This is where the West meets the East.
A rich mix of both worlds runs through Turkish food, language, fashion, literature, art, cinema and just about everything else in life.
It’s no surprise that the same ingredients are found in Türkiye’s musical tastes. It’s also the place I call home, so allow me a little while as I share with you some of the country’s best listening options outside of our newsroom.
In the 1990s, rock music dominated the top of the charts, but after more than a decade, a distinctly different trend has emerged in contemporary Turkish music culture.
Tracks most streamed in 2022 from Spotify show that electronic and rap music is much more in demand. A bit like everywhere, it seems, but more on that later. Here is a selection of pops:
Top 10 Spotify Songs of 2022 Turkiye
Bi’Tek Ben Anlarim- KÖFT
Arasan da- UZI
Suçlarimdan Biri- GÜNEŞ
Gokyüzünu Tutamam – CAN END
Seni Dert Etmeler – MADRİGAL
Gelmezsen Gelme- C5 level
Bi’ Tek Ben Anlarim: KÖFT
Köfn’s single “Bi’ Tek Ben Anlarım” (I’m the only one who understands you) by Köfn was the most streamed song in 2022 on Spotify Turkiye. Salman Tin is the lead vocalist of the male duo Köfn. He plays guitar and writes lyrics. The producer and DJ is Bilge Kağan Etil. The song also features backing vocals by the famous Turkish singer Zeynep Bastık.
Salman Tin says that the funny opening scene was shot outside a tailor’s shop because that’s where he came across someone altering a tracksuit he bought a year earlier.
Arasan da: UZI
Second place on the list of the top 10 is occupied by another electronic music producer UZI. Rapper Utku Yalçınkaya (aka UZI) song “Arasan da” (Even you search) has more rhythmic and electronic forms. The song was produced by the corporation Kaleen and Nuri Singör and has had over 80 million views on YouTube.
Utku Cihan Yalçınkaya aka UZI, was born in 1998 in Istanbul. In his songs, he strongly reflects street culture. In most of his songs he mentions Güngören, the neighborhood where he was born and grew up. Although he started rap music with the song Acil (Urgent), he made himself known to the masses with the songs “Krvn” and “Umrumda Değil” (I don’t care) on his 2021 album “Kan” (Blood), and the album ranked 10th on the on the Spotify Top 10 list.
The song “İmdat” (Help me!) was produced in April 2022 by fellow electronic rap artist Çakal. The song does not have a music video, and yet it was a huge commercial success and made it to the podium.
Cakal (Turkish: Jackal), whose full name is Emirhan Çakal, is a Turkish rap singer and songwriter. Although he started rapping in 2020 with the song “Kanalım Yok” which he released with Reckol in 2020, his main breakthrough was the songs “Puşt”, (A..hole) which he released in late 2020. in the same year, and “Perros Blancos” and “Glock”, which he released with Reckol in 2021.
At the end of 2022, UZI broke the record as the most listened artist in Turkey via Spotifiy. At the same time, the albums “EL CHAVO” and “Kan” released last year took the first two places on the list of the most listened to albums. By entering the Top 5 list, he reacted to not receiving an award at the Golden Butterfly Awards (Emmy Awards of Turkiye).
24-year-old Güneş Taşkıran (aka Günes, which means sun in Turkish) creates R&B, pop and Turkish rap styles. Her 2020 duet “Dua” (Prayer) with Uzi has been viewed over 50 million times on Youtube.
Gökyüzünü Tutamam – Can Koç
Can Koç is a songwriter and musician born and raised in Istanbul. His first single “Binalar Dar” (Narrow BUildings) was released in the last quarter of 2020 by Fono Music. In 2021, he sealed his place on the music map with his single “Gökyüzünü Tutamam” (I can’t hold the sky).
Seni Dert Etmeler – MADRİGAL
Madrigal (under the name Mavera) is an alternative rock band formed in 2007 by Ceyhun Kaan Karakaş, Kaan Alıcı and Emre Zeytinci in Kocaeli, Turkey. Currently, the band consists of Anıl Erdem Cevizci on vocals and guitar, Kaan Alıcı on bass guitar, Sanlı Akgün on drums and backing vocals, Burak Emir Kamacı on keyboards and backing vocals.
Ezhel, aka Ömer Sercan İpekçioğlu, is a Turkish rapper, singer and songwriter. He became known for his first studio album Müptezhel (Discredited) which was released in 2017. He now lives in Berlin after being arrested and imprisoned for several months in 2018. At the time, authorities demanded that his single “Yarınımız Yok” (We don’t have a future) encouraged illegal drug use.
Gelmezsen Gelme-Lvbel C5
Lvbel C5, or rather Süleyman Burak Bodur, is a Turkish rapper and songwriter. Lvbel C5, who started his musical career with the song “Drop”, which was released in 2019, had his real debut in the summer of 2021 with the song “Rally” released with Batuflex.
Turkish rapper and songwriter Seyfullah Sağır, also known as Sefo, started his music career with the song Yalan (Lie) and is widely known for his reggaeton song “Bilmem Mi?” (I already knew).