[Exposure]: Emrah Kotan

Q. So, how did it all begin for you/what was your first show?
A. I started when I was 8 years old on a string instrument called the Mandolin and a Middle Eastern string instrument called the Oud. I was somewhat of a natural, being able to play by ear. Then at age 11, I left home and studied at Ankara State Conservatory for 10 years. I learned orchestral percussion, Turkish percussion, and drum set. My first time playing in front of a large audience was at a recital at a conservatory. I was 11.

Q. What is your favorite group and solo artist?
A. Earth, Wind and Fire, Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, Michel Camilo, Fazil Say, the list can go on for pages…

Q. What was your first song that you dropped?
A. Ottoman Slap was my first full composition.

Q. What were you before a full fledged artist?
A. When I first came to Georgia and was learning English, I worked at McDonald’s for a good while to make ends meet.

Q. Who inspired you and pushed you to become an artist?
A. My parents. They believed in my talent, and I am so grateful that they did.

Q. How many songs do you have completed?
A. My debut album will have 9 songs on it. I’ve written a few other tunes, but they haven’t been recorded yet.

Q. What is your real name ?
A. My name was, is, and always will be Emrah Kotan.

Q. Where are you from and how is the music scene where you are from?
A. I am from Turkey. I was exposed to the music scene in Ankara and Istanbul. The music scene is vibrant and diverse. Eastern culture meets with Western culture in Turkey – so you know the music is unique and hot.

Q. Who would you like to work with?
A. I’d like to work with Sting or Stevie Wonder someday.

Q. What would you tell youngsters trying to break into the business?
A. Practice, be determined, and be honest with yourself because it all shows in your music.

Q. What was your greatest accomplishment?
A. Establishing something out of nothing here in the U.S. I came here with nothing, zero. Now I’m part of the Agnes Scott College faculty, I have a great family, and I do what I love full time – music. That’s my gretest accomplishment to date. I’m still looking forward to the future.

Q. Do you think that music with a meaning will emerge again?
A. I hope so, but I think in order for that to happen our music culture needs to find a meaning first. That means educating ourselves, our children, and each other. That also means learning from the musical greats of the past, applying what we’ve learned to our music today, and being innovative enough to create high quality music so those that come after us can learn from tomorrow.

Q. If you had one wish, for anything at all in the world, What would you ask for?
A. I would wish that my mom would come back. She passed away when I was 13, and it hurts to think about it.

Q. Any links, media players any song we can highlight right now for you? Any shout outs to anyone?
A. Yes, you could check out my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/LaKotanostra. You could also check out my website’s media page at http://www.emrahkotan.com. I’d like to make a shout out to my family, my colleagues and students at Agnes Scott, and all my friends/fellow musicians in Turkey and the U.S.

Great interview, much respect to you and we hope for good things for you… MILE

4 Replies to “[Exposure]: Emrah Kotan”

  1. I was about 8 or 9 when I asked a mandolin from my uncle as the present for my summer vacation, as a successful Turkish student in Karşıyaka/Izmir. I wish I had a more helpful music teacher then, he was more in touch with his private students.Now I have an 8 year old nephew, who knows may be I help him start his music carrier, now days he’s more intereted with electrical guitar listening ıron weasel at dısney xd :)))

    I congradulate you and wish you more & more & more successful carrier with music notes all through your life, love from Karşıyaka/ Izmir – TURKEY

    ( I am a friend of Serdar Barçın, I’ve just read about this article from his facebook page )

  2. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, ‘.;^

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