About Selda

Selda Bağcan was born in Turkey and grew up in the world.

Selda, naving a mother who was teacher and a father who was a vet, was brought up in Ankara and when she first met the guitar she was not even ten. Starting her music career as an amateur, in 1971 while she was a student at Physical Science Engineering in fourth Grade at Ankara Üniversity, Facuity of Science, the sales boost which she received from her 45 RPM record that she made, a million records enforcing the maximum sales figures at the time, she incidentally turned to be a professional artist. From then on, she gave numerous concerts within the country and abroad, and in  1972 she was given mission from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent Turkey in Bulgaria at Golden Orfeus Festival.  in 1973 she went to her first tour to West Europe, while making seventeen different 45 RPM records at the same time. in 70s she went all around Anatolia giving various concerts in various cities. At that time, Selda being the one and only woman artist became the strongest representative of  her style which is Anatolian Folk Rock type of music that later became considered as a legend in the world. in 1979 and 1980 she joined various festivals with the support of Turkey’s most important Social Democratic Party (Social Republic Party) CHP’s international organization HDF (Social Reform Federation) and its social cooperator SPD (German Social Democratic Party).

During 1980 and 1984s she was imprisoned because of the songs she was singing. She was tried nine times at the court and she was acguitted of all the charges. At that time she wasn’t given a passport by the Government, so she couldn’t attend to The Womad (World of Music and Dance) Foundation’s Festival which was supported by Peter Gabriel just because she didn’t have a passport. However, the Festival Comitee put one of her songs to the cover of its record. As the festival record was played on the global radios, the song that she composed received appreciation and applause from the people in many countries and resulted with other invitations from all over the world.

With the assertions of the Womad Foundation she finally was given a passport in  1987 and at that year she had the following concerts:

Rotterdam Art Festival (Poetry)    / June 13th,

Womad and Glastonbury Festival / June 19th,

Jubile Gardens (London) / June 20th,

Eurls Court (London) / June 25 th,

Capital Radio Festival / June 26 th.

Following 1988 a four month tour in East Europe, in 1989 and 1990 she was invited as a guest to several concerts in city festivals organized by Municipals’ Culture and Festival Departments where she usually performed in big stadiums to hundred thousands of audiance. These concerts were special as they were performed free of charge to the public. Again in 1990, invited (in Holland) by RASA ORGANİTİON (Inter Kultureel Centrum) she gave  concerts in Utrech, Nijmegen, Tilburg and later on, in Prizren and Pristina in Yugoslavia. The same year she went to israel four times and gave two concerts, one in ACCO Festival which was  performed in an old Ottoman castle (KHAN EL UMDAN) and the other in EHAL HATARBUT auditorium while making two TV programmes. She attended to a Festival called “Esintiler”(Breeze) in Argus, Denmark. in 2000 she went to a concert organized by AABF (European Alevism Communion Federation). in that  concert she received a Guiness Record as she was with 2167 artist on the same stage at the same time.

From past towards future she has made film musics and produced about seventeen records (45 RPM), ten LPs, thirty albumes / CDs in forty years. The artist gave various concerts in Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, France, England, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Australia old Yugoslavia and israel.

in 2002 she attended the Jerusalem festival and in 2006 called “Türkülerimiz II” was released by an English Production Company from London and marketed all over the world as an LP and a CD.

Selda Bağcan is in the 81 Legendary Women Singers List:

in the U.S.A an article published in “The Times” newspaper to find out the  “Legendary Women Singers” having the title “Why women can’t be geniuses…” wrote “Because women are both geniuses and legends” was the conclusion of a research in an international debate platform and the eighty one legendary women singers list was set accordingly. The list was made alphabetically and Amalia Rodrigues, Edith Piaf, Maria Callas, Mercedes Sosa, Selda Bağcan were on the list.

