Women in Turkish Alternative Music You Need to Know About
Lately, I’ve been hooked on works of women in Turkish Alternative music, and that’s what my playlist is all about. The more I listened, the more I realized how much talent, flawless vocals, unheard melodies, and unique styles somehow go unnoticed by so many people. I think these women deserve so much more recognition and appreciation for their extraordinary works, so I’d like to introduce to you a few of my favourites that have less than 100.000 listeners a month in Spotify.
Gülinler is the pseudonym Gülin Kılıçay chose for her solo project, though she is also known as “Galvaniz Gelbiraz” as a member of the band “Büyük Ev Ablukada”. She has an inimitable energy with her dance moves and her deep, soothing voice. Recently, I had the chance to watch her perform in a concert of Büyük Ev Ablukada, and I wished to see more of her. I was also impressed by how comfortable she was on stage, and how much she belonged on it.
Ezgi Alaş is an amazing musician who released her first single “Pacha Mama” in 2020, and her second “Gölge” in May this year, after performing live for many years. She has such strong control over her voice, her smooth runs amaze me every time. She can adapt very easily to many genres, and I cannot wait to listen to her interpretation of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop” live.
Lara Di Lara
Dilara Sakpınar, also known as Lara Di Lara, is a half Swedish, half Turkish musician who became known as the vocalist of the band 123. She comes from a family that is intertwined with music and art. Her music contains elements of jazz and electronic, and most of her songs harp on her relationship with nature.
Seda Erciyes may be my favourite artist nowadays. Her life on the stage began in high school and she continued to pursue a music career while studying engineering in university, her genres being R&B, soul, hip-hop and jazz. While working at a game company, she released many singles, the most recent one being “Uçak”, which came with an actual game. Many of her singles are contextually connected. I love how devoted she is to her music, giving us unusual, well-thought-out ideas and catchy songs that you can’t stop singing and dancing to for days. I feel like I’m in a completely different zone when I put my headphones on and listen to her.
Mine Özgüle is a musician who released her first single “Gerin Bedenim” in 2020, and 2 other singles this year, titled “Başıma Gelenlerin”, and “kördüğüm”. Özgüle recently performed for the first time at the Bozcaada Jazz Festival. With her striking and sincere lyrics and her unique style, I think she has a big potential that is waiting to be unleashed. I think everyone can find a piece of them in her music.
Dilan Balkay is a musician who plays the trumpet extraordinarily. She started her journey as a street musician. For her single “Parçalanmadan”, she went experimental and recorded the synths by mouth, and the ambient sound with pet water bottle caps. She plays the trumpet for many other musicians on the side of her own music. She has a sedative sound which gets me every time, and I hope we can see more of her.
Soft Analog is actually a band of two, but I wanted to include them on my list since I think they definitely deserve more recognition and I love their energy, especially the lead vocalist İdil Tavşanlı’s. I recently had the opportunity to see them perform as the opening act of another band, and their songs, warmth and dance moves uplifted me. I think they suit the stage so well, and you should definitely give them a listen.
There are some amazing women that had more listeners so I couldn’t include them in the list, but I definitely suggest you take a look at the works of Gaye Su Akyol, Yasemin Mori, Lin Pesto and Nova Norda. I had such a hard time bringing this list together since I worried about leaving some great musicians out, and probably I still did, because I come across so many unknown, talented musicians every day. I hope I can contribute even a little with this shorticle, both to the readers and the musicians, because especially musicians were the most hit by the pandemic in Turkey. Stage performances were forbidden for many months, and recently there came a ban of music after midnight. That’s why I think it takes a different kind of passion and courage to continue pursuing a career in music in Turkey despite all the difficulties. Therefore these people, and many more I couldn’t mention, deserve so much more.