Bonomo to represent Turkey at Eurovision
The Eurovision contest is a source of national pride in Turkey and Bonomo calls it a great honour to represent his country.
By Menekse Tokyay for SES Türkiye in Istanbul -- 30/01/12
Can Bonomo, 24, was chosen by TRT to represent Turkey in this year's Eurovision contest, putting an end to months of speculation and debate.
Playing classical guitar when he was 8-years-old, he told SES Türkiye, "From my very early ages, my biggest ambition was to combine poems and music to compose."
He studied in the Cinema and Television Department at Bilgi University and worked for various TV and radio stations while a student.
He released his first album "Meczup" (Lunatic) in January 2011.
After TRT announced its selection, people second-guessed the choice, asking whether a better known artist would have been preferable, and wondering whether Bonomo was favoured within TRT. Some focused on his Jewish religion and ethnic roots, in a country struggling to overcome religious and ethnic boundaries.
Bonomo opts to avoid endless polemics. "I’m not doing popular music, but prefer an alternative one. So, I understand all the initial reactions towards me when TRT made its official announcement," he says.
He plans to perform a song emphasising peace, friendship and happiness.
In the past, TRT preferred well-known musicians like Sertab Erener or Hadise, but the choice of Bonomo could pave the way for younger artists.
Music industry representatives, ranging from performers to music critics, have mostly rallied to support him in representing Turkey.
"I’ve known him since 2006 and I noticed his creativity from the moment when he started his career in radio programmes," said Tolga Pozam, former radio broadcaster. "I think that the quality of his music has been increasing since I know him. I can describe him as an alternative urban singer having a modern bohemian spirit, which is also very clear in his latest album."
His fans hope he selects an original song for Eurovision, far from clichés and showing his creativeness. "He should have fun and entertain the audience at the same time," says Pozam.
Bonomo told SES Türkiye that he hasn't decided on a song yet. "We have basically three alternatives: some of them are in Turkish and some are in English," he explained, noting that songs in English have a better chance of winning.
Bonomo says being chosen to represent Turkey abroad is a great honour. "In the past, all musicians representing Turkey were successful in their own style."
His music combines elements of rock and electronic music, along with pop melodies. He is mainly influenced by bands like The Beatles, The Libertins, or the Kinks. The song he sings at the Eurovision contest is expected to be in the same style.
He also intends to show the cultural richness of Turkish music. According to music critics, his personal style of music will be unique and full of surprises. He likes to write the lyrics with comedy.
"I like Bonomo's music because it is funny and distinct," says fan Zeynep Toker.
The contest will be held from May 22nd to 26th in Baku, Azerbaijan.