British Turkish Cypriot artist Eyeden has delved into his ethnic roots for his latest release, a bi-lingual English-Turkish track called Cyprus on My Mind, that dropped this weekend.
The singer and rapper from Coventry gave T-VINE a sneak preview of the video, which adds striking visuals to the lyrically powerful song that’s dedicated to Cyprus’ recent tragic history.
We caught up with the upcoming star from the Midlands to glean more about his life, career and the inspiration behind his new song.
Tell us a bit about you
My name’s Eyeden, I’m in my 20’s and I was born in Dartford, but I’ve been living in Coventry for the majority of my life.
Where in Cyprus are your family from?
My baba is from Lefke, my anne was born here. My dede is from Limassol and my nene Moniatis.
How did you get into music?
I wrote my first song when I was 7 years old, I’ve been rapping and singing on and off up until 17 where I decided to take it seriously.
Why ‘Turkish R&B’?
I’ve always had R&B influences. Growing up, my mum would play Craig David and Gabrielle in the car regularly.
Why Turkish R&B? It just made sense. ‘Cyprus On My Mind’ will be my 3rd song in the Turkish language and I’m very excited for everyone to hear it.
What releases have you had to date?
In 2017, I released a new song every single week for just over a year, something like 58 consecutive releases.
I decided to go with this approach because when I was starting out, the traditional EP [extended play] – album method wasn’t working for me. People don’t know who you are or even if they like your music, so why would they listen to 28 songs by you?
In 2018, I released my first EP ‘Somewhere in the Southside’, and then in 2019 I released another EP entitled ‘Dreamlife‘. The last song on this EP [‘Say Your Prayers / Dedecim’] is dedicated to my rahmetli dede[late grandad].
What’s been your career highlights so far?
I’ve been played on BBC Radio 1, and have been featured on the front page of the Londra Gazeteearlier this year.
I’ve been performing at festivals up and down the country since 2016. It was great pulling a crowd of 400 people at my local hometown ‘Godiva festival’ and of course putting on my own independent headline shows, five of which were in the Coventry and Birmingham areas, which for an independent artist isn’t easy!
Who are your musical idols?
Ibo! [İbrahim Tatlıses]
What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘Cyprus On My Mind’, which includes strong Cypriot imagery from the 1963-74 conflict?
It’s my heritage, and my heritage is everything to me. Growing up my grandparents would tell my stories about these times in Cyprus, so it felt right to make a video paying homage to these times and all those that lost their lives on both sides.
The lyrics in the song contain references to Islam. How would you describe your relationship with your faith?
My relationship with religion is something that I like to keep private. Granted there are certain lyrics in this new song and video that will interest people, but that’s something I like to strictly speak about through my music.
Growing up in Britain, why is it important to share your Turkish Cypriot heritage?
Because I’m a proud British Turkish Cypriot, and I think it’s good to make my fans aware of what happened in years prior on our beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus
It’s been a tough year for most people, including artists, because of the pandemic. How have you kept going?
The pandemic has been a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it’s forced me to start a brand new endeavour, which is called The Eyeden Club, where fans can purchase my music, music videos, merchandise etc, a week early for a small fee on my website, which has been going incredibly well.
I started this because it’s about time independent artists like myself with small, but loyal fanbases can finally start to make some money off their music.
What’s next on the horizon for Eyeden?
More new music and maybe even more in Turkish..haha! You’ll have to wait and see, you can stay updated with me on Instagram @EyedenOfficial