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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Merhabalar by Ogan Cihan ร–cal

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ง๐™๐™–๐™—๐™–๐™ก๐™–๐™ง - ๐™Š๐™œ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™ž๐™๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™Šฬˆ๐™˜๐™–๐™ก

Charles travels eastwards from London, past Bulgaria but stops short of Syria, to discover a land of mystery and wonder very different from anything he has known or seen before.

I have found myself in the heart of Turkey. Nothing to do with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner - funny how we use the same word - but actually a beautiful Eastern country where tradition is high and family is all. Alas, I am taken here only in my mind through the sounds of Ogan Cihan ร–cal and his latest single, Merhabalar. It is far from usual that I should take a leap into the depths of music about which I know absolutely nothing; and so courageously did I. We are instantly welcomed by Ogan into his home and hometown, hence Merhabalar roughly translating as Hello.

The first thing to draw us in is the percussion - a light Tef (tambourine) and syncopated Dumbek (traditional Turkish drum) tap us through a bare and lacklustre corridor, luring us forth to the main arched chamber, where an abundance of colourful and decorative drapes hang, one over the next. The musicians are revealed in the centre, each with a smile so serene and content. The scale is Eastern but not dark in the slightest. The Kemenรงe or Black Sea fiddle and Oud (Turkish classical guitar) take the lead-line in unison for the tuneโ€™s melody to be truly instated.

Our smiling star casually strolls in with bright confidence, oozing charm and warmth as the Kemenรงe drops out; Ogan opens his mouth and deftly croons rounded beauty. He has a knack for sculpting words and timing each syllable so precisely and delicately: less like a hot strike, more like a bold stroke. The seas start rolling as the Kanun warms the atmosphere like sparklers around a bonfire. The feeling is close, the mood is warm, our friends are nearby and the harmonies are born. Soon enough, all these therapeutic sounds are back together, completed by the addition of a BaฤŸlama (Turkish guitar) again in unison, and finally a Daf (large narrow drum), to ground the song with a steady pulse.

This would not normally have been the kind of song I would have chosen to listen to, as it is simply beyond my realm. I would never have heard it, had it not been for our playlists. New Artist Spotlight is so diverse, and this is just the sort of case where it promotes things out of the ordinary and pricks oneโ€™s ears with something different. I have listened to Oganโ€™s Merhabalar on repeat and it has truly opened my heart and soul to Eastern music. He has done his roots justice but managed something further. This tune is actually a pop song that can easily resonate with the Western worldโ€™s population as well as that of the East. I could actually imagine Merhabalar on a Netflix soundtrack! Ogan has already managed with help from our playlists to be picked for multiple Spotify Editorial playlists and so is finally reaping the benefits from his hard work, dedication and sheer talent.

May he go far! Have a listen yourself and let me know in the comments if it opens YOUR Eastern side.

Ogan Cihan ร–cal - a true Turkish delight.

Listen to ๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ง๐™๐™–๐™—๐™–๐™ก๐™–๐™ง HERE!

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4 commentaires

Thank you for this lovely review and your amazing words, it has definitely been the highlight of my day!

I am so lucky to be a part of an amazing community of artists and you guys are all the best!


Congratulations ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽˆ๐Ÿพ on everything that has happened to your music! You record very nice soothing music. I had the pleasure of visiting Antalya, Turkey as well as Instambul, Turkey when I served in the U.S. Navy. Keep up the โ€œGREATโ€ work Ogan!!!


06 oct. 2020

Another beautiful review, Charles. Merhablar is a gorgeous tune, and your writing only make me a appreciate Ogan's work more. And congrats to Ogan on the Spotify success! Fantastic work to the both of you!


Superb review. Ogan is the man.



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