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Özlem Tekin

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Özlem Tekin was born in California, United States into a Turkish-American family. Her father Talat Tekin was a prominent Turkologist at UC Berkeley. The Tekins moved to Turkey when she was four years old. Özlem grew up in Ankara, where she went on to study classical western music at the Hacettepe University Music Conservatory in Ankara, specializing in the clarinet.

She started out as the vocalist in “The BAD.” The Bad was an underground rock band like most other rock bands and they would perform gigs at clubs, often playing covers from other popular bands. In 1993, she met Şebnem Ferah, who has now also become another recognized rock musician in Turkey, and became the keyboard player of the successful all-female rock band Volvox. Özlem occasionally performed as the lead singer as well.

While still in Volvox, she met Hakan Peker and they started working on her debut solo album in 1994. This album, Kime Ne (literally, who cares?), was eventually released in January 1996 to widespread critical acclaim. The first single Aşk Herşeyi Affeder Mi? (Does love forgive everything?) shot to the top of the charts. Other hit tracks include Duvaksız Gelin (Bride without a veil) and Herkes Şanslı Doğmuyor (Not everyone is born lucky).


Özlem Tekin then left Hakan Peker’s record label and went to İstanbul Plak (Istanbul Record) which also had acquired other popular singers like Tarkan. Her second album Öz (Pure) was released in February 1998. This spawned Yol (Road) which became an enormous hit.

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