Sezen Aksu (July 13, 1954 -) is the quintessential diva extraordinaire, of Turkish pop. She is the indisputable queen diva of the Turkish pop music scene. ‘Pop’ music, now worldwide, through the effects of American colonization, always mixes with its locales to create interesting hybrid music that also carries certain themes that repeats throughout the world. Songs of falling in love, songs of loving what or who we cannot have, separation and longing, devastation and pride, sorrow and joy. Also, to dance our butts off. Sezen Aksu’s unique, rough voice carries emotions that many in the Mediterranean are attracted to. She has influenced pop music in the mediterranean nations, the Balkans and changed the annual Eurovision Music Context with her protege, Ertab Serener. From the 1970s through today, and continues to break barriers.
She is particularly attractive to me in other ways, making me like her music more. Her life has not been comfortable, although her fame and fortune has helped her. She has married and divorced several times, something Turkish society does not like and in some cultures within the Turkish nation, divorcing is a taboo that the woman pays for the rest of her life (although this is not unique just to Turkish sub-cultures). She has also married an Armenian, works tirelessly and speaks out vigorously for women’s rights and gay rights, and for the rights of the Kurds. She has been allowed to stay out of jail, even though she has sung songs in the ‘illegal’ language of the Kurdish people, Zaza cultures, and Armenian people in Turkey, and has co-sung with some of these groups’ popular singers, raising the eyebrows and bringing much-needed discussions at Turkish dinner tables. She dares the powers that be, to let democracy work, and to love who we love, and for singers and all artists, to express and to live.
I present a nice classical-tinged with a bit of Astor Piazzolla-esque ballad, and a rocking dance song by her. The remixes of her dance music have been done by hundreds of different musicians. The dance song ‘Rakkas’ has become a perennial classic in Turkish pop culture and also internationally it is one of the most ‘mixed’ songs in dance clubs by DJs from Spain, Greece, the UK, India, Germany, Hungary to Japan.