Let’s rock in Kurdish
A new album by Kurdish musician Dilsen Roni has been released.
The new album Xewna Derew (Lie Dream) signed by Kurdish artist Diljen Roni, has been released by Kom Müzik.
In the album, Roni, which interprets the work of Koma Wetan soloist Kerem Gerdenzeri and his song ‘Sînê’, also performs the song ‘Ez û Yar’ (Yar and I) by Hozan Dilges, whose lyrics belong to the famous Kurdish Poet Cigerxwîn.
The album ‘Xewna Derew’ consists of 9 songs, 4 of them written by Roni who also composed the music of 7 songs.
Diljen Roni was influenced by social events, such as Cizre siege and the death of Ugur Kaymaz.
The artist answered ANF's questions about his new album and Kurdish music.
Your choice of style resembles that of Ciwan Hodja. What do you think about that?
There is not much style in Kurdish music. This is a major shortcoming. There are very few people who do rock music. Rock music has some guttural tones. Ciwan Hoca was the first to use this guttural tone, we listened it from him. I'm a fan of him. That's why my voice at times may sounds like his. But this is my style and I am comfortable with it.
In the 90s, Kurdish music was repeating itself constantly, but in the last period it is possible to see musicians searching for something new. Do you think that the audience kind of prompted this search?
We have a language problem. That language has a human impact. The assimilation of the language has implications. Now the times are changing, and any person in Cizre can go online and listen to Pink Floyd on their phone. This kind of stimulated us. People no longer began to dislike old songs, but the new generation had directly grown up with western music. The expectations of the people were shaped as required by the times. The pressures were at the highest level in the 90s.
At that time, the music in Kurdish language had a different feeling and had a say. Those who made Kurdish music during that period entered a vicious circle in the next stage and ended up not keeping up with the changing times. The reason why young musicians are in search of different directions is that society is changing. Besides, we can't give a concert. We cannot get enough dialogue with the audience. People can't go to Kurdish music concerts. There is also a disconnection from this situation.
There is a need to be open to pop and rock music
There is much difference between the conjuncture of the 90s and the present. Now people need to make better music. There is a need for a new market, because the biggest problem of those who make Kurdish music is the way we transfer music to the audience, especially for musicians who make alternative music and who have less listeners.
My biggest mission here is to get Kurds who listen to Turkish pop, and Kurdish pop and Turkish rock, to listen to Kurdish rock and to work accordingly. When they listen to Kurdish rock, they will absorb this more, because it is their mother tongue. Therefore, I think that it is necessary to open up channels to these styles and to move forward.
In an interview, you said that geography has an intense impact on music. How do you define the Cudi mountain and the Marmara Sea? What's the difference for you?
Music has to do with feeling. To scribble something is also a matter of feeling. In life, this can be a social event or a special event, you can look at the feelings of that moment and write something down immediately. Geography also has a lot of influence on people. If the environment in which we live can determine a person's mood, it can also set the lyrics and melodies he writes. I stayed in Cizre for 8 years. I did two albums during that time.
You can smell Botan in those two albums. It was certainly like this because I was opening my eyes to Mount Cudi in the morning. I was going out and everyone was speaking Kurdish. A sense of belonging raises people's feelings. Things in Istanbul has become completely different. Everyone speaks Turkish; different language. Also a different geography.
We can note a style change between your albums. There were Kurdish classics in the previous album, now Kurdish Rock. Does this transition have any meaning?
I made my first album ‘Çend Gotinen Evine’ in Cizre. I felt a responsibility because it was my first album. Actually, my style is pop-rock. These are the styles that I feel most comfortably with, but I have grown up with the songs of Botan. The base of my art is full of Mehmed Arif Ciziri. Of course the possibilities were also many and effective. You have to say everything together. When I said ‘I regret this’, I thought I should create my own style.
I decided to release my album Klasike Kurdi after listening and recording classic songs at home, concert or in other places. I studied all details in order to ensure that the result was really classical Kurdish music. This album reflects me. When Diljen Roni is mentioned, Xewna Derew will come to mind. Because my next albums will sound like that.
If we talk about poetry, how do you feel the connection between poetry and music?
I'm not a poet, but I've written most of the lyrics in all three albums. I composed Kani, an instrumental. I didn’t need the feel to sing in that album. I’m trying to write what I feel. I am very affected by the environment; TV news, pain, drama. For example, Kani was a reflection of my childhood in Cizre, in the war environment.
Arjen Ari wrote for Ugur Kaymaz ‘Beri Her Zaroki’ and I wrote the music for it and it features in my second album. I was very affected by the story of Ugur Kaymaz. Because I saw my childhood in Ugur Kaymaz. My childhood could have been just like him.
In my last album, I gave more transcendence from a love point of view. For example, Xewne Drew is such a work. So in general, when I wrote is something I feel.
Xewne Derew has been launched on 19 November. Was it important for you to launch the album in Kurdish?
Musicians should take care of their works first. First, you must define your own work. ‘I did this work, I did it for you. I suggest you listen to it’.
There is so much technology available that is not enough to record the album and leave it to someone else to do the promotion work.
I hope that this new album will open a new road for Kurdish musicians.
I do rock music. I do rock music in Kurdish. That's what I mean. This is not Kurdish music. What I do is music in Kurdish. You can do rock music in different languages. What we can call Kurdish music is the Dengbej tradition.
People have confusion when it comes to concepts. We make music in Kurdish. We use saxophone, an instrument you won’t find in Kurdish music.