As part of their Eurovision promotional tour, Turkey’s Yüksek Sadakat have performed in 11 countries, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Italy and the Netherlands. After all that travel they still managed to gather the strength to speak with Wiwi about the growth of rock music in Turkey, their stage show in Düsseldorf and more. Here’s what they had to say.
What’s the message of your song “Live It Up”?
YÜKSEK SADAKAT: It’s about life. Life is a gift and the way you live your life is up to you. Sometimes you may feel depressed because we are living in a mechanical, technological world. But music can help you to enjoy your life and feel fresh again, you know… because life is beautiful.
How long did it take you to write the song?
Kutlu Ozmakinaci wrote the song a year ago, and he wrote it in a short time. As usual, he is pretty good and fast at song writing. It’s not written specially for the ESC, but we thought that it would fit good at Eurovision. The song was written in Turkish for our third album, and our friend Ergun Arsal has re-written the lyrics in English.
The music video for “Live It Up” is very cool. Can you tell us the basic idea behind the video?
It’s basically a live performance of the band with the 80s video cliches in mind. I remember many rock videos with the classical orchestra meets the Rock’n Roll band. The Director of the video KETCHE is a friend of ours back from the old days when most of us were teenage headbangers with leather jackets, denim and black t-shirts. When he met with our manager Afsin Akin they got this idea very quickly and the band loved it.
Can you give us any hints about your stage show in Germany? Will it be as wild and dramatic as maNga in 2011?
We’re going to be 6 persons on the stage. About the show: it will be parallel with the theme of the song and probably it won’t be wild as the maNga’s.
What does the name of your band mean in English? How did you come up with it?
It comes from the name of “Hi-Fi” systems, high fidelity. Yüksek Sadakat is the Turkish translation of the phrase. But “Sadakat” actually means Loyalty, so it expresses our loyalty to music.
It’s the second year in a row that Turkey has sent a rock band to Eurovision. Is rock music very popular in Turkey?
Rock music makes up 10% of the Turkish music industry. Lately, pop music in Turkey started to repeat itself as the producers and the composers are all the same. The same productions made for different artists, all sounding the same. Rock artists, however, compose their own songs and produce the entire album. So each band or rock artist has a unique sound, and the rock scene has been growing with this.
Why did you want to participate in Eurvision 2011?
Actually, the decision was made by the Turkish State TV, TRT. It was a surprise for us.We were asked just one day before the New Year’s Day. On those days we were preparing our third studio album which would have been released in February. In fact, we decided quickly, because it was great honor to represent our country in ESC.
Turkey has had a lot of success at Eurovision in the past. Is there pressure to do well because of that?
People here are expecting good result from us, but there’s no pressure. We’re here because our music was appreciated by the authorities, so we’re just gonna do what we do best.
What are some of your favorite acts in the history of Eurovision?
Norway 2008, Fairytale. Abba’s Waterloo. And we have to say Sertab’s winner for Turkey in 2003 of course.
Rockers have a reputation for tattoos. How many tattoos do you guys have?
Just Kenan (lead singer) has, few on his arms and one at the back.
Do you think it’s good that a professional jury accounts for 50% of the outcome?
Yes, because sometimes good songs may not be loved by the people voting. It’s good to know some music authorities would also vote for good music.
Have you listened to the other entries this year? Do you have any favorites?
Mostly we concentrated on the first semi-final, so the answer will include more from there. Norway, Albania, Ireland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and United Kingdom are the ones to be said at a glance.
Is there anything you want Europe to know about your band that they may not already know?
We had a tour around Europe for promotion in April. We would like to thank everyone who supported us. And for everyone we’d like to say: “Vote for Rock’n Roll, Vote for Turkey.”