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The United States and Korea managed to make pop music a “weapon of soft power.” Why is Russia worse?

Date: June 20, 2024 Time: 12:35:54

Turkish producer Tarkan Gyurol, owner of Enerji Fest

Photo: personal archive

Can music be a soft power weapon? Can it help you find friends in other countries? This was told to KP.RU by Turkish producer Tarkan Gyurol, owner of Enerji Fest, which has been organizing concerts and festivals of local and foreign rock, jazz and pop stars in Turkey for more than 30 years. Gyurol himself is a guitarist and creator of two musical groups.

Today the producer is interested in Russian music and is looking for new names for the Turkish public. He knows Russian stars well and dreams of holding concerts or even festivals with the participation of musicians from the Russian Federation.

– There are strong musicians in Russia, and your music is special, – he says. – We are all used to Western motives and our Turkish harmony, but the Russian melody and melody are perceived fresh and easily fall on the Turkish “ear”. Yes, due to the incomprehensible Russian language, at first there is a barrier in perception, but the music itself does not seem alien to us and quickly begins to please us, moreover, the peoples of Turkey and Russia are mentally close.

– Why do you think there are so few Russians on the Turkish stage? Tourists go, but musicians don’t?

– It’s a mystery to me. I think you underestimate the Turkish music market. And completely in vain. Türkiye is not only the sea, hotels and kebabs. The country’s population is about 85 million, of which more than 50 million are teenagers, youth and middle-aged people who enjoy going to concerts. Interested potential audience 50 million! In addition, the Turkish viewer is always avid for art, respects musicians, seeks to join music, painting, literature.

Tarkan Gyurol explained the love of the Turks for Russian music

Photo: personal archive

– Yes, I can confirm that live music is hardly heard somewhere – a crowd of listeners immediately gathers.

– Because the Turks are a musical people, we understand music, we play it ourselves and we are happy to receive musicians from other countries. Music is part of the “soft power” that many countries use to great advantage to promote their values ​​and narratives. For example, Koreans – go to any Turkish store, everywhere you will find 4-5 magazines on Korean pop music. Millions of young people in Turkey watch Korean dramas, tens of thousands study Korean, and thousands go to Korean universities. Through them, Korea has already taken its place in Turkey and can lobby its interests. Americans, for example, have engaged in so-called hip-hop diplomacy for more than 10 years, actively promoting their contemporary artists around the world. Your authorities do not see music as a weapon of “soft power” and are not very supportive of it, and we, the organizers, depend on sponsors, who are not easy to find during the economic crisis.

Does Türkiye do it too?

– Certainly! How popular are our series in Russia! And remember the appearance on the Russian stage of my namesake Tarkan in the 90s. Thanks to all this, Russians are interested in Turkey, an increase in interest in the Turkish language is being seen. Russia was also successful in this field: in the early 2000s, the Tatu group achieved success on the international market, opening the way for colleagues, but there was no continuation, the window was closed. Then the group “Leningrad” recorded wonderful clips that gave me great hope: an interlinear translation into Turkish was made, and their music thus reached hundreds of thousands of Turkish listeners. But “Leningrad” did not give a single live concert in Turkey, and they could not keep their fans. But one of the projects of Maxim Fadeev “Silver” was supported by concerts, due to which he was able to ensure long-term popularity in Turkey.

– What forms do you offer to the musicians of the Russian Federation?

– You can use the Internet, but the audience needs live concerts that influence the audience, tune in to the country and its culture through music. Look: the Alexandrov Ensemble is very popular in Turkey: all their concerts are always full, so live concerts are a must. I think that the efforts of the Russian authorities in the field of culture are not enough.

Gyurol guitarist and creator of two musical groups

Photo: personal archive

– The Russian House, the official Russian cultural center, is now actively operating in Ankara …

– I know, I visit them at some concerts – by the way, very interesting. He works a lot to spread Russian culture in Turkey, but unfortunately, he cannot contribute to the financing of large-scale concerts. I think that Russia should also have funds for such activities. Compared to launching spaceships, which your country is doing well, it’s not that much money. However, the effect can be very large and affect the most diverse areas of business, scientific and political activity. The unprecedented sanctions hitting Russia are a good opportunity to bring our peoples closer together. Sympathy in Turkey for Russia is now at a high level, it is necessary to use this. I hope that the Turkish public will be able to listen live to Russian musicians of various styles who convey their great culture.

– Where do you get such interest and love for Russia?

– I know how Russia helped and supported us during our War of Liberation. After the victory, Russia helped raise our industry. The Ankara Conservatory was created according to the patterns of the Russian music school. This is already enough to love the Russians. In addition, personally, all my life, no matter how I met the Russians, I always had the most pleasant impressions of them. When I played in my band, we recorded the song “Katyusha” in the style of hard rock, and our version received great recognition in Russia.

I realized that apart from very small differences, Turks and Russians are very similar, so if you support Russia’s cultural activities in Turkey, even a little, it can shine with bright colors.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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