Considered the father of Turkish rock music, Erkin Koray has been labelled as a musical legend! Possessing a great voice, he is also a unique and accomplished guitarist, an inventor, a leader, a true intellectual and somewhat of a rebel. He started playing piano at the age of five, shortly moving onto guitar and by 15 he was in his first band!
He has blended classic oriental Turkish tunes and ethnic and Middle Eastern themes into his psych-driven rock and this sound has stood the test of time and has weathered political crises as well as military coups. Although his first records are nearly impossible to find and they are sold for impressive prices online and still fetch in the realms of hundreds of pounds for a LP! Koray is one of the most influential Turkish rock musicians even into the 21st century. Along with artists of his era like Cem Karaca, Mogollar, Baris Manco, and Uc Hurel, Koray helped introduce Turkish lyrics into rock music while most of the intellectual Turkish music listeners had gone crazy with American rock & roll. First despised for using Turkish and some oriental themes, he later became known as “the King of Rock.”
Cemalim is mysterious and haunting serenade from his third self-titled record which was released in 1976. Koray’s vocals are a hypnotic catalyst from which serpentine guitars entwine with unwavering drums as ghostly backing vocals add to this melodic incantation! It’s a beauty! Check it out above.