Asena Akan is İrem Gökbudak’s guest on her ‘Bizim Cazcılar’ program on NTV Radio.
Asena Akan would imitate every single sound she heard when she was little. The musician took violin lessons, studied psychology, became a member of the faculty. But she left her academic career behind when her love for music started to weigh heavier and started to live in the world of jazz. She released two albums called “İstanbul’un İzleri” and “Golden Heart”. Asena Akan talked about her music journey.
“The Musical Process that Started with the First Heartbeat”
The process that starts with our own heartbeat for all of us continued with my parents thinking “Should we take this kid to the doctor or the conservatoire” when they realized I was imitating every single sound I heard. I enrolled in Istanbul State Conservatoire’s violin department. The instructors there saw violin as a fitting instrument for me but I never got used to it. I tried to adapt to the violin for 5 years but it didn’t happen. I actually took a liking to the piano. I dropped out of the conservatoire when I have had enough. But music never left me.
“I Left through the Door and Entered through the Chimney”
My musical process was activated again through high school orchestras. I wanted to study psychology in the university. I prepared both for this department and the conservatoire once again. I studied classical opera part time. I left through the door and entered through the chimney, almost. I was also studying psychological advising at the university.
“I Listen to the Drums and Bass First”
I listen to drum and bass first ever since childhood. I actually really like instrumental music. I bought a bass guitar for myself about 15 years ago. I started to interact more with this instrument 5 years ago thinking “I will play this now”. I finally found my own instrument.
“I Will Make Music!”
I was actively an assistant until 2010 in my academic life. I really enjoyed being an assistant. It was my first job and the university was like my home. But musicianship weighed so heavy that I had to ask my teacher’s permission to quit. I was writing some things and I went back to being a full time musician in order to focus on these compositions in 2010.
“Jazz is a Democtaric Genre”
What impresses me most about jazz is that it is very democratic. It embodies many different sounds and colors. Every instrument can change roles to lead or accompany. This really moves me. I find it close to my own philosophy. I have always had a sensitive spot towards discrimination ever since I was 5 years old. Jazz leads me in my search. I find it inspiring, there are lives I am trying to touch and I can lead them as a model on their path. Jazz is a great teacher for me.
“Singing Feels Like Being Reborn…”
Singing is inspiring; it keeps you young and fresh… It feels like being reborn every single time. Standing hand in hand with music in any aspect makes me feel this way. Music and I are students and teacher, and vice versa. I am really happy to have it accompany my life. I support it being a part of everyone’s lives, accompanying them.
“İstanbul’un İzleri” is my first born. It came to be after a process that lasted 3 years. A lot of esteemed musicians contributed to this album. There are many different sounds. These kind of albums have an advantage. They always stay new and alive. It has been 6 years but I still hear “You released an album called İstanbul’un İzleri, congratulations!” “Golden Heart” came together through the compositions in English. Rene Macaroğlu was a favorite musician of mine. During their funeral, when asked “How did you know Rene?” and replied “With a golden heart”. There was an instrumental composition I was working on during that period and I felt something. That composition became “Golden Heart”. I found this powerful and thought it would encompass all the songs in the album. We are all born with a golden heart and our most important mission is to protect it…