On May 23 the week-long SunSplash Antalya opens its doors to ticket-holders.
Styling itself as a “private party” rather than a festival, SunSplash takes place in the grounds of the luxurious Hillside Su hotel on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Designed to within an inch of its life, Hillside Hu is quite something, and affords its guests spectacular views and private beach access. Glasto it most certainly ain’t. Suitably louche and summery music comes courtesy of Jamie Lidell (pictured), Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay, Rainer Truby, Manasseh, DJ Cliffy, recent FACT mixer Simbad, LeFto and Ahu.
Of all those artists, the one we’re most keen to check out is Ahu (pictured above) . The young Turkish singer, full name Ahu Kelesoglu, has already built up quite a reputation for her collaborations with Flying Lotus, Mr Beatnick and others – it was she, under the name Dolly, who contributed the sublime, dusky vocal to Flying Lotus’s ‘Robertaflack’. Increasingly focussing on solo work inspired by house, techno, the golden age of jazz singers, European movie soundtracks and much else besides, we reckon Ahu’s really going to be one to watch in the months and years that lie ahead. We took the opportunity to ask her a few questions, and she reciprocated not only with some informative answers but with an exclusive mixtape for FACT as well. A wonderful audio tour of our girl’s formative influences and current interests alike, it includes music from Brigitte Bardot, Daedalus and Matthew Herbert, not to mention two unreleased tracks by Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. Listen, read and enjoy.
Download: Ahu – Exclusive FACT mix
(Available for three weeks)
1. Beth Gibbons – from L’Annulaire (Soundtrack) – Unreleased
2. Beth Gibbons – from L’Annulaire (Soundtrack) – Unreleased
3. Georges Delerue – Aveux D’Anne A Muriel – Universal
4. Serge Gainsbourg -L’hotel Particulier – Philips
5. Brigitte Bardot – Rose D’eau – Philips 1963
6. Piero Umiliani – Crystal – Cinevox
7. Luis Bacalov – Paraguana – EMG
8. Joao Donato – Me Deixa – Odeon
9. Vladimir Cosma – Les Vacances D’Alexandre – Pomme
10. Armando Trovaioli – Please Be Nice – United Artists Records
11. Piero Piccioni – End Title – Easy Tempo
12. Daedelus – Fin De Siecle – Brainfeeder
13. From American Dad // Roger // The Sad story of Oscar Gold
14. Matthew Herbert – Leipzig – Accidental
15. Flying Lotus – German Haircut – Warp
16. Gonjasufi – Change – Warp
17. Jamie Lidell – I Can Love Again – Warp
18. From American Dad // Roger & Stan //
19. Amy Winehouse – Trilby – Unreleased
20. Erykah Badu – Gone Baby , Don’t Be Long
21. Oddisee ft. Olivier Daysoul – In The Now – Cdr
22. Eric Lau – Always Will (Inst.) – Kilawatt
23. Jarvis Cocker – Discosong – (Pilooski mix ) – Cdr
What have you been listening to and enjoying recently?
“These days I am listening to old movie soundtracks (mostly European), Brazilian bossa/funk and Detroit Techno…Also Matthew Herbert’s new track and Gonjasufi’s album are really good. Generally I love listening to Marilia Medalha, Maria Creuza, Joao Donato, Serge, Piero Piccioni, Trivaioli and Morricone, Theo Parrish and (still!) 3 Chairs and Moodymann. I got a diploma from Vivekenanda University in India as a Yoga teacher, and when I’m teaching Yoga I’m always playing Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby, so the lessons are more enjoyable!”
How did you first get into making music? What were your earliest musical ventures?
“I’ve always been singing, but I wrote my first song in Seattle, during the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle, with a friend of mine. It makes you feel good to work with people who are as passionate as you about music.”
What can we expect from your set at Sunsplash? Are you on a DJing or live tip, do you add vocals?
“I never make plans, but expect bossa and jazz for sure…I’m going to sing live and two members from Soundspecies also going to play with me.”
You collaborate a lot – with artists from London (Mr. Beatnick), California (Flying Lotus), Japan (Grooveman Spot) – how did you get in touch with them? Are you always seeking people to collaborate with?
“I’m never actually seeking: I met Nick at RBMA, Steve (FlyLo) on myspace at first, and Grooveman Spot sent me the track through Jazzy Sport. It’s all coincidence, if there’s such a thing as coincidence.”
“Flying Lotus and I realised that we were ‘seeing’ the music from the same perspective. It’s quite a visual thing for both of us.”
Tell us more about your work with Flying Lotus. What’s the collaborative process like? What’s the concept of Dolly?
“It was on myspace that we realised that we were ‘seeing’ the music from the same perspective. It’s quite a visual thing for both of us.
What do you generally sing about? Where do your lyrics come from?
“It depends on the music that I hear, if I listen to something and if i can ‘see’ something on that piece of music, I can write on it; it feels like the lyrics were already there, I’m just helping them to come out from where they’ve been hidden. That’s why probably I like soundtracks more and more.”
We hear you’re into classic divas and jazz. Who has particularly inspired you over the years?
“Yeah, I want to be a jazz diva [laughs]. Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Marlena Shaw, Carmen McRae, Billie Holiday, Natalie Cole and also I love The Clark Sisters and Mahalia Jackson.”
In Istanbul you host a show on Dinamo FM – could you tell us about it?
“It’s called Avant – Garde, it’s every Sunday 6pm-7pm (London time). You can listen to it online, I play whatever I like, Sunday vibes – check www.dinamo.fm.”
You also do quite a bit of TV work in Istanbul, right?
“I did…I was doing advertising, and writing TV scripts, I still love it, it’s fascinating to communicate with people and sell or define a product or an idea…in 10 seconds.”