Sezen Aksu

The artist made her debut in the 1970s. While still living in Izmir, she sent three of her songs to a recording studio. In 1970 the aspiring singer participated in the Golden Voice contest organized by Weekend magazine, where she took 6th place.

At the age of 20 she moved to Istanbul, where she recorded 45 songs under the name of Sezen Seley. They were included on the singer’s first LP, Haydi Şansım (1971), with the symbolic name. The next album was released under the name of Sezen Aksu and was commercially successful, and the third – Olmaz Olsun/Vurdumduymaz (1976) – held the first positions in the charts for a long time. Also that year, the performer received the “promising artist of the year” award.

In addition to a music career, the singer tried herself in movies and musicals, but if the success awaited her on stage, the first films were not so successful.

But on the stage Aksu was so popular that in 1983 she was sent to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Heyamola. Later, the song received the status of “record of the year” from Hey Magazine. The next 2 years Sezen again performed at the contest, singing Hello Ümit and A Little Love Tale, but her success was not repeated.

The next milestone in the star’s discography was the album Sezen Aksu Söylüyor (1989), where the famous Sinanay was among the compositions. The same year, moviegoers saw the pop diva in the film Büyük Yalnızlık directed by Yavuz Özkan. The film won the prize as best film at the Golden Orange Film Festival (1990).

In 1995, she released an experimental album, Işık Doğudan Yükselir, which combined Western classical and regional Turkish musical traditions. The record has made her a household name outside of Turkey and the love of European audiences.

In addition to performing and filming, Sezen was involved in songwriting and music writing for fellow entertainers. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, she helped get to the forefront of many talented backing singers by producing their albums.

For example, the star’s work with Tarkan resulted in hits such as Simarik and Sikidim, and her collaboration with Goran Bregović (Düğün ve Cenaze, 1997) brought her to an international audience.