A prominent name in all branches of music: Buket BaharBuket Bahar, whom we know from musicals and music performances, lately started doing Turkish adaptation of theme songs for famous animated cartoons. She is also singing these songs. We talked with Buket Bahar about performance arts and her work in the field of education.
Who is Buket Bahar?
I was born in Istanbul, in 1977. I grew up in Tekirdag. I graduated from Besiktas Ataturk Anadolu High School and then studied Chemical Engineering at Istanbul University. I also studied Musical Theater at the Conservatory.
Our community is mostly familiar with your work in various musicals. Could you tell us about that?
My musical theater adventure started in 1992 with Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat musical put on stage by Dostluk Yurdu Dernegi (DYD). Dear Izzet Bana was the one who gave me a chance and cast me for this musical. In the following years, I continued performing in musicals including Cats, Les Misérables, Evita, Miss Saigon, Grease, Irma La Douce, Cabaret, Kula 930 and Masada. With the help of someone who has watched these Musicals, in 1997 for the first time I played at “Anlat Sehrazat- Explain Sehrazat” musical, professionally. This experience has been the starting point of many new things for me. The last musical plays I was cast in were, “Rock Musicals”, a project that included musical numbers from famous musicals including Rent, Hair and We Will Rock You and “Footloose”.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t aware of my talent in music, until after I returned from Tekirdag. When I was in Tekirdag, all I did regarding music was play the organ and the piano. Like many of my friends, DYD allowed me to discover and improve my talent.
Besides musicals, you have had experience as a soloist in our community and the broader society.
I started my career as a soloist with the band Grup Garsongs, a band we started with my close friends. Later, I worked with Grup Ronesans and Orchestra Vals. Also, I have performed as a vocalist for various singers. In short, I have been performing in concerts with my band and other bands since 2000. I took the stage at the reception held by Israeli Consulate General on the occasion of Israel’s 69th year anniversary. Even though I’ve performed as a soloist in various concerts, the concerts I enjoyed the most were the ones I performed Broadway musical numbers alongside dear Jerfi Aji playing the piano. Songs from musicals have a special place in my heart!
During this process, there has been one very happy moment for me. Sometimes people think to themselves, “No, come on, not in this world. It’s not possible!” Well, that impossible thing happened to me three years ago. At the studio recording of Lara Fabian’s “Voce” song which she sang for San Remo Music Festival, through a friend of mine, I had the chance to sing back vocal. As luck would have it, the arranger of the recording was Mustafa Ceceli and he was doing it in Istanbul! So never say never!
How did you start teaching music?
I like being a teacher. I like sharing my knowledge and learning new things from students. That’s why, after graduating from conservatory, I wanted to become a teacher. For the last 7 years, I’ve been teaching music lessons at Aci Schools. Working with children and teenagers make me happy. Sometimes we do ensembles, sometimes we do chorus and sometimes I work with them individually. We sing songs. Thanks to them, my music repertoire broadened incredibly. (compulsory!) I am listening to songs I never imagined I would.
You are also doing Turkish adaptation of theme songs from animated cartoons and singing these songs…
It happened while I was eating Lahmacun at Buyukada (Princess Islands). It sounds like I’m joking, but I’m not. I was waiting for the ferry to take me to the city and I was eating while waiting. I met an old friend at that very restaurant whose husband coincidentally works at a company that brought Regal Academy to Turkey. After brief interviews, I first made a demo tape, then I sang at an audition and finally I was chosen to sing the whole songs of Regal Academy season one. I did the Turkish adaptation of 12 songs and I sang them. You can watch them on YouTube. It’s such a fun animated cartoon series. My last project was “World of Winx”. I did the Turkish adaptation of season one’s songs and sang them.
Before animated cartoons, I enjoyed Turkish adaptation of musical numbers, immensely. Being a studio singer, adapting and singing jingles and songs from animated cartoons are my favorite. I hope, one day I’ll have the chance to sing for Disney animations.
What is your advice for young people who wish to study music?
Do not restrict yourself with only one source of education. Be inquisitive, make research, use the latest technologies to improve yourself. “I don’t have time, I don’t have the means, it’s too far for me to go” … These excuses are no longer valid. You should definitely follow esteemed music schools online. There are ones that are free of charge. Use library sources. Today, accessing information and resources is only one click away.