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Selda Bagcan comes to London

Turkish folk singer Selda Bagcan makes a rare UK appearance on 2 August as part of Southbank Centre’s Meltdown festival (1 – 12 August 2012). This is rare chance for her fans to see a living legend, who is still performing her best loved songs such as Ince Ince and Yalan Dunya. Selda, who is loved for her emotional voice, has recorded with many other artists such as Dadaslar, Mogallar, Arif Sag, Musa Eroglu, and the show will be a highlight of the summer for fans of Anatolian music.

Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival has been running since 1993 and each year invites a different cultural figure to act as director of the event and pick the performers of their choosing.  Previous directors include Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Jarvis Cocker, and Ray Davies. This year’s festival, which is part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World with MasterCard,  is curated by Antony from Mercury-award winning band Antony and the Johnsons. 

Meltdown is renowned for honouring the influence of cult artists, and this year is no exception, as Antony’s Meltdown will be remembered for reminding the world of the space-age Anatolian psych-folk-funk of Selda. Born in 1948 in Muğla, Bagcan showed an interest in music from an early age taking up the guitar and reinterpreting hundred-year-old Anatolian folk songs. She has always written songs that convey her strong political views, and during the 1980s when Turkey was experiencing an unstable period politically, her passport was seized, preventing her from appearing at Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD festival. She has been called a ‘Turkish Joan Baez’ and her music has become popular amongst fashionable young music lovers in the west. Her 1976 album ‘Selda’ was released on the Finders Keepers label in 2006 and her music has been sampled by dance producers 2Many DJs and hip-hop artist and producer Mos Def used Ince Ince on the track Supermagic. 

Meltdown is part of the London 2012 festival, a 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. Selda joins a Meltdown line-up that includes celebrated musicians Elizabeth Fraser, Lou Reed and Marc Almond, as well as performers from the New York underground scene and singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Antony, 19th Director of Southbank Centre’s Meltdown festival, said:

“I dreamed of assembling a constellation of courageous artists, all of whom have used their platforms as cultural producers to challenge us. They have exhibited a ferocity in their pursuit of beauty, and, falling like a guillotine behind it, justice.”

Antony’s Meltdown runs from 1st – 12th August 2012. 

Selda performs at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 2nd August, 7:30pm. Tickets £15 £12.50


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