Rock musician Hakan Tuna has hit the New Year running, with a new musical project called ‘12 songs 12 stories’ that will see him release a new single every month.
Tuna’s first project track is ‘Bütün İnsanlara’[‘For All The People’], an Anatolian rock ditty inspired by a poem of the same name by famed Turkish writer Sabahattin Ali (best known for his novella Madonna in a Fur Coat).
Penning new music can be a frustrating process for many artists, and this new song did not come easily to the London-based singer-songwriter, who first shot to prominence in 2004 with his acclaimed debut album Karanlıkta Güneş.
“Sometimes a song comes to you right away. With no notice it just turns up and you need to catch it quickly, otherwise once it’s gone that’s it, no second chances. But other songs can take for ever, and some will just never be finished – most in fact,” explained Tuna in his press notes.
“Having written the music for this song years ago, I could never get the words done, all I needed was an opening line, but nothing ever happened. Every few months I would try, always to retreat defeated, with the song mocking me ‘you will never work me out’,” he added.
Tuna’s lightbulb moment came during last year’s coronavirus lockdown:
“Then one day during this lockdown, during this painful time that we are all living, you pick up a poetry book that you have picked up many times, you read the same poems you have been reading and loving for years, then you go to one of your favourites, but instead of reading the now familiar poem you start singing it, it fits perfectly.
“’Oh my I think I found it’, and for the first time in my musical life, quite by accident, I had set to music a poem, and not just any poem, a poem from one of my favourites Turkish poets.
“But am I worthy? The words not only fitted perfectly, but summed up how I was feeling in those first dark months of uncertainty,” he said.
Keen to capitalise on the inspiration from Sabahattin Ali’s Bütün İnsanlara poem, Tuna “rushed to the studio and made a brand new arrangement.”
He played all the instruments himself and spent the rest of the week recording, “only pausing to eat and sleep”.
The song spoke to him again: “Instead of admitting defeat, [the song] now said ‘Well done, you found me, but you took your time’.”
Hakan Tuna’s new song is available to stream on Spotify, or you can buy as a digital download for £1 from Bandcamp.