Music: Eurovision, here comes Istanbul's underground scene

“Love me back” by Can Bonomo brings alternative musi

19 April, 14:44

(ANSAmed) - ROME, APRIL 19 - Istanbul's underground musical scene comes forth and flies over to Baku to represent Turkey at the Eurovision song contest 2012 which is to be held in the Azerbaijani capital next 22, 24 and 26 May. It will be the song "Love me back" by the 24 year-old Can Bonomo to bring Turkey onto the stage of the "European Sanremo". Currently in Rome to present the song, the young artist talks about the vitality within the Turkish music industry and especially of the great ferment which Istanbul is witnessing right now, the city he lives and works in.

The decision by the national network TRT to select "Love me back" for the Eurovision is something quite revolutionary. "Up until now" the singer says "it has always been commercial pop to feature in Turkey. It's the genre which most people follow." His music is instead considered to be alternative, underground, because it mixes various genres. A mix of jazz, pop, rock and traditional Turkish music. Music from Istanbul, as a matter of fact, varied and multicultural in its sound.

"Love me back" tells of the passion of a sailor for the sea and his love for a woman (Can was born in Izmir). A song which he himself doesn't hesitate to define "eclectic, representing the spirit and the traditional Turkish sounds thanks to the use of several classical instruments." 27 in all. Other than the electric guitar, bass, drums, tuba, sax, violin, clarinet and trombone, Can has wanted to put in the baglama, the cura (long necked instruments belonging to the lute family), the daf, the bendir (one of the oldest percussion instruments in middle eastern music) and the darbuka (a sort of cupped drum, similar to the Egyptian tabla). Its a polyphony which the heads at TRT enjoyed. "I was shocked when I heard about their decision" told the singer.

He sings in English to represent Turkey but in truth he loves to express himself in his own language. "I prefer singing in Turkish, the language of the poets which inspire me and of traditional sounds." His first album in fact, from which Love me back is taken, is mainly in Turkish. His lyrics, he says, speak of the world he sees and the way he perceives life. He criticizes society and speaks of love but he prefers not to talk of politics or touchy subjects. He is produced by an independent label owned by one of his best friends and business partner, Can Saban.

He nomination might make him famous in Turkey. "I'm proud to be representing my country at the Eurovision but I'm especially happy because things are changing in our musical panorama" he adds. Leading the way is always Istanbul, the most European of Turkish cities. It is this same city in which he lives and produces, the city he loves to describe as "smaller than New York, hotter than London, stranger than Berlin". He lives in Cihangir, a central district in which tradition and secular habits find their way and their differences alongside a western style of life and modernity. It is there where artists, intellectuals and bohemians feel at home, live and produce.

"Today" adds the singer "it is inhabited by students, actors and TV directors". (ANSAmed).

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