All Music Guide Biography by Vefik Karaege
Protest Anatolian pop/folk/psychedelic singer Selda is the leading female artist in a male-dominant world. Her intense voice and impressive skill at reinterpreting hundred-year-old Turkish folk tunes have supplied her a well-deserved fame all around the world, even though she was a bit late to be received. On the other hand, because of her political views, she was banned, imprisoned, and abandoned in the chaotic years of Turkish history.
Selda Bagcan was born in 1948. She grew up in a well-educated family, where she showed interest in music at an early age. She played the guitar for pleasure, until her first two singles recorded in 1971 sold almost a million copies. That was the turning point for her, and step by step, she became one of the most influential female figures in the Turkish folk scene. She recorded a single with Mogollar in 1972. Same year, she was sent to Bulgaria by the Turkish government to participate in the Golden Orfeus Festival. The 1970s were the peak years of Selda's career as she heavily toured Turkey and Europe while she was building up a large fan base. Her self-titled first LP was released in 1976. Her much-anticipated debut is one of the most precious items of every collector. This LP showcases her more psych-prog side more than her later works.
After the infamous military coup in 1980, her passport was seized by the government and she couldn't leave the country until 1987. Meanwhile, she missed the opportunity to attend the WOMAD Foundation Festival, which was inspired by Peter Gabriel. She was imprisoned in 1982 and again in 1984. After 1987, Selda took the stage in numerous festivals in both Turkey and Europe. In 1990, she bought the rights to her own recordings. In 1994, she started re-releasing them in a series of albums named Turkulerimiz from her own record company Major Muzik — latest being Turkulerimiz 6 which was released in 2006. Her most recent album of original material, Anne Ben Geldim, was released in 2002.
After surviving a serious accident in 2000 while she was touring, Selda was relatively lucky in the new millennium with the rediscovery of Turkish psychedelic-era music by European and American collectors. Her first LP, Selda, was re-released in 2006 by Finders Keepers, but was met with grave reviews
Check out these sites to get info on her entire discography and further biographical information: