Singer Dila Varder is on a mission to get more Britons ‘dancing uncontrollably’ to her unique blend of Turkish Folk music. Having been booked to perform at the UK’s biggest festivals this summer, including Glastonbury, Bestival and Wilderness, she clearly knows what makes audiences tick.
T-VINE caught up with the innovative performer in between gigs to find out more about her and her band The Oddbeats, and their bid to raise funds to help them record their debut album.
Tell us about the band – where are you originally all from?
We are quite multi-national. I’m the lead singer and originally from Istanbul, and our guitarist Fati is from Izmir. Pavlos the bassist is from Athens, Greece. Tansay Omar is originally from Cyprus, but he grew up in Croydon. Quto is of Kurdish origin, but he is now a proper Londoner, and Ayoze on drums is from Spain, so I suppose we are all quite Mediterranean.
What is your musical background?
We all grew up playing music. I’ve studied performance and theatre, although singing is a relatively new career that came into my life after living with various musicians. Pavlos and Fati have always been playing music since their childhood, while Tansay has a long history as a musician: he’s played with likes of Bjork and Boy George, so we are lucky to have him with us.
Why Dila V & The Odd Beats?
When I was singing with various London bands including The Turbans and Gipsydelica, I liked to sing songs in strange time signatures. Some thought the audience would find this difficult to relate to and dance to, so I decided to prove them wrong. About two years ago I put together a project that specialised in songs with odd time signatures, and Dila V & The Odd Beats was born.
How would you describe your sound?
In the beginning the Odd Beats comprised of Moshe Zehavi from Israel, Nicki Maher on clarinet, and me. Then I met Fati Ebrem in a festival called The Rollright Fayre. Fati’s guitar-playing mesmerised me; his unique use of the Wahwah pedal made the sound a lot more unusual and psychedelic. When Pavlos Mavromatakis joined us on the bass, the sound became a lot groovier and rockier. Most people describe our sound as ‘Turkish turbo Folk’.
Have you released any music before?
This will be our first release. We have been working hard in the studio to bring an album to our fans like they’ve never heard before.
So you’ve started a fundraising campaign for the EP – how is it going?
We want to record a 5-track EP with some of our grooviest arrangements set to Turkish full power Folk songs that we’ve been playing to UK audiences in festivals such as Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness etc. Most [audiences] have never heard this type of music before, so it’s broadening their horizons to Turkish music.
We need support to make this [EP] happen so we can spread our music to those who never knew they would like Turkish Folk yet dance to it uncontrollably at our live gigs. We would love them to go home with a copy of a CD.
Any forthcoming UK gigs?
At the moment we are on tour. We have just played one of the biggest stages at Glastonbury, followed by Wilderness. In the forthcoming weeks we will be at Bestival in the Isle of Wight, the Smugglers Festival in Kent, Rollright Fayre in Oxfordshire, Front Room Festival in Sussex, along with many others.
Our next London show is on 13th September at Hootannanny, Brixton. An album launch in London will follow after we get our CDs printed and ready.
How you can support Dila V & The Oddbeats record their new EP
There’s just ten days left for Dila V and The Oddbeats to reach their fundraising target of £2,200. You can help their cause by pledging some cash via their online Indiegogo page. The band has fantastic offers to suit all budgets. Pick up a digital copy of the new EP for £3, a signed print copy for £8, or the EP and a launch party guest pass for £15. For the musicians among you, sign-up for one or more darbuka or guitar lessons with either the brilliant Tansay Omar or Fati Ebrem.
You can follow the band via their Facebook page.