Turkey were not present at Eurovision 2013 and their Eastern flavor was certainly missed at this year’s contest. Still no confirmation of their return to the contest in 2014 as of yet. In the meantime some of their artists have released strong contemporary new material, so we thought it a good time to check what is out there.
2012 saw Can Bonomo take Turkey once again to the Top 10 in the Grand Final of Eurovision with the song “Love Me Back”. Since then he has left behind his ship of blankets and has released 2 further albums. We want to show you his recent single “Iyi Ki Doğdun” or “Happy Birthday”. The video for “İyi Ki Doğdun” is sensational. One could be mistaken to believe that it is made by film maker extraordinaire Tim Burton. This is an exquisite animated video that is enchanting and endearing.
As for the song – this is 100 times more interesting than “Love Me Back” – or the “Hey Heyyy” song as we called it in Baku. “Iyi Ki Doğdun” is a far more mature sounding song. It is a mid tempo rock song with eastern influences. It has a slightly dark sound to it that the video serves to amplify. I don’t need to know what Can is singing about to enjoy the song. It is clearly obvious that he can pour emotion into songs that he sings in his native Turkish. By far one of the best post Eurovision 2012 songs that we have heard.
Turkey had to wait for their first Eurovision win – and long overdue we may add! When it came it was in 2003, in the form of Sertab Erener’s “Every Way That I Can”. I have to admit to singing it at karaoke in Eurocafe this year in Malmo. Like Sertab – I was crawling across the stage but unfortunately I hadn’t her vocal ability to the pain of the gathered audience.
2003 saw one of the closest voting sequences in the contest’s history with Turkey, Belgium and Russia all able to win when the last jury/country was called in to vote. The rest is history. As for Sertab – she has certainly gone on to dominate the Turkish Music charts. To date she has had 14 top 10 hits, of which 8 have been #1.
The end of 2010 saw Sertab take a hiatus from recording. However she returned this year with yet another #1 single “Iyileşiyorum” or “Cured”. This is a contemporary ballad with strong influences of Jazz and Blues. Plenty of angst in this song and video – that has over 6 million views to date on YouTube.
In 2009, Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan created a band called “Painted on Water” and they released a self-titled album in the United States on the Motéma Music. This is some funky old school RnB with B.B King influences where you can imagine yourself in a blues bar in New Orléans. Why the album was only released in the USA is a mystery. This music was a wonderful departure for Erener and thoroughly deserves a larger audience. Here are 2 of my favorites from “Painted on Water” aka POW
If you like rock then Manga are the band for you. Taking Turkey to second place at the 2010 Eurovision Song contest in Oslo with the song “We Could Be The Same”. Having won an MTV European award, there is really only one way for this band – and that seems to be up! In 2012 they released the album “e-akustik” to rave reviews. The eclectic acoustic project broadened maNga’s fan base and established their name as a strong force in the music community.
Not content with being successful musicians in Turkey – they have this year become models and were featured in the May issue of Vogue in Turkey. A complete spread was done on the band entitled “Air, Land, Water/,Havada, Karada, Suda”.
Will Turkey return to Eurovision in 2014? No word from them yet – though we hope so! However until then you can revel in their stars from the contest.
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source – Eurovision Ireland