Turkish R&B artist emir taha on his musical firsts, from his first guitar to the first gigs and festivals he attended.
emir taha grew up in the seaside resort of Antalya in Turkey, where he took in the influences of classic guitar bands like Sting as well as Turkish artists like Barış Manço, whose international career in the 1960s has served as inspiration for taha throughout his career.
He first made his name with his YouTube covers when he was a teenager, which eventually picked up the attention of 2007 Eurovision contestant Kenan Dogulu, who became a mentor to taha. Recording music in both English and his native Turkish, taha’s mission has been to put Turkish music on the map, taking influence from traditional sounds without conceding to a Westernized and orientalist view of his country.
Using artists like The Weeknd and Kid Cudi as a blueprint, he burst onto the scene fully in 2020 with the release of his acclaimed first EP, ‘Hoppa pt. 1’, which was picked up by Spotify’s playlists and streamed millions of times. He followed it up with the release of ‘Hoppa pt. 2’ last year.
To celebrate the fast-growing career of this unique artist, Emir Taha sat down with Notion to chat about his musical firsts, from meeting his musical hero to his first festival. Dive in!
First song you ever made?
First song you released officially?
First CD or record you owned?
First time you realised you wanted to be an artist?
First gig and first festival you went to?
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?