Iranian star Namjoo in Turkey once again

Iranian star Namjoo in Turkey once again

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Iranian star Namjoo in Turkey once again

AA Photo

Iranian musician Mohsen Namjoo, who is in Turkey once again after his first concert in January, has said he loved Turkey very much and planned to live in Istanbul. “I left Iran and live in the U.S. but Turkey is my second home. It will really be my second home because I will live here. I speak two or three Turkish words but here I feel more comfortable than I do in many places in Iran,” he said. 

Namjoo said his first visit to Turkey was different, adding, “Before the concert in January, my friends told me that I had fans here. I had no idea about the music audiences in Turkey until four-five years ago because I don’t spend time on the internet, Instagram or Facebook.” 

Namjoo said he was very excited in his first concert in Turkey because all eyes were on him and in the second concert he was very pleased because his music was still popular. 

“It means we can make people feel our happiness and sorrow. I was thinking that my music was addressing a lesser mass of people but actually it made me pleased to see the fans here. In the end I don’t make pop music,” he said, adding, “But I am open to different types of music in the world.” 

Speaking of literature, Namjoo said, “Among Iranian poets, my recent favorite is Nima Yuşiç but as for novels, my favorite is not an Iranian; I read Japanese writer Kazou Ishiguro. I was very interested in his novels and stories in the past months.” 

Namjoo said he was following current Iranian music, and continued: 

“Some part of the young generation follows the traditional but I can’t say a good or bad thing for this. You may think tradition is good because you know that the new generation is not interested in it. You may seek for nostalgia and miss the past. But I don’t approve [of] the bad things of the past [being] remembered. Yes, we may miss but we should see what we have right now. In short, being stuck in the past is not for me.” 

The musician said he supported Iranians who are interested in traditional music or rap, pop or rock, and stressed that concerts in different music styles were organized under “hard circumstances.”

Feeling ashamed for making art 

Namjoo said the current condition of the Middle East made him want to sing his song “Jabre Jografiai,” and continued: 

“This song expresses our geographical helplessness. A man saying, ‘I woke in the morning and I woke up again in the Middle East.’ I say, ‘You are hung [by] your feet from a ceiling, you are helpless, your breakfast is tea and [a] cigarette every morning.’ But to be honest, I made this song when I was an Iranian man in Iran. If we talk about the current Middle East, the situation is worse. Sometime you feel ashamed for making art.” 

Speaking about the war in Syria and the circumstances of artists, Namjoo said, “One day I was invited to a concert in New York. I don’t remember the name but it was the concert of a successful Syrian artist. This is a very sad story. I can’t tell you how I hate… being a part of such an idea. This idea makes me sad; listening to someone, whose brother you killed, on the stage. All countries are a part of it.

“It is the sad part of the story that their goal for inviting this artist to there was to say ‘play in our festival, we feel sad for you.’ This is such a system, such a game.”

Namjoo said he was unhappy when listening to the Syrian artist, and added, “It was hard for me to enjoy his music [he created] out of his pain. I prefer to remain silent on these issues and not to follow the news.”

‘I want to be in Istanbul’

Stating that he loved Istanbul very much, Namjoo said, “I want to be in Istanbul in some part of my life. I am seriously planning on it; maybe two years later. I want to be a teacher here to teach Iranian music theory and to come together with Turkish musicians.” 

He said he bought an Ahmet Kaya album during his last visit and was listening to it in the car. “I wanted to prepare to sing his song here but I couldn’t make it because I always travel and have no time,” he said, adding that Kaya’s song “İçimde Ölen Biri Var” (I have somebody dying inside me) was his favorite. 

“I also like the Ceza band and Candan Erçetin’s ‘Bu Şehir’ [This City] is one of my favorite songs. I listen to Erkan Oğur, Taksim Trio, Kazım Koyuncu,” Namjoo said. 

Namjoo will perform in İzmir on Dec. 18 and on Dec 19 in Istanbul.