While Turkey no longer participates at Eurovision, we were introduced to a plethora of incredible acts. From ethno-pop to classic rock, Turkey always maintained their cultural identity through their music.
There are a handful of acts we kept an eye on after their Eurovision appearances, and their music does not disappoint. In some cases, we looked back on their discography and found some gems that certainly deserved to be shared.
Mor Ve Ötesi
Out of all the Eurovision acts over the year, the music of Mor Ve Ötesi certainly got the most airtime on my playlists. The rock group was established in 1995, with a number of albums released since. Their music is described as alternative rock, and at its core, their songs feature strong guitar riffs and memorable melodies.
If you had to listen to just one of their albums, it would have to be ‘Dünya Yalan Söylüyor’. I’m not always an album person, as there are usually a few strong songs and the rest are ‘filler tracks’, but that’s absolutely not the case here. Every single song has intention. This is perhaps the strongest line-up of songs I’ve heard on a single album.
The album features some of the band’s biggest hits, including ‘Cambaz’, ‘Bir Derdim Var’ and ‘Sevda Çiçeği’. Picking a personal favourite off this album is like choosing a favourite child, and while ‘Bir Derdim Var’ is a stand out song, ‘Yardım Et’ is hard to beat.
Their following albums were just as good, particularly ‘Büyük Düşler’ and ‘Masumiyetin Ziyan Olmaz’. Again, it’s difficult to recommend just a few songs, but from ‘Büyük Düşler’, my highlights would be ‘Kış Geliyor’, ‘Ayıp Olmaz Mı?’ and ‘Parti’.
‘Masumiyetin Ziyan Olmaz’ also features some of the band’s greatest hits, including ‘Araf’. Another personal favourite is ‘Kara Kutu’.
If that wasn’t enough, the group also collaborated with a symphonic orchestra. Needless to say, it is a match made in heaven. ‘Bir Derdim Var’ with an orchestra and choir? Totally dreamy.
Can Bonomo is another personal favourite to come out of Eurovision. Looking at his discography, his Eurovision song ‘Love Me Back’ is an outlier. While a decent song, it failed to show his full musical personality.
The talented singer-songwriter is classified in the Alternative rock category, but I don’t know if that really covers the scope of his style. For some, his music is likely an acquired taste, particularly with his first two albums.
‘Meczup’ is an eclectic mix of songs. ‘Bana Bir Saz Verin’ is an explosive album opener, however the album as a whole has a variety of songs. ‘Hep Bi’ Derdi Olur’ and ‘Opium’ are among my favourites, along with the title track.
His next album, ‘Aşktan Ve Gariplikten’ was very much still in the experimental style, far different to his Eurovision entry. The album has a stronger selection of songs and stronger production. Some of the highlights are ‘Başkan’, ‘Maşrapa’, ‘Abla’, and ‘Veysel’. That said, the whole album is worth a listen.
Bonomo’s third studio album ‘Bulunmam Gerek’ still featured a lot of the unique vocals and melodies of his previous work, however simultaneously felt a bit more consumable. ‘Hikayem Bitmedi’, ‘Tastamam’, and ‘Bahr-i Hazer’ are the songs I often go back to on this album.
Can is still consistently releasing music, so if you can get on board with his unique music style, he is worth following for his dependable quality.
Hadise, MaNga and MFÖ
There is always a place in my heart for ethno-pop, and Hadise does it well. One song that stands out in particular is ‘Sıfır Tolerans’
Turkey dominated at Eurovision within the rock genre, and MaNga is another great example of that. While I’m not too familiar with their newer music, ‘Dünyanın Sonuna Doğmuşum’ and ‘Beni Benimle Bırak’ are oldies but goodies.
I was introduced to the song ‘Mazeretim Var Asabiyim Ben’ through a cover by Can Bonomo, however discovered that it was performed by two-time Eurovision representatives MFÖ. I loved the upbeat, joyful sound of both their Eurovision entries, but ‘Mazeretim Var Asabiyim Ben’ has an unbeatable melody.
Listen to the songs mention, as well as some bonus songs on our ‘Top Tunes Turkey’ Playlist!