Selda the Legend

09/09/16Turkish Icon Performs Live In Berlin With Tel Aviv's Boom Pam

Little did we know how excited we would be to finally see Selda Bağcan live on stage in Berlin, backed by Tel Aviv's Boom Pam and an additional saz player. The show took place at the longstanding Neukölln-based venue Huxleys Neue Welt, a pretty sizeable venue for the small, but euphoric crowd awaiting her. And so it happened, that she took to the stage, arm in a sling* and kicked off the evening with one of her most iconic songs to date, being "Yaz Gazeteci". See the special moment below, or listen to the full song here.

Released in 1976 on her eponymous debut album (still available as a reissue via Finders Keepers) here's a few more words on Selda, taken from the album bio:

"When Selda Bagcan first released her long-awaited LP (the first of two confusingly eponymous titles in the same year), she was enduring/enjoying her hiatus as one of the most politically outspoken popular folk singers to hail from Turkey. In the previous decade she had made a household name for herself as a traditional Anadolu protest singer with a spectacular emotive vocal capacity (for idle argument’s sake, begging comparison to a Turkish Joan Baez). A figurehead and poetic driving force for a radical generation of politically motivated creative revolutionaries, her raw, stripped-down folk songs yearned for political change with heart-wrenching earnest, embodying a unifying traditional sound which mainlined the veins of a free-thinking, united Turkey. Selda had, and still has, a reputation as an individual, omnipresent strength who was willing to brave grave consequences in the name of change and humanity which would later see her serve time in prison on account of her vociferous attitudes on behalf of her like-minded but seldom spoken peers. Until now, Selda played the role of musical martyr in a lonely void, but by early 1975 – when Ms. Bagcan was given an unexpected opportunity to commit a collection of ten new songs to an LP for the forward thinking Turkuola label – the silent free-thinking cognoscenti of musical Istanbul came to her aid in droves, thus creating one of the most extraordinary hybrid folk albums you are ever likely to hear."

Curious? It looks like Selda and Boom Pam are currently cooking up a tasty collab. Stay put for more...

*About that sling: Apparently, as Selda mentioned during the concert, she lives with twenty something cats, who were so happy to see her return from a few weeks on the road that they crowded her on her way to the front door, resulting in her losing her balance and injuring her arm. Geçmiş olsun Selda! Get well!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom