Selda Bagcan. This Turkish Singer-Songwriter’s name brings shivers down my back. Good ones. Fusing Turkish Folk with a bit of Psychedelic Rock and Funk, her songs are full of both tradition and activism.
Born in Southwestern Turkey in the late 1940’s, she picked up the mandolin at an early age and later on, began to play other stringed instruments and to sing. In the 1970’s some of her strongest work was recorded. Focusing on the plights of the poverty stricken and the rights of journalists, she became a sort of champion to those who were struggling. Never shrinking from the truth, she was arrested several times in the 1980’s and her passport was confiscated due to her politically-charged lyrics. Yet she never stopped writing and performing, and some of her music has been sampled by Dr. Dre and Mos Def.
In everything she sings, the many colours of her voice strike through to my heart ( I love her guitar riffs, too!). There is pain, anger, softness, sentiment, and a deep sense of her love of the land. For me, her music is haunting, motivating, challenging, and encouraging.
Although written long ago, the stories she tells are real and dauntingly relevant today.
Here is a link to one of my favourite songs of hers, Yaz Gazeteci Yaz (Write Journalist Write).