a level of interactivity that could be described as nominal at best.

In comparison with Turkish singer Mustafa Sandal - Sandal has not only kept a constant link with his fans via the cyber highways, recently when the media tried to stir up rumours he dropped out of the 16th Kral VMAs because of Tarkan, he quashed it immediately with a press statement dismissing all claims of bad feeling between him and any artist as nonsense.

So, it begs the question, if Tarkan is releasing a new song tomorrow, why is there no news about this on official channels? Why is it being released so "quietly" - without generating the buzz on the Internet that Tarkan could do if he wanted to?

We - like Tarkan fans everywhere that have heard the rumours - wait and see what is to come in the next chapter of Tarkan's topsy-turvy life.

The views in this article are those of the author alone.
Read more Mark Mayhey articles on Tarkan >>

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