The Music Editor of the Observer Newspaper wrote for Selda: “…Selda…Selda…Haven’t you met her yet? That means you have missed a lot…”

Dina Maccabee wrote titling “A brand new musical world… Selda Bağcan in Chicago!” and added that “in 70s the albume she had was cycling in the boutigues and cafes in our country. On the same day in Chicago I heard her music in two different shops. Her music really left the new age generation behind. Selda’s soft voice opens a new musical world’s door to me.”

in various other articles praising Selda appearing both in the press and internet emphasizes that although she has been singing her songs in a foeign language her powerful effect is described as follows: “ A voice which can not enter to any category known! The lyrics are not in English however even if yo don’t know the meanings, you are drawn into her. Because  Selda’s voice is strange and has something which doesn’t belong to this world and is as gualified as her music!”  The Dusty Groove

MOS DEF, the U.S.A’s famous cinema-TV serial actor and rap singer, in his albume “The Ecstatic” released in 2009, and in the albume which was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2010 for the best rap and performance categories, made a duet with Selda Bağcan in the albume’s first song called “Super Magic”.

Also American rap singer “Oh No” in his albume “Dr. No’s Oxperiment” made a remix called “Heavy” using Selda Bağcan’s voice and this new remix version was used by Electro Arts Company as the soundtract of their SKATE 2 game. On the American TVs the advertisement of the game is being broadcasted with Selda’s voice.

in one of the most high rated TV serial Beverly Hills  Selda Bağcan’s “İnce İnce” song was used. Also Australia’s hip hop group Curse Ov Dialect in their albume Wooden Tounges used “Gitme” song from Selda Bağcan’s voice. Again another Australian Group which is world wide known Tame İmpela remarking Selda Bağcan as the most influencial artist for them, never misses to send salutations to Selda Bağcan at its concerts.

Selda Bağcan’s phenomena came to its peak in the world by the re release of her albumes. While various world stars like Antony Hegarty, Daniel Radcliffe “Harry Potter”, Chelsea Wolfe, Marissa Nadler, Annie Clark “St. Vincent”…declared their admiration towards Selda Bağcan, her albumes made a shocking effect to the DJs and music researchers.

A Spanish music researcher Vincente Fabuel once mentioned : “Selda is one of the few legendary women voices in the eastern culture. According to the western parametes Selda is like an oasis in a big desert. I am asking the source of Selda’s voice. How can a person be so energetic and creative, deep and how can she sing the songs feeling so strong…Finally  I am coming to the main guestion “Why?”. What forced her to this? Why? What are the singers like Selda trying to take out from inside and expose outside? This record is the answer of this guestion.”

Selda Bağcan is in “The Last 100 Years’ Best 100 Women Vocals”list in the English Rolling Stone Magazine:

Selda Bağcan considered to be in one of the eighty one Legendary Women Singers list, was also in “The Last 100 Years’ Best 100 Women Vocals” list in the English Rolling Stone Magazine.

Her albumes that were released in the world were considered as one of the favourite recordings of the last twenty years by the chairman of the board of the Generator Newsletter.

On September, 3rd, 2011 she attended the innenhof Festival in Germany, at its final concert, because of a record that she broke with the huge number of well-attended audiance and the high performance she made with the fascinating musical atmosphere, she was mentioned in the German press for a long time with articles praising her:

“An out of ordinary Concert with the legendary artist of Turkish Music Selda Bağcan! The best possible final for innenhof Festival. innenhof is crammed with people. We are not surprised. This carismatic woman has been singing her songs for forty years. Selda Bağcan being a supporter of Human Rights and against state terror and torture becomes a symbol of her tradition. There is not even one song that the audiance does not recite. Even the sky is retreating in a moment of silence as if not to interfere the great show with its rainy clouds.” September, 5td, 2011 Villingen Schwenningen

“it was worth seeing the reaction of the audiance starting from the first notes, the audiance already feeling ardent. When it comes to Selda this is usually the case… Selda Bağcan is a star! in the second part of her concert when she doesn’t sing her protest songs, the youth and the elders, women and men, and all types of nations creating a whole with their dances, greet the great artist Selda with their dances.” September, 4td, 2011 Shwarzwalder-Bote

While her concerts went on, in the country and abroad singers who commented that they were effected from the charm of her voice or took her as their role model, groups and directors and music writers talked about her in Vogue Magazine. Some parts of Vogue magazine published in September 2011 :

World wide known French Director Vincent Moon while saying that he was dreaming of meeting Selda Bağcan added that: “The only thing I have known for many years about Turkish Music is Selda. When people listen to her songs the people usually say ‘What is this?’ and they are shocked.”

