A Taste of Turkey

The thing that caught my attention while listening to Sinem Varoglu’s music is its original blend of middle-eastern, jazz, bossa nova and pop styles. I received her two-song EP in the 2006 North by Northeast Festival press kit. Initially, it was the bright cover that caught my attention because it stood out above all the other CDs. This emerging Turkish American pop star from New York composes and writes her own songs, plays them on guitar and sings. Off to Europe this summer to play shows in Turkey and Greece, she will return to NYC in the fall to finish working on her debut album.

Like most musicians her love for music started from day one. “When I was five-years-old I composed my first song and then I was hooked – I knew I loved music after that. Throughout grade school I tried different instruments but I was just interested in so many things at that young age that I didn’t really pick a particular musical instrument. I just tried all these different things like trumpet, drums in high school and acapella singing. When I got to college, I honed it down a little more and started studying jazz guitar and opera.”

As far as taking care of business this young artist loves it, “I have heard so many artists complaining that they don’t like the business aspect of it. I love it – I am learning so much and I love being involved in every aspect. It is like when I was at school; I just wanted to dip my paint brush in all the buckets and this has carried through to my adult life. I enjoy contacting people and setting up everything else behind the scenes.”

I asked Sinem what she thinks makes her different from other artists. “Every musician’s goal is to be different but to also, at the same time, allow yourself to be influenced by all the musicians and artists who you love … I idolize a lot of musicians like Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley, Nora Jones; all these people have come out with their own statement. I too am inspired to have my own statement.”

Sinem is certainly making her own statement in more ways than one; in addition to her music, she is also the host of the TV program The Turkish Hour which airs in Manhattan every Friday night. “The program is a ½ hour show in English and is dedicated to the Turkish culture in New York. We profile Turkish artists and musicians, business people and entrepreneurs.”

And to those who are interested in a career in music Sinem had this to say, “Don’t listen to your parents! Do what your heart desires and follow what your voice is telling you. Don’t listen to any negativity coming from anywhere or anybody. If you want to do music, just go for it.”

For more info go to www.sinem.net