Demir Demirkan (Turkish pronunciation: [deˈmiɾ demiɾˈkan]) (born 12 August 1972 in Adana, Turkey) is a Turkish musician, Eurovision Song Contest winning composer, formerly guitarist for thrash metal band Mezarkabul. Demir Demirkan started his music life when he was 13 and played guitar with various groups in college. Demir Demirkan also wrote television jingles and composed soundtracks for television and films.
Demir Demirkan performing with Sertab Erener
12 August 1972|
Turkish folk music
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, arranger, Record producer|
Demir Demirkan started his music life when he was 13 and played guitar with various groups in college. In 1990, Demir joined a heavy/rock group, Mezarkabul, based in Istanbul and wrote and played guitar in the group’s second album, Trail Blazer.
In 1996, he moved back to Istanbul and worked as a producer, guitarist and composer for various artists such as Sebnem Ferah and Sertab Erener. Demir rejoined Mezarkabul again in 1997 and recorded the Anatolia album.
Demirkan played his first guitar at age 13, and attained national stardom in 1990 when he joined the Istanbul heavy rock group Mezarkabul as songwriter and guitarist. In 1992, he studied at Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles with Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, and MI founder Paul Hanson, also playing studio and live gigs.
In 2000, Demir released his eponymous initial solo album with Sony Music. His albums Dunya Benim (The World is Mine) and Istanbul 2004 followed in 2002 and 2004. The latter sold in 11 European countries after his successful tour with Mike Tramp (Whitelion).
The songs Demir wrote for Sertab Erener were widely accepted in Europe and Turkey. One of these songs, “Every Way That I Can,” won the first prize in the 2003 Eurovision Song Competition and sold 400,000 units worldwide.
Demir Demirkan also wrote television jingles and composed soundtracks for television and films. One of the more remarkable works of Demir Demirkan was the music he composed for the documentary about Gallipoli/Gelibolu in 2005. That soundtrack involved ethnical strings recorded in Turkey and classical melodies recorded by a symphonic orchestra and choir in the Czech Republic. It was released in Turkey and Australia.
Demir Demirkan and Sertab Erener embarked on the international project Painted on Water together. This innovative work entitled Ebru was co-produced by Demir and Jay Newland, a multi- Grammy-winning-producer (Norah Jones’ “Come Away with Me”), and released on Motéma Music.
His Los Angeles experience informed the current project in several ways, not least the fact that “the L.A. vibe is great for art,” Demirkan says. “Every day when I was studying in Hollywood, I passed A&M Studios, and I wanted to record an album there. When we were ready to record Painted on Water, we had to search for them because they’d changed to their name to Hanson. Every time I passed by, I promised myself I’d get there and record, so it was a great moment, a dream came true.”
Demir Demirkan continues his solo career in Turkey.
| Eurovision Song Contest winning composer
2003 (with Sertab Erener)