Erkin Koray

Gitarist, Şarkı Sözü Yazarı, Müzisyen

24 Haziran, 1941
İstanbul Alman High School

Musician, singer and songwriter, guitarist. He was born on 24th June 1941 in Istanbul. He learned to play the piano at young ages from his mother, who was a piano teacher and after that, he started playing the guitar. He started to play the contemporary songs of the period with the amateur group “Erkin Koray ve Ritimcileri” that he founded with his friends when he was studying at İstanbul Alman High School. After his high school education, he continued his works in a half amateur and half professional way. He gave his first piano concert in the Galatasaray High School when he was 16 years old, in the year of 1957.

Upon an offer he received during the time he was making programs in several musical houses in the year of 1962, he created his first extended-play with the song Bir Eylül Akşamı on one side and the English song named It's So Long on the other side. He realized his military service as a soloist and guitarist in the Jazz Orchestra of the Air Forces in Ankara between the years of 1963-65. Koray, who went to Hamburg Germany after his discharge, founded the group “Erkin Koray Dörtlüsü” when he returned to Turkey in 1966. He obtained a great success with his extended-play published in 1967, having the song named Kızları da Alın Askere on one side and Aşk Oyunu on the other side. Especially the song Kızları da Alın Askere played an important role for Erkin Koray to be widely known by large masses.

He participated in the competition of “Altın Mikrofon” organized by the newspaper Hürriyet in the year of 1968. He came in fourth in this competition. His songs in this competition Meçhul and Çiçek Dağı were released to the market by a record company afterwards and attracted great attention. This was followed by songs such as Anma Arkadaş, Hop Hop Gelsin, Sana Bir Şeyler Olmuş and Seni Her Gördüğümde attracting great attention and coming one after another until the end of the 60s. He became the initiator of the first “Underground” music movement in Turkey with his group “Yeraltı Dörtlüsü” that he founded in 1969. In the 70s, he determined his unique music style and gained a wide audience. Koray, who founded the group “Erkin Koray Süper Grup” in 1971 and “Ter” in 1972, put signature to many classic works that were on the top of Turkish music lists such as İlahi Morluk, Aşka İnanmıyorum, Mesafeler, Züleyha, Silinmeyen Hatıralar, Şaşkın and Fesuphanallah.

Koray lived in the Netherlands, Germany and Canada between the years of 1974-84, except the times he came to Turkey for short durations. He published very well-known works such as Estarabim and Arap Saçı in this period, for which there was not much information. He didn’t found another group after the group “Erkin Koray Tutkusu” that he founded in the year of 1977. One part of his Album Benden Sana published in 1982 was recorded in Köln and Hamburg in Germany and one part of it was recorded in Istanbul. In addition to Haluk Taşoğlu and Sedat Avcı, the Hindu musician Harpal Singh also supported Koray in this album. Some of the songs of the album (Meyhanede, Öyle Bir Geçer, Sayın Arkadaşım Osman) were composed from the lyrics written in Turkish by Erkin Koray to the compositions of Hindu musicians. In the album İlla Ki, which he released one year later, the new versions of the old songs such as Kızları da Alın Askere and Hop Hop Gelsin also took part in addition to new songs such as İlla Ki, Deli Kadın, Tek Başına.

After his definite return to Turkey, he started his rise with his probably most known song Çöpçüler between the years of 1985-90. The album Ceylan containing Çöpçüler was published in 1985. He played most of the instruments by himself in the album. In this period, he started to work as a pianist-singer in a restaurant as following the trend of that time. As a reason, he indicated that “he needed to earn money”. The album Gaddar was published in 1986, Çukulatam Benim in 1987 and Hay Yam Yam in 1989. In this album, the song Hayat Katarı, for which he shot a video, was used in the movie named Abuk Subuk Bir Film, in which Kemal Sunal played. In 1990, he released the album Tamam Artık containing a mixture of his old and new songs. He gave a break in making albums except the one named Tek Başına Konser published in 1991 and consisted of concert records. In the years of 1990-93, he published an album series formed from his popular songs such as Öyle Bir Geçer, Arapsaçı, Fesüpanhallah, Şaşkın, Sevince and Yalnızlar Rıhtımı and he also released a “Best Of”. This silence that lasted until the year of 1996 was broken with the ambitious and relatively high-budgeted album Gün Ola Harman Ola. This work, which didn’t show a big selling success but received positive criticisms, was followed by his last album Devlerin Nefesi, published in 1999.


Bir Eylül Akşamı / It’s So Long (solo, 1962), Balla Balla / You've Got To Hide Your Love Away / Watcha Gonna Do About It / Its All Over Now (solo, 1966), Kızları da Alın Askere / Aşk Oyunu (Erkin Koray Dörtlüsü, 1967), Sana Bir Şeyler Olmuş (Bir Na Na Na Şarkısı) / Seni Her Gördüğümde (Yeraltı Dörtlüsü, 1969), Belki Bir Gün Anlarsın / Nihansın Dideden (Yeraltı Dörtlüsü, 1970), İstemem / Köprüden Geçti Gelin (Yeraltı Dörtlüsü, 1970), Yağmur / Aşka İnanmıyorum (Süpergrup, 1971), Tek Başına Konser (1991), Electric Turk (1995), Gün Ola Harman Ola (1996), Devlerin Nefesi (1999), Erkin Koray (1999). 



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