Turk Prince of Pop

By Jessica Chacko
The Hillsdale Collegian

Collegian reporter reviews Tarkan

While Tarkan's name might be unknown to many Americans, people all over Europe and Asia are buzzing with excitement over his music. Tarkan has sold millions of albums, which contain some of the most enjoyed songs in the eastern hemisphere.

The 32-year-old Turkish pop singer has become more than just a celebrity. He's become music royalty. Having multi-platinum albums, his songs have been heard in clubs and on radios from Istanbul to India, which have labelled him the "Turkish Prince."

Even though many people don't understand what he is saying, the strong beats and tones within his music have made his songs some of the most popular dance and club music around. Tarkan's music was first introduced to the United States through Universal Music Latino, despite the fact that his music was sung in Turkish and many did not understand it.

His previous album Tarkan included his most popular single "Şımarık". While the beats are addictive and keep people dancing, the kissing sounds within the music are probably the only part of the song that non-Turkish speaking listeners remember.

"Şımarık" has been translated into many other languages and can be heard on party compilations. The album La Bomba Dance Mix, is a Latin dance CD with the exception of Tarkan's "Şımarık" transcending the language barrier.

After this hit album, Tarkan's 2003 album, Dudu, had a lot to live up to. With more romantic, and slower songs, the album contrasts greatly from the more upbeat sounds of Tarkan.

With a little less of the Euro-pop sounding beats and with a more traditional Turkish/Middle Eastern sounding style, Tarkan's albums still rapidly sell off the rack. Songs like "Gülümse Kaderine" and "Dudu" have become his latest hits.

While he is most known for his songs, Tarkan has become much more than just a music celebrity. He is also a fashion icon and heartthrob for many young females and males who sport his fashion and dedicate many fan clubs in his name.

Like many pop stars, however, there is the lingering argument that Tarkan's success may be attributed to fact that the pop star's image sells, not necessarily the quality of his music. Like many American pop artists, the marketing factor might not be talent, but their ability to sell their image.

Although his songs are catchy, his albums tend to recycle old songs into remixes rather than put new ones out. So if you plan to have a collection of his CDs, you might run into the same songs from previous albums remixed.

Whether Tarkan's success is based on image or talent, his reputation precedes him in many countries around the world and is expected to hit the U.S. shortly.

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