Filed under: music | Tags: baku 2012, can bonomo, eurovision, love me back, pop star, sertab erener, tarkan
Dear Turkey (1),
It is time to bring up a pop start other than Tarkan because for the last 11 years that I have been in contact with people from other countries, I am sick of pretending as if I am happy to hear that they know Tarkan. I have personally observed Tarkan is known in at least 20 countries. Some people still remember his song “Şımarık”, and some of them even made me sing it, over and over again. I had to pretend as if I was OK with that. There were moments when Tarkan’s name was almost forgotten in Turkey and people around Europe would ask me how he was doing. He had basically lost 2000s, the decade in which I was exposed to most of these questions. Nowadays, he is an oriental memory with nice eyes and hair, but his expiration date has long passed.
You may ask, my lonely and beautiful country, who else can I bring up to reach that position. As we all know, the reason for the endnote is the conception of multiple actors in creating one action in a defined field. So, it was never only Turkey who created a world star out of Tarkan, but it was the combination of the record companies who invested in his music and image, his manager who supported his quest abroad, and his song writer making beautiful songs for him, and Tarkan’s persona or “stardust”.
There were moments when similar projects couldn’t actually succeed. Look at Sertab Erener example. She is actually the second “star” Turkey created, if not the third after Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ who for a while enjoyed a significant visual presence in the Middle East. She was ambitious enough to sing with Ricky Martin — when Ricky Martin was not a guest star to TV series but actually a world wide known pop music star–, to do collaborative projects with other singers or even win “the” Eurovision. But later what happened? I remember her saying in one of her interviews, “By the time I reached to a level where I could go further, after Eurovision victory, I realized I was too old for that.”
So, the next star should be a young one, who can enjoy his international success for longer than 6 months, and save me from this agony of Tarkan-centric definition of Turkish music.
My dear country, you might ask a suggestion. So, here it is: If you have a young singer, who is doing music to an international audience but with an oriental touch, with the correct promotion strategy, we can create a new star. And I must confess, the latest Eurovision contestant of Turkey, Can Bonomo is one of the most possible candidates on that matter. Since TRT declared him as the singer to go to Baku this May, his promotional campaign has been going, at least visually, flawless. His social media activity was just awarded by some web awards. His website is talking to an international audience. His music video is playing towards winning the contest. This guy knows what he is doing. So, even if he can’t make it to the stage for a second time in Baku, Can Bonomo might be our new Tarkan and actually show another dimension of Turkish music, and culture, and pop culture.
I am, however, ending this letter addressed to Turkey, with a note to my friends in other countries. Guys, if you are fed up with Tarkan just like I am, please vote for Can Bonomo at Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Believe me, you will not regret it.
(1) Although, as condemned by many social scientists, except those of IR who belong to classicist realist paradigm or ignorant graduate students in all fields, approaching countries as monolithic entities is lame, and ummm, non academic. “France and Germany agreed upon Greece’s future, or Russia felt resentment after US installed Jupiter missiles in Turkey.” The expiration date of this type of sentences has long been over, but in this post, I am using one of them, so I apologize from the academia.
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