A dream about ‘free women’ has inspired a Turkish singer-songwriter to curate a new monthly party in central London. The name for Djanan Turan’s new live music and DJ night comes from Arabic, as Hura means ‘free woman’ – perfect given her free-spirited nature.
Launching this Friday at The Library, a lush private members club in Covent Garden, Hura Nights features the vivacious artist and her hip musician friends in an evening of free expression. Djanan takes her cue from North London’s underground scene of epic psychedelic folk that is she heavily embedded in, programming an evening of uplifting global beats to get party-goers surfing an exotic wave of disco, reggae, and trancey Anatolian rhythms.
The musical chanteuse is supported by a multi-cultural house band: Alice Mary Williamson (the gorgeous clarinet enchanter), Al Maranca (bass & saz), Bubu (drums) and Fatih Ebrem (him of the famed wah wah guitar). They will be drawing on their Mediterranean and Middle Eastern roots, melded with wider musical influences that are so typical of their North London underground jams.
Each month, Djanan will be joined by special guests, DJs and performers. For the launch night on Friday 24 March, Hura Nights will have globetrotting turntablist and A World in London presenter DJ Ritu on the decks. A musical chameleon, her repertoire includes soul, disco, Motown, pop, drum n’ bass, as well as Turkish, Greek, African, Latin, and Middle-Eastern sounds.
Five curious facts about musical chanteuse Djanan Turan
- Like many people from Turkey, Djanan’s Anatolian family roots are diverse, hailing from Samsun (Georgian), Bitlis (Kurdish) and Adana (Turkish).
- She grew up around strong women. Against the backdrop of a patriarchal society, her grandmother ran a motel in the super-diverse village of Kizkalesi, Mersin, where a teenage Djanan and her mother would help. The motel, located next door to a Türkü (Turkish Blues) bar, attracted a mixed clientele including US soldiers and Turkish immigrants from Europe, who introduced the young Djanan to Bob Marley, PM Dawn, the Rolling Stones, and Turkish folk music. It was here Djanan started to hone her skills as a singer.
- A multi-instrumentalist, Djanan not only sings, but also plays the guitar and keyboard. She recently started learning to play the zurna – a traditional instrument most commonly heard at Turkish weddings.
- In April 2010, the quirky singer became an overnight sensation in Turkey after cheekily bagging an appearance on Okan Bayülgen’ popular late night chat show programme.
- Now London based, Djanan has released a Turkish album (Düğüm), two EPs in English (Artigo and Maze) and three singles, the most recent being Dancing Feet. She co-produced Maze with Raz Olsher, who topped the UK charts in 2012 with Sam and The Womp’s Bom Bom.
Hura Nights – the details
Launch night: Friday 24 March 2017
Event times: 7.30pm till late
Venue address: The Library Club, 112 St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4BD
Admission: free entry via guest list only
For guestlist: email your name to email@example.com
Djanan Turan info: Facebook.com/Djanan-Turan
All photos by Stephen Tagg-Randall