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  • Born

    14 October 1956 (age 66)

  • Born In

    Osmaniye, Turkey

Ümit Besen (b. 1956, Osmaniye) represents the darker side of Tarabya school of electronic music. He started his professional career by playing keyboards and singing with his band at the local clubs in Adana, Southern Turkey. While he was in the army for his obligatory service, a brigadier-general (Brigadier in Commonwealth armies) liked his style and appointed him with the task of singing at the officers' mess.

After the completion of his 18 months service he returned to Adana. While singing and playing to make his living, one day Turkish football legend Metin Oktay visited the club in which he was working. Amazed by the power of his voice and his knowledge of synthesizers, Metin Oktay recommended him to his club owner friends in Istanbul.

In Istanbul he kept playing at famous clubs and finally he was teamed up with legendary songwriters Selami Sahin and Ahmet Selçuk İlkan to record his first LP. The result was not only a commercial miracle but also an album that is still regarded by many as the best Turkish electronic album of all time.

Although not being as popular as he was in the 80s, Ümit is probably one of the best known artists to have emerged from the legendary Tarabya scene, only second to Cengiz Kurtoğlu if not the best known.

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