Sat, 17 February 2018
Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is New York/Turkish singer/songwriter Demir Demirkan.
New York, NY January 15th 2017: Singer, songwriter, producer, and certified guitar shredder Demir Demirkan is announcing a February 16th release for “Awakening,” the first EP of three in the New Yorker/Turkish musician’s new “War III” project. The first chapter introduces some of the themes and concepts which Demirkan will explore in the trilogy: alienation, freedom, individualism, revolution. While Demir’s rumination on such themes certainly evokes and pays tribute to essential albums in the canon of rock opera and concept albums, he offers a fresh take informed by his own diverse influences and background which promise to make the trilogy an instant classic in this canon. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have legendary artist Hugh Syme on board, who has been responsible for the cover artwork of every Rush release since 1975, including their iconic logo, as well as creating iconic designs for key albums from Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Megadeth, and Queensrÿche. The album is co-written and co-produced with GRAMMY®-nominated and ASCAP award-winning songwriter and producer Phil Galdston (Starship, America, Celine Dion, Robin Williams).
“I’d been producing my own albums since I’d started,” Demir explains, “But I partnered with Phil Galdston on War III, which was a great blessing because I trust him with my music. He helped me learn to let the music take me to where it wanted to go, rather than me directing it all the time.” The resulting five tracks are both expansive and tight, matching methodical and honest lyricism to curious and amorphous sonic and musical qualities, incorporating at times heavy metal, prog rock, funk, acoustic balladry, and psychedelic rock. Demir’s passionate and technical guitar work anchors the five tracks into a cohesive whole, blazing through the complex and often subtle narrative movements of the music and lyrics.
Though this first part of “War III” marks a new chapter in Demir’s career, it is hardly the first—since 2000, he has released eight albums and five EPs just under his own name, not even counting his work in groups such as the Turkish metal band Pentagram (AKA Mezarkabul) and his Eurovision-winning original song “Every Way That I Can.” Though he lives in New York City now, his formative experiences growing up in Turkey as well as attending the renowned Musicians Institute in L.A. in the 90s are essential informants to his creative process, helping him to build and expand on a sound all his own. In “Awakening,” it’s clear that despite Demir’s impressive resume and life experience, he is not content to settle into anything, opting instead to continue pushing himself, project to project surely but even song-to-song. Rather, in this first chapter of “War III” we get the sense that Demir is just getting started.
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