This week on Pop & Politics we are joined by Seda Erciyes, a rising star in Turkey’s local music scene. Her sound is a unique combination of R&B, jazz, electronic music, and hip-hop. Erciyes has been outspoken about sexism both in the music industry and wider society in Turkey. Her music delves into themes related to sexuality, bodily autonomy, and women’s empowerment with a realism and outspokenness that is new and refreshing. In her conversation with Kenan Behzat Sharpe, she describes how her music is inspired by the struggles of women, LGBTQ+ people, and sex workers.
She also describes what it means to her to be an artist from Turkey drawing on traditions of Black and specifically African American music at a time when rap is a dominant genre of popular music in the country.
The discussion also gets into the economics of the music industry and what it takes to survive as an artist in Turkey. Seda Erciyes got her start working as a jazz vocalist with various choirs and ensembles, performing at concerts and festivals throughout the country with Funk Efendi and other groups. In 2018, she was signed to Epic Istanbul, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Turkey that focuses on independent-minded and experimental local musicians.
Since then, she has released a slew of singles that has brought a new breath to the music scene here. Seda has also attracted the attention of the fashion world with her unique style, doing photo shoots for companies like Beymen. She is also currently working on her first full-length album.