Tarkan Finds His Moves Take Him Across Borders
CNN WorldBeat correspondent Bruno del Granado talks to Tarkan about his European chart success 'It's the kisses that are universal'
'It's the kisses that are universal'
Tarkan: I was raised in Germany until I was 13, and then my family decided to go back to Turkey. It was good in a way, because I studied music. And I went to a Turkish classical music school and studied music for three years. And then I just realized that I can't do anything else but singing music. And everything just happened naturally.
Q: How does it feel to be the first artist of Turkish origin to sell 500,000 albums in France, of all places?
Tarkan: It feels wild, you know, because in the beginning I never thought it was going to really happen. It's all in Turkish, you know, and nobody understands a word. But I think it's a groove. It's the kisses that are universal.
Tarkan: Yes. He was my mentor in a way -- as a musician and as a businessman. He came to Turkey once and saw me on stage performing, and then he came up to me and said, "You've got to call me. I'm Ahmed Irdigan."
I said, I would love to. And that was the first thing I did when I came to New York. Then we did an agreement, a deal, with him for the English albums.
Q: So you're going to record in English now?
Tarkan: Yes. Actually, I've been working on an English album for two years, and it's almost done. "Şıkıdım" (the song) is the hook because "Şıkıdım" doesn't mean anything actually. There's a definition I have, but it's a way of moving in Turkey. It's a very sexy, kind of Oriental kind of moving.
Q: There are five million Turkish people in Europe and most of them are in Germany. Do you feel they've been very supportive of your music, of you as an artist and everything else?
Tarkan: Oh, definitely. My fans -- when I see them somewhere, outside my concerts -- I get that, that vibe. They're really supporting my projects and everything, because it's a first time that a Turkish singer is, you know, able to express himself out of Turkey.
And I think they're proud of me and they're really supporting me. I can feel that.