Neşe İdil – ISTANBUL
A man from Turkey’s Cizre district in the southeastern province of Şırnak shared the stage with British singer Anne Marie to sing along to her famous song “Rockabye” in Istanbul late on Sept. 9.
Mehmet Ali Şulan, 31, who previously came to prominence when videos of him singing along with Anne Marie through a mobile karaoke application called “Smule” became viral on the internet, said he received an invitation from the British popstar and the duo had no chance to rehearse before appearing on stage together.
“I’m very happy and the concert was great,” Şulan told Hürriyet Daily News
on Sept. 10.
“It was sort of a miracle for me to be able to make it to Istanbul. She had sent me a message, but I didn’t see it because I wasn’t online for two days. My friends told me about the invitation. I got on the plane at the last minute. I guess luck was on my side,” he also said.
Şulan is known as “Cizreli Mehmet,” meaning Mehmet from Cizre in Turkish.
“I was natural on stage. I appeared on stage with the same clothing I got off with from the plane,” he added.
Asked about the audience’s reaction when he appeared on stage, Şulan said the most enthusiastic moment of the concert was when the duo sang “Rockabye.”
“She sang nine songs and I accompanied her in the ninth one. Eight others didn’t create the same affect that ours did. The audience was really excited. Anne Marie realized this too,” he added.
During the interview, Şulan, who has been a musician for the past 10 years, said he feels proud to be invited on stage as “Cizreli Mehmet.”
“It makes me very happy the name ‘Cizre’ comes before my name,” he said.
Şulan also said an interesting dialogue unfolded between him and Anne Marie after the concert when both of them thanked each other “for introducing themselves to Turkey.”
“I wanted to thank her for inviting me. She said exactly the same. ‘I thank you’ she said. I said, ‘I’m well-known now thanks to you.’ In return, she said, ‘No, thank you, I became well-known thanks to you,’” he added.
Commenting on people showing him as an example of hope overcoming all hardships, Şulan said “there is nothing impossible in the world.”
When asked whether he would think that the video recorded through “Smule” would become viral, Şulan noted that “he had absolutely no idea.”
“There was a composition I made previously and its rhythms sounded familiar to ‘Rockabye.’ It became a huge success,” he said, adding that he didn’t receive any negative reactions.
Şulan also said that “nothing in his life had changed except for realizing his dream.”
“I’m the same person I was before,” he added.
Saying he wishes his music to be a pioneer for peace and unity, Şulan noted he is willing to host people if they visit Cizre.
“I promise, I will show them around,” he added.