Turkish Latin music genius unveils his latest project ‘Rockuba’
Mert Şuşut –ISTANBUL
One of the dying breed of passionate musicians, Emir Ersoy, has unveiled his latest music album “Rockuba,” which is his fourth studio work. He mixes the essential tunes of Latin music and rock timbres for his new project that is featuring a number of famous Turkish actors and actresses including Cem Yılmaz, Sarp Apak, Hande Subaşı and Leyla Lydia Tuğutlu.
Ersoy spoke to Hürriyet Daily News about the details of his new project, his passion for music and future plans.
He said he has been influenced significantly by his father Metin Ersoy, who was renowned as the “Calypso King” and who left a mark on Turkish music in the 1970’s with his songs.
“This project is very special to me because I added my personal music taste to this project for the first time. So, I am comfortable with this project. My previous projects sounded more like Latin music. With this album, I had the chance to add electric guitars and drums to the backing track,” he said.
Ersoy is credited for featuring famous actors and actresses to sing songs for his project, saying that almost all Turkish signers had been featured in his previous projects, but there were no actors until now.
“I worked with many singers, including Ajda Pekkan, until today. Almost all Turkish singers took part in my albums. I wanted to make a difference, so I made actors sing in this album. They were also very eager to sing,” he said, laughing.
‘Latin music is like a part of my family’
He also said there was a large number of fans of actors and actresses who were eagerly waiting to hear their voices from the album.
“After all, there is a huge base of fans of these actors and actresses. If the actor has 100,000 fans, 10,000 of them want to hear their favorite star sing. I’ve also noticed that they love to sing,” he added.
Speaking about Latin music, he described them as “passion” and “family,” adding that “when compounded Latin music is like one of the members of my family.”
“Every person has a passion. My passion is Latin music. I started listening to this kind of music when I was a little boy, and we have a lot of Latin and jazz LP records in our house because of my father. I grew up listening to them. This became a greater passion for me over the years. Latin music is my passion. Latin music is like a family member,” he added.
Converting country music to Latin is harder than Turkish music
He said Turkish lyrics were an easier medium while converting Latin music to other kinds of music.
“Turkish lyrics are definitely easier while performing and converting Latin music. Melody is very important in music. After all, we are a Mediterranean country and we are familiar with Latin timbres. If we evaluate Arabesque music in Turkey, the kind of larynx that is used to sing these kinds of songs are familiar to fados in Portuguese. I think that converting a country song to Latin music is harder than converting it to Turkish music,” he added.
Harmonizing alaturca with Latin
Ersoy added that music aficionados from around the world could find traditional tastes in his previous album “Quartera.”
“A couple of months ago I released an album with Paco De Lucia’s bassist Alain Perez and Grammy-awarded drummer Robby Ameen. International listeners can find traditional tastes in this album. The successful oud player Altuğ Öncü also kept us company,” he added.
Stagnation and lack of creativeness in Turkish music
Ersoy said the lack of creativeness and stagnation in Turkish music was changing among the Turkish youth.
“I think we started changing this situation. Especially the youth, they are resurrecting offbeat Turkish music. This youth is important for me because those who come to the concerts are the youth. Those who follow new groups and new music album are the youth, too,” he said.
Speaking about the choices made over concert and live music venues, Ersoy said the venues he preferred did not give stage to pop music singers or groups.
“They mostly choose alternative music bands. The audience’s demand is also like this. These alternative music bands will save Turkish music,” he added.
He said well-written song lyrics were an important factor that differentiated it from mediocre ones.
According to him, singers Nil Karaibrahimgil and Göksel, who are also composers and songwriters, were among impeccable lyricists.
He noted that the legendary Turkish musician Erkin Koray and the band MFÖ laid the foundations of alternative Turkish music.
Ersoy stated that they had two new projects that were set to come to life in the coming months.
“I have two plans. One of them is to maintain the ‘Rockuba’ project with new artists and new rock songs that are lesser-known. The other project is to make a symphonic music album,” he said.