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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two Sleeps 'Til Tarkan's 10th

Posted by Steffan Matrak from Moscow, Russia

As Turkish pop icon Tarkan's fans countdown to his 2017 album's release on 15 June, rumours in the media about the record's history continues to make the rounds.

Most prominent on the gossip wheel is openly gay and devout Tarkan fan, celebrity correspondent Oben Budak who in his column for Haberturk seems to be as impatient as any Tarkan fan for a new release.

Throughout his articles Budak's main focus is on insider claims that the icon's 2017 version of his 2011 award-winning track "Yakar Geçerim" for Ajda Pekkan was vetoed at the last minute, and the difficulty Tarkan was facing over naming the album.

The claims that Tarkan's camp was divided over the inclusion of the cover and problematic name choices were strenuously denied by the album's producer Ozan Çolakoğlu saying that it had never been considered and the album was named and cut with all new songs, forcing Budak to respond.

Çolakoğlu is known to skirt the truth, however, and his statements cannot always be taken as official. In 2012, the producer and arranger constantly denied reports he was in a relationship with female pop singer Gülşen, with whom he is now married and has a child.

Budak reminded his readers he didn't peddle in uncomfirmed celeb gossip, but for Tarkan he broke his own rules because the icon is an exception.

There are always last minute changes [with Tarkan]... This is an album that began with [producer] İskender Paydaş in 2012 and is being completed by Ozan Çolakoğlu in 2017 when all is said and done. I honestly don't understand why last minute album changes are being given a makeover as if they never happened."

Amongst Budak's other claims is that there is surprisingly no song specially written for Tarkan's "wife or unborn child" on the playlist, nor was it a shock to learn that the singer's summer flop "Cuppa" from last year wouldn't be on the final cut.

UPDATES: Tarkan 2017 album playlist released >>
Tarkan gets top marks with 10 >>
Tarkan dominates digital sales with 10 >>
10 album sells 300,000 copies in 3 days >>

But it's clear from the celebrity correspondent's column that although Budak had been privy to a rough draft of Tarkan's 2010 album, seven years down the line he is just as much as in the dark as everyone else.

What's in a Number?

With no official confirmation as to why the album has been given the number 10 as its name, in a discography that spans a quarter of a decade, the singer has released studio long plays in both Turkish and English, compilation and remix records, EPs and tribute albums. Strictly speaking, this isn't Tarkan's 10th record if you count them all.

Tarkan's 2003 Dudu EP is an extended play record, which is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. If you discount Dudu however, it contains original songs, while Tarkan's 2008 Metamorfoz Remixes is a remix album consisting mostly of remixes or re-recorded versions of earlier released material.

In a similar vein, Tarkan's 1998/99 Tarkan is simply a compilation album produced for the international music market, but it's a World Music Award winner, while Tarkan's 2006 Come Closer is his debut English language release. His 2016 Ahde Vefa is his first tribute album to the Turkish classical genre.

Depending on which musical route you take through Tarkan's solo career, it's of interest to discover that you end up with his 2017 release as his 10th contribution to world music if you discount some according to subject.

This month's release will be his 10th pop album, 10th Turkish pop album, 10th Turkish language album or 10th studio album discounting compilation and remix albums.

Fans can travel back in musical history and take their pick, but like the numerology number 10, many wait for the album to resonate with independence and infinite potential - as Budak's excitement in his columns indicate.

Music Video in Montage

In Budak's most recent article, unable to contain his excitement he mentions that Tarkan's first music video is already said to be filmed, with the crew and cast - including a young child - having all signed non-disclosure forms and been sworn to secrecy.

The directing and editing of the video is believed to be by popular director Murad Küçük, after he posted a photo with Tarkan on his Instagram account yesterday. Küçük first worked with Tarkan as far back as 2004 when he directed Nazan Öncel's video to "Hay Hay" from her album Yan Yana Fotoğraf Çektirelim.

In 2009, Küçük teamed up with Tarkan for singer Emir's breakout album, including directing Tarkan's short appearance in the début video "Ben Sen Olamam" penned by Tarkan.

Since then, Küçük has directed Tarkan in "Acımayacak" from Tarkan's 2010 release Adımı Kalbine Yaz, in a 2012 rock video cover of his late nineties track "Ölürüm Sana", a second Öncel joint project "Hadi O Zaman" and music producer İskender Paydaş' Tarkan feature "Hop De" in 2014.

UPDATE: Tarkan frenzy over music video release >>

This year, Tarkan has tightened security not only around the album, but over details surrounding the first music video off the release to generate as much interest as possible.

Tarkan: "Love me or Leave"?

Heavily promoted by music streaming site fizy on TV spots in the run-up to the release of Tarkan's 2017 pop offering, freelance fashion editor and stylist İlkyaz Özel's imagining of Tarkan for the teaser has also come under gossip and discussion.

One correspondent wonders over the symbolism of the artist's hands, while another article alleges Tarkan sprained an ankle during the photo shoot and had his belly photoshopped flat.

Supposedly ignoring the injury and refusing to see a doctor and having to extend filming for the music video from one day to three, Tarkan's symbolic CGI leap has one correspondent wondering over the meaning of where Tarkan is putting his hands.

Female Sabah correspondent Ayşe Özyılmazel ponders the question why Tarkan has one palm over his heart with the other pointing as if to an exit sign. Is he suggesting we either love or leave?

Might it mean he knows when to love and when to leave? Or could he mean, if you don't love me there's the door and don't trip on the way out?

"We'll find out when the songs come out," she writes.

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