Sezen Aksu was born in Denizli and spent much of her early years in Izmir, the romantic and nostalgic city on the Aegean coast of Turkey. She studied painting, music and theatre at school. While attending the Aegean University, she released her first musical composition with lyrics. This first song, 'Kaybolan Yillar' (Bygone Years), became a hit that touched thousands of people's hearts and marked the beginning of her professional career. Sezen Aksu is the first female Turkish artist who composes and performs her own music.
Her background and upbringing, which was surrounded by prominent specialists and teachers in Turkish Music, were vital to her work. She has composed songs that always appeal to everyone and have been influenced and inspired by the rich and colorful Anatolian cultures of her childhood. Literature, cinema, poetry and theatre remained close to her heart.
Having realized at an early age that what really matters is the soul, she headed for fields that would spiritually nourish her. Through her journey, she realized that music was her savior. Since childhood, she has been singing to express all of her feelings.
Sezen Aksu writes and performs most of her own songs. This gives her the chance to be one of the rare artists who shares her life's philosophy with her audience, who have become loyal followers of her work. Her experiences allow her to look at life through a window that she shares in every detail with her audience. Throughout the more than 500 songs she has written, she illustrates everything with perfectly chosen words – especially 'Love'. Love is and has always been her battlefield that she conquered with her awakening lyrics as well as heart-moving melodies. Her deep interest and familiarity in literature flows through her song lyrics that are unadorned yet very well mastered.
The book "Poems To Be" is a result of the remarkable poetic features of her lyrics. Her songs remind us of a world freed from negative beliefs. It is her passion and questioning attitude that sparks her awareness of humanity, of other lives and their innermost feelings. Her inspiring voice reminds us of an uncorrupted human nature. She provokes our most untamed human feelings through her lyrics and music. Her intuition sparks her compassion, allowing her to hear every message – all free from social, racial and national discrimination. She was there raising money for Turkey's biggest natural disaster, the 1999 earthquake, with her Aide Concert. She was also in Greece when they experienced a similar disaster. She has always taken a stand against injustice and inhumanity.
There were times she sang to give voice to the 'Saturday Mothers', whose children were lost in police custody. There have also been times when she has sung in different languages for people of different ethnic backgrounds living in Turkey for the sake of unity and peace. She supported a comprehensive educational schooling campaign for girls who have less opportunities compared to boys due to their parents’ poor socio-economic backgrounds. She created national awareness on the subject through her concert tours and album dedicated to the issue.
Sezen cherishes the bright side of life too. She is an eternally hopeful person. She enjoys life and encourages her audience to enjoy it to the fullest. She uses her acting skills to put a smile on their faces during her concerts. Her fun and humorous side reveals itself in her concerts. Joyful stories that have a 'stand up' styled flavor are another magnetic force that pulls thousands of people to her concerts. During concerts, she forms strong bonds between herself and her audiences. She has shared the same stage with many artists from different countries including Greek Haris Alexiou, Bosnian Goran Bregovic and Italian Alessandro Safina. International audiences all over the world identify with her voice, songs and delivery that have reached the maturity and level of universalism.
It is no surprise that Sezen Aksu's path always heads upwards. She has been honored more than 200 times in over 30 years. She has been selected the 'Artist of The Year' numerous times. With all of her albums, she has been in the pursuit of bettering herself, without trying to prove anything to others. She has been embraced by fans the moment her songs are released as they continue to keep the beat of the social pulse and address issues close to the hearts of the men and women on the street. She has supported many artists and is proud of their continuing success.
Sezen Aksu writes songs that we all feel in our hearts.