Not seen live in the UK since Wembley Arena 2008, after a long break Tarkan is set to return to Britain to light up the stage at the Apollo Hammersmith on 6th October.
For those not familiar with the multi-million album selling megastar, Tarkan was born in Alzey, Germany, on 17 October 1972. One of six siblings, his musical ability was nurtured from a young age, when his family relocated to Turkey and he took lessons in traditional Turkish music.
Also known as ‘The Prince of the Bosphorus’, the charismatic singer with chiseled good looks is one of Turkey’s undisputed pop sensations. His commercial success and huge fan base cuts across Europe, Russia, the Turkic Republics, the Middle East, South Asia, South America and Australia.
When he last visited London, it was off the back of his 2008 release Metamorfoz. This chart-topping album of pop perfection, which was also remixed by globally renowned DJ Tiesto and other famous Turkish DJs, sold 300,000 copies in its first week of release. It propelled Tarkan to go on to make digital history, becoming the most downloaded artist on TTNET Muzik (then Turkey’s digital music market leader) with 10 million downloads.
A year earlier, he gave an exceptional performance at the Karadeniz Ereğli Festival. An estimated 1 million people were in the audience that evening in July 2007, gathering in the city centre for a chance to see the star live on stage.
His follow-up release Adini Kalbine Yaz (Write My Name Across Your Heart), was named ‘Album of the Year’ in 2010 at the Kral TV music awards – Turkey’s biggest music awards.
Changing musical tact six years later, Tarkan returned to his traditional music roots with Ahde Vefa in 2016. The critically acclaimed album comprising 13 memorable songs recorded in a Turkish Classical style, gained the singer an award at Turkey’s prestigious 43rdGolden Butterfly Awards.
His best-known track is Şımarık. Written by iconic singer-songwriter Sezen Aksu, this 1997 smash hit is also Turkey’s most covered song of all time, sang in multiple languages around the world, including in English by Australian star Holly Valance, who renamed the track Kiss Kiss, scoring a number one with it on both sides of the Atlantic. Many other Tarkan songs have sampled by global artists, DJs and even Bollywood films.
Tarkan’s most current album ‘10’, released in 2017, broke no new musical ground, sticking firmly to his tried and tested formula of ballads and uplifting pop songs. While the critics may not have been enamoured, it proved hugely popular with fans, breaking all sales records in Turkey and resulting in a sell-out tour across Turkey and Europe that sadly skipped the UK.
Besides his musical success, Tarkan is also a notable environmental and social activist, regularly devoting his time to causes that matter to him. His public support of Doğa Derneği (Nature Association), which aims to prevent the flooded destruction of the historic town of Hasankeyf to make way for a new damn, prompted the Turkish government to rethink plans earlier this year. He’s also raised awareness for a range of ethical issues, not least PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), appearing as the face of their campaigns, inspiring not only his musical peers, but also his devoted fans to stand up for change.
His sincere and flawless live performances have led to comparisons to the late King of Pop, Elvis Presley, by The Washington Post, while Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary co-founder of Atlantic Records, described Tarkan as “one of the best live performers” he has ever seen.
If you’re in London in October, this is one concert not to miss!
Event: Tarkan live
Date: Sunday 06 October 2019
Time: Doors open 18.30, concert starts 20.00.
Venue: Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, 45 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9QH.
Tickets and info: Under 15’s must attend with an adult 18+. Call the Ticket Hotline: 0844 249 1000 or buy online from the venue.
Main photo, top © Tarkan/Facebook, of Tarkan in Moscow, May 2019