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State of The Union

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

That one time I performed at Ghetto with Bombasoul

Advertised with a tongue-in-cheek poster (above), supposedly pasted from an imaginary magazine out of the 1950's, State Of The Union performance with Bombasoul was a one-off experiment that did not work.

For starters, the poster did not resonate with the audience. When the owner of Ghetto approached us with the idea of a performance, we specifically chose the date 15th of November, the date our de-facto state, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, was established in 1983. There was actually no intend of any sort, it just seemed funny or out of the ordinary to choose this date, and we set out to use this fact as a sarcastic celebration of sorts, laughing to our own little problems. 2014 was also the tenth year since Cyprus became a member of the European union, but not the Nort side, only south... In many articles about Cyprus, one can see that it is a member of the EU and that the north part is an illegally occupied zone with its own de-facto state. As if we don't even exist! As such, we created this text and poster, sarcastically claiming our existence, and that we are of no less than our Greek Cypriot neighbours. The whole idea did not resonate, perhaps it was not understood at all. I think people took it too literally and failed to see the sarcasm.

Ghetto is an established restaurant with a customer profile of mostly left-field, progressive, artistic and literate people. It is an oasis that such people feel at home, and with good reason. It is not, however, a place that DJ's and other forms of loud musical events take place. For this one occasion, Nevzat, the owner, wanted to see how it would be to have such an event. Bombasoul and I were a bit reluctant, it was a restaurant after all, how would a loud, dance-oriented event would even be possible in such a place? Would people bite their pizza's while we bang away the dancefloor? Will there even be a dancefloor?

In order to create an anticipation towards the event, I created a series of short videos, exploring themes of food, dancing, and dating.

When the night kicked off, it was obvious that this was not going to be a packed night! A few of our friends, and a few other noticeably unhappy customers who were only there for the food. For someone who are familiar with my music, this was the event I debuted "Pembe Koyun" and "Please Stay", both of which, I think, are better known pieces of mine, at least here in our small de-facto state...

I had my GoPro camera with me and managed to capture some of the vibe and look of that night (see the video below). All in all, thinking back to this day, I think we had some fun doing it despite the circumstances. However, it was a failure on many different levels. The whole concept about 15th of November and the sarcastic poster did not spark any interest, the videos failed to generate much interest, and the venue itself, a restaurant, was ill suited to begin with.

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