Write: Ayşe Sönmez Photos: Ceren Aksan
Sertab Erener, who brought Turkey first place In the eurovision Song Contest In 2003 with her song, “Every Way That I Can”, Is getting ready to launch some ambitious new projects In the days ahead.
Let’s talk about your new album.
It’s going to be a pop music album. An album of songs that will speak to people’s moods over the course of the day. I’m producing it myself and I’m working together with Mustafa Ceceli and Samsun Demir. We plan to have it on the shelves by April at the latest.
Recording an album is as exhausting as it is fun, isn’t it?
Absolutely! There’s always some hesitation laced with fear. Regardless of how many years you’ve been in the business, you can’t help but ask yourself, ‘Is it going to be okay?’ ‘Is it finally finished?’ You want the album to be done, but you can’t tear yourself away from the studio.
You’ve already made an art music album.
My father seemed to want his daughter to do that. He never said it in so many words, but I sensed it so I made ‘Ey Şuh-i Sertab’ as a gift for him.
Are you planning to make any more different types of music after this?
Since I made my career in opera and classical music, I want to make another album of arias and songs from musicals. When you look at the biographies of people who make pop music in the world today, you see that they have not departed much from their styles. And that’s as it should be. But I like doing something different and surprising people.
How are your album projects in the U.S. coming along?
One of them is a bombshell, a world project, but it has to remain a surprise for now. The other one is an album with English lyrics that I’m making with Demir. We’re about half way through both of them.
Which part of the U.S. do you like the best?
The Upper West Side. It’s more residential and you don’t run into that many tourists, so you can live there like a real New Yorker.
Which countries do you most enjoy being in?
The Far East is my favorite, especially Japan. I really loved Tokyo and Kyoto. The southern part of Thailand too.
Do you see yourself at the place where you want to be?
I approach this question more in terms of myself as an individual than in terms of my work. I think I’m in a good place for my life, my happiness and for being able to make the right choices.
What is your goal for the future?
I want to be able to say, “Yes, now I’ve done it!” when we realize this project that I can’t talk about at the moment, because it’s something I’ve wanted since I was a child. It’s actually the thing I’ve wanted more than anything for as long as I can remember.
What have been the important
moments in your life?
The moment when I started asking myself questions and when I found the courage to change myself. Plus, my decision to make my first album, and my winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
And the things you can’t live without?
Learning and researching. I have a serious craving for that. And, of course, singing songs, new things in music, Demir, my family, my friends, and thinking.
What do you do when you can get away from everybody?
I play sports, I spend time on the internet. During the day I hold up a mirror to myself from the outside and look at where I am and what I’m doing. I go to the cinema. I watch a couple TV series that I like.
Finally, we know that you have recorded a jingle for Turkish Airlines. How does it feel to hear your own voice when you board a plane?
With its growing fleet and successful service, Turkish Airlines is on the way to becoming a world brand. I am proud to make the name of a successful brand heard around the world through my voice.
“Since I made my career in opera and classical music, I want to make another album of arias and songs from musicals.”