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Rock band to represent Turkey at Eurovision

12 January 2011 [14:10] - TODAY.AZ
Turkey will be represented at the 56th Eurovision Song Contest by rock group Yüksek Sadakat this year. During a press conference Monday, the band members spoke about the process of composing the song for the contest, noting that while English-language songs are most successful at the competition, they also intended to enthusiastically represent Turkey.

A song composed and performed by Turkish band Yüksek Sadakat will represent Turkey at the 56th Eurovision Song Contest once it is chose by Turkish National Radio Television, or TRT, in February.

Kutlu Özmakinacı, the group’s bass guitarist, vocalist Kenan Vural, guitarist Serkan Özgean and drummer Alpay Şalt held a press conference Monday to describe the progress of the compositions. When asked how the contest would affect their next album, Özmakinacı said they had postponed working on the album and would release it after Eurovision, or later in spring.

He said the band was preparing three songs for the contest and that TRT would choose one of them to be performed at the event.

“TRT asked for three songs from us. Among these songs there are those we have made for the next album,” he said.

“The progress in the contest actually came from us. TRT made us a proposal one day before the new year and we decided to join after making an urgent decision. Comments show us that English songs have more chances in this contest. Actually, we prefer English, too. Songs should include the musical motifs of their native countries, so our songs will include our country’s musical motifs,” he said.

Özmakinacı said the group did not decide to perform in the contest merely for their own benefit.  

“It is known that Eurovision is a highly disputed contest in terms of the political positions of the countries against each other. We considered all these things but made an ethical decision,” he said.

“We are musicians in this country. TRT offered us to represent the people of this country and we could not have rejected such a big responsibility. We think that people owe something to the country where they grew up. It was our duty to represent our country and did not reject the proposal,” Özmakinacı said.

Various types of songs have been successful in the Eurovision contest in the past, he said. “As a result we see that the best songs win the contest. This is why the basic measure for us is to make a good song. It is not only a musical contest, it is organized by the countries around Europe and its cultural and social dimensions are in the foreground. This fact should be considered, too. Rather than a good song and a good performance, you need to make a good representation on the stage. All these things are essential to win the contest.”

The stage show will be choreographed after TRT chooses the song that will finally represent Turkey at the contest, he said.

Countries’ relations are important

When asked how the band hoped to musically overcome possibly sour political relations with neighboring countries, Özmakinacı said the band intended to be proud and promote themselves. “Political positions of countries are effective in this contest and I think it shadows the elegance of the event. The most correct attitude to overcome this situation is to promote ourselves as much as possible, to show our existence,” he said.

“Organizations held with the participation of the countries in the contest one month ahead of the event are the best platforms to promote ourselves. This is what we will do. We will have a creative team and apply the solutions offered by this team,” he said.

Özmakinacı said collaborative voting between neighboring countries had continued for many years. “We already know that Greece voted for Greek Cyprus. Would Greek Cyprus vote for us? You don’t expect it. When you look back, you know who votes for whom. But all these things can be overcome by a good song, a good show and good promotion. Turkey already has a vote capacity at Eurovision. When we look at our friends, who got good results in previous contests, it could be said that they made a musical difference,” he said.

“In my opinion, you can change the political positions of countries to some extent. We will do our best,” he said.

Vural said what the band cared about most was representing the country in the best way they could. “If we return with a good result, it will be a good promotion for us and for our country. Our own career is our primary issue. Yüksek Sadakat has so far proved its musical quality. Whatever the result will be, we will progress in our own way. We don’t even talk about the process following the contest. We don’t worry about it.”

The band represents more than just a Turkish musical “sound,” Vural said, adding that this was one of the main reasons TRT chose them to represent Turkey at the international event.

“Representing our country in this contest is not only related to our music. I follow the critics in the papers everyday. They all have very different ideas, but one article I read quoted the TRT Music Department Director as saying, ‘We prefer people who will be able to represent the culture of the country, not only on the stage.’ I am sure that they thought about our level of education and foreign language abilities. Because it is not simply a matter of a three-minute performance on the stage,” Vural said.

Şalt said TRT had honored the band by choosing them to represent the country at the contest. “We are proud of this mission and will fulfill it.”

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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