‘First lady of love songs’ back on center stage

‘First lady of love songs’ back on center stage

Cenk Erdem – ISTANBUL
‘First lady of love songs’ back on center stage Not only does she have an excellent voice, but she also has a charming style focusing on powerful melodies with highly emotional lyrics. So, whenever she releases new material, we all know that we are going to have some more beautiful sad love songs.

Recently, Aşkın Nur Yengi’s new EP, “Aşk’tan Olsa Gerek - Guess it’s because of love,” was released with five brand-new tracks under the label Sony Music Turkey. 

It feels like Yengi is again careful about approaching new radio trends as she tries to defend her own style with some 90s flavor. Nevertheless, her new EP is more radio-friendly and brave in a way that tries the latest trends, too. 

The musical arrangement of the album is predominantly led by Erhan Albayrak, whom Yengi describes as a very hard-working professional on the music scene – an increasingly rare bread. On the other hand, some of the new tracks are strikingly danceable with the help of DJ producer Erdem Kınay, who is one of the hit makers on the club scene.

The new EP offers signature, sad, Yengi-style love songs such as “Elin Oğlu” (Somebody Else’s Son) and “Çağırma Lütfen” (Please Don’t Call Me). Yengi confesses that she immediately used the Gökhan Tepe- and Şebnem Sungur-produced song “Çağırma Lütfen“ for the album.

The album also welcomes a recent other hit maker, singer-songwriter Ayla Çelik with three of her songs. One of her songs, “Hafta Sonu” (The Weekend), is a potential club banger already. 

The album also includes a song produced by famous singer-songwriter Soner Sarıkabadayı, “Altın Kaplama” (Gold Plated), which feels like a perfectly radio-friendly dance track with an emotional tone. It’s already become one of the favorite tracks of immortal diva Sezen Aksu, who listened to the whole EP at her own studio together with Yengi before its release.  

Obviously, the album’s biggest indication of a 90s feeling is the song “Bi Sebepten” (For Some Reason), which was also produced by Çelik. Having given us some more beautiful songs with her crystal-clear voice, Yengi sat down with us to relate some of the other details of the album in a recent interview. 

Recently, you reinterpreted so many beautiful hits on different project albums such as Erol Evgin’s song, “Söyle Canım” (Say It, My Dear), or the Kayahan song “Atın Beni Denizlere” (Throw Me into the Sea). Are there any upcoming projects? 

You know, I am also on Harun Kolçak’s album, and now Muazzez Ersoy’s album is out; she recorded a pop album. I have a song on that album, too. Miss Ersoy recorded the song “Çağırma” – I’m on backup vocals. Moreover, Yaşar Gaga’s project is about to be released. I also recorded a song on that album. 

When you look back at your career, which of your sad love songs touch your heart the most?

A: When I consider all of my songs, the answer might be the song “Kalpsiz” (Heartless), penned by Bülent [Özdemir]. It’s really so original. Maybe it’s somehow undiscovered by the listeners, but for me, it’s really so special. There’s also the song “İmkansızım” (My Impossible One). It really feels like it’s impossible to have songs like those kind any more. First of all, those are songs with wide intervals. It’s not that easy to perform such songs. Besides, there are some other songs that I have loved throughout my career which are also powerful songs and have already become hits on the way.

You already sing Çelik’s hit song “Bağdat” (Baghdad) on your live performances; so what if I say I’m not surprised that you have three, brand-new songs penned by her on your new EP? 

Ayla is a real good friend of mine. We always see each other and go on holidays together; we hang around together drinking, dining and enjoying some time. I know her personal private life and she knows mine, too. So as we have such a friendship, she already knows which songs suit me the best and she knows what I want. 

Your album also welcomes DJ-producer Erdem Kınay, who is a hit maker on the club scene, and his arrangement of Ayla Çelik’s song “Hafta Sonu” feels like it’s the song in which you approach the trends best; do you agree? 

You know we worked together with Erdem on my previous albums, too. He’s on my album “Yasemin Yağmurları” (Jasmine Rain). Actually, you have to be catching up with the times and at the moment, this is what I feel and we came up with this stuff. When I first listened to the song “Hafta Sonu,” I thought that we’re all familiar with the line “The person you’re calling cannot be reached at the moment” which is an irritating female voice but at the same time, it feels very close because we all live a life that is inseparable with our smart phones. Naturally, this song is a bridge between me and the new generation of listeners which can form a bond among us and maybe they can somehow associate themselves with my music. 

Can we say that you approach different styles which are independent of your style much more on your new release just like Soner Sarıkabadayı’s song ”Altın Kaplama?”

That song is independent of my style because Soner is a very independent musician. His songs are far away from our pop standards in style. For me, his approach to songwriting is also very original. 

So what about your daughter Nazlı? How do you describe your relationship with her? 

She is so fun. We laugh together a lot. We are becoming more like friends rather than mother and daughter at the moment. I have fun together with her, laughing so much just like I do with my best friends. She is just like that when she’s together with me. We don’t get bored at home. She is 10 years old. 

Who does Nazlı like to listen to? Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez? 

She used to like Katy Perry. She used to listen to One Direction, but not anymore. She doesn’t like Zayn anymore either. She loves Rihanna so much. But right at the moment, she knows every single pop song; even I can’t remember the names. There’s an application called “Musically” … she knows every pop song using the application and does all the lip synching. 

By the way, how long did the new songs take for the new EP?

Three years. Don’t ask indeed. But I really couldn’t find the songs that made me feel alright for a while. You can’t easily find a song that suits you. It’s hard to find an original song. Maybe, I could pick up two songs from Soner [Sarıkabadayı], but it would change the form that I wanted. You can’t always find a song like “Elin Oğlu,” so when I discovered it, I immediately picked up the song. Ayla hesitated about the song “Hafta Sonu,” but I felt alright and went with it. She gave it to me as a present; we recorded it that way. “Çağırma Lütfen,” was just like what I wanted. When I first listened to the song, I was just like “Gökhan, that song’s mine, so you can’t do anything about it.”

I know that you first had your musician friends listened to the album and Sezen Aksu listened to the songs before its release, too; how was the atmosphere while listening?

She was in the studio. She just called me and said: “You come up with new songs again and again and you don’t bring me to the recordings.” At first, I was a little bit hesitant about visiting her because she was busy recording a song on a project. Actually, she was recording a song for “Erol Evgin Songs Project.” I was also afraid of hearing her disapproval [if she] didn’t like the songs. [She laughs.] Eventually, we went there and she loved Soner’s song. She loved the song “Altın Kaplama.” She also loved the song “Elin Oğlu.”

Finally, how many music videos are you planning to shoot for the new EP; I hope at least it’s three or something? 

That’s right. We are going to come up with at least three music videos. But we are going to try to come up with very elaborate videos.