Another French Director Sebastien Cros declared his sympathy towards Selda as: “When I listen to ‘Sivas Ellerinde Sazım Çalınır’ I am amazed.” Art Director Christopher Pugmire is another person who is a great fan of hers, “When I first heard Selda I couldn’t beleive in my  ears. Her voice is incredible, passes through your soul and reminds me of Janis Joplin. She has got intensity in her voice and you don’t have to understand the meanings of her songs to love her.”

World Music authorities in the last 5-6 years have been concentrating on Selda. From the time her albumes were released in the world the foreigners report Turkish Music has become egual to Selda Bağcan.

The members of interpol’s Group that came to İstanbul for the concert looked for her albumes in the record shops in Beyoğlu. The Klaxons group announce that their new albume will be having impressions from Selda. Wax Poetics and Super Furry Animals also are her followers.

Marissa Nadler and Chelsea Wolf while telling that she has taken Selda as her role model, Black Lips say nothing is without Selda! Group Magic Numbers when gave a concert in İstanbul played a song from Selda. The vocal of the group Romeo Stodart said that he had heard her one day while he was returning home on a taxi and stated that ‘I know the political importance of her for Turkey but I adore her voice. The song that I like best is Sivas Ellerinde Sazım Çalınır. Whether with her folksongs, or with the eclectic songs she made with Mogols she draws everybody to herself with her voice. ‘

One of the most famous fans of Selda Bağcan is Antony and the Johnson’s vocal Antony Hegarty. in every occasion, he mentions that Selda has been the most influencing name during the last years and adds the following about  Selda Bağcan phenomena: “ I heard Selda’s voice first in a cafe two years ago and immediately went in and asked ‘Who is this fascinating singer? ‘ I was ambarassed for not having heard such a talent before. Her voice was so pure and deep. I quickly looked at the lyrics, they were so full of sorrow. I started with the famous psychrock ‘Türkülerimiz II’ albume and then went on with her folksongs. What a wonderful voice and a noble woman! The albume I like most is ‘Vurulduk Ey Halkım Unutma Bizi’. I definitely cry while listening to Maden Dağı.”

From electronic music artist to DJs, from young groups making indie music to jazz makers every foreign musician shows great interest in Selda Bağcan. A lot of foreign groups and DJs coming to Babylon for concerts first go to record shops looking for Selda’s albumes.

At this year’s Rock’n Coke Festival in İstanbul two DJs prepared a Selda Bağcan song and special visuals for the part of the festival. Her songs are used by artist nominated for Grammy Awards. French Directors come following her: the world rediscovers Selda all the time.

As a style Selda Bağcan has chosen protest music, while prefering to sing her own songs she is also known for singing folksongs about a thousand years old with her own modern versions.

The first twenty years in her career, in her albumes and concerts including her albumes released throughout the world, she played bağlama (a traditional Turkish Music instrument) and the guitar herself, later started to take the stage with her own orchestra. She describes herself as the sour voice of the Turkish people, also in an American web site was described “with her powerful and sensitive voice she is known as the sour sound of the Turkish people.”

She is stil living in İstanbul and is the General Manager of Major Music Productions Record Company.

With her voice she presents life, the suffering and rebellions in a completely different meaning, continues to produce new albumes and give concerts all over the world.



2016         SPACECRUMBS


2014          CRIMINAL ROBOTS


2013          SHADOWS


2012          MOMENT


2011          CROMA VICE


2011          TIMELESS