Erkan Aki

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Erkan Aki

Erkan Aki (born June 20, 1969 in Sursee) is a Swiss cross-over singer between pop music and classics with Turkish descent. The classically trained tenor sings in seven languages.

Career[edit]

Erkan’s professional journey on the way to becoming one of the world’s best tenors started at the age of seventeen. After attending a performance of Johann Strauss’ operetta ”Die Fledermaus“ at the Zurich Opera House, he decided to study classical singing. The radiant elegance of this all-encompassing work of art which combines sophisticated operetta with the visual dazzle of architectural splendor left a lasting impression on young Erkan. Up to that point, his musical preferences had been more along the lines of contemporary sounds, e.g. the band Eurythmics and their lead singer Annie Lennox whose voice made a huge impression on Erkan Aki. Erkan Aki’s admiration for artists who have created their own style is endless, e.g. Fritz Wunderlich or the late, great Freddy Mercury of Queen fame. While studying under Swiss tenor and music teacher Paul Späni, Erkan specialized in Applied Vocal Music. However, in parallel to his singing lessons Erkan also successfully completed his education in business management during the period 1986 to 1989. After the death of his music teacher Paul Späni in 1993, Erkan decided to relocate to his second home away from home, back to his family’s roots in Istanbul, where he studied Music Theory for three years. On his return, he put himself in the capable hands of music professor Jane Thorner-Mengedoht of Zurich Music Conservatory. She has been mentoring him to this day and also teaches artists like Ana Maria Labin or Ruben Drole.

Erkan happened to make a studio recording with Atilla Sereftug, the composer of Grand Prix d‘Eurovision 1988 winning song “Ne partez pas sans moi“ made world-famous by Céline Dion. By sheer stroke of luck, this recording made it into the hands of renowned concert promoter and agent David Lieberberg who helped Erkan get his first record contract Aki recorded with producer Nigel Wright his first album “Here`s to the Heros“. The album stormed the German charts.

In 2013, Erkan accompanied soprano Sarah Brightman on her Dreamchaser World Tour, joining Brightman for the songs "Canto Della Terra" and "The Phantom of the Opera."

Life[edit]

Erkan Aki was born 20 June 1969 in the Swiss community of Sursee. His parents, mom Remziye and dad Ahmet, emigrated from Turkey to the Swiss Canton of Lucerne in the late 60s. Erkan and his two older brothers, Aykut and Harun, the latter having died in an accident in 1994, grew up as the product of two very different cultures. Both cultures have retained a powerful influence over Erkan’s life to this day, and are the driving force behind his active interest in integration processes. His awards in recognition of his efforts on behalf of intercultural projects include the 2002 German-Turkish Friendship Award. Until he was eleven years old, this Swiss with a Turkish background spent his childhood close to his native town of Willisau, a small-sized tourist attraction famous to this day for its international Jazz Festival. In 1980 the family relocated to Neftenbach in the greater Winterthur area where the parents opened a coffee house.

Later on, Erkan Aki moved to Zurich. In 1998, he had to cope with another second stroke of fate after the early death of his brother Harun: only four years after his brother died, his father Ahmet also died at 62. Erkan Aki then got to know his wife Anna Steiner through their music teacher Jane Thorner-Mengedoht. In 2010, their son was born. Erkan Aki is also committed to social activities, amongst others, to the José-Carreras-Foundation and UNICEF.

Awards[edit]

The artist received the German-Turkish Friendship Award for his work in intercultural projects in 2002.

Success[edit]

On the Eve of the new millennium in 1999, Erkan Aki performed at the Brandenburg Tor and performed his hit song “Here`s to the Heroes“. His follow-up album “Pop Classics“ was an impressive continuation of this trend, which first got the international press to recognize him as ”The Tenor Voice of Popular Classic“. His close affinity to Germany and the German-speaking countries and the considerable recognition received in these countries were the main reason behind Erkan’s decision to record his following album entitled ”Zeit der großen Gefühle“ (Time of Deep Emotions) in German language only. He recorded several titles for this album with international stars like Xavier Naidoo and Patricia Kaas, including the Maffay classic ”Über sieben Brücken musst du gehen“. The song “Unter der Haut“ by Patricia Kaas was recorded in a German-French version and was destined to become the title song of star-studded TV drama ”Sturmzeit“. His fourth studio album entitled “Songs for Lovers“ features a stunning celebrity guest – Montserrat Marti, the daughter of Montserrat Caballé. With his 5th album entitled “Music in my Heart“, Erkan Aki again dazzles us with his artistic versatility, interpreting arrangements of world hits like “The Power of Love“ or ”Time to Say Goodbye“ with his trademark soulful style. Two more albums follow in quick succession: “In Love for Europe“, which features him singing in seven different languages, and the Christmas album ”Romantische Weihnachten“. One of his live-performance highlights include his 2008 performance in the sold-out Xanten Arena, where, together with Montserrat Caballé, he dazzled his audience with a heady mix of popular classic hits and opera arias.The inevitable consequence was joint concert tours with international superstar Sarah Brightman: a 2009 tour of South and Central America, and a 2010 tour of Japan, China, Korea, and Canada. During the same time he was busy working on a best-of album which appeared on the market in 2009 under the title ”Nur die Hits“ (“Just the Hits”). Another event guaranteed to become the stuff of legends is his appearance in the Palace of Tranquil Longevity within Beijing’s Forbidden City. Erkan was the first artist ever to perform at this illustrious venue, on the occasion of a big gala held in September 2010.

Discography – CD and DVD[edit]

Previously published albums 1999 "Here's To The Heroes" 2000 "Pop Classics" 2001 "time of great emotion" 2002 "Songs for Lovers" 2005 "Music in my Heart" 2008 "Romantic Christmas" 2008 "In Love for Europe" 2009 "Only the hits" 2012 "True Love" (MOKOH Music) DVD Great voices, great songs " DVD The gala night of the German Tenors "

External links[edit]