Journalist and author Ulrich Gutmair, commented on Ata Canani's song "Deutsche Freunde": "You listen to this song, and you immediately understand the situation of the singer, and the community he lives in."
Translated to Turkish by Sedef İlgiç.
Visual: Ulrich Gutmair, together with Ata Canani © Tal Sterngast
I heard the song “Deutsche Freunde” by Ata Canani for the first time ten years ago. My journalist friend Deniz Yücel had brought it to a party at TAZ, my newspaper, where I DJ’ed. He gave me a flash stick and said, “Now put this on, it’s much cooler than that stuff of yours.”
You can listen to Deutsche Freunde as a contemporary song. I like it, as it is very danceable. I found out only later that the music is set in the typical Ankara sound. I also asked Ata about the lyrics, the way he constructed them. The first part of the chorus line appears in between the verses, kind of like a preview from the future, because it’s only later, when the full chorus line is sung, that you understand what the Deutsche Freunde do and what distinguishes them from the Gastarbeiter. I found that quite fascinating poetically and Ata told me that it’s in following with a certain rhyme scheme that’s typical in Turkish songs.
The song has a very oriental Turkish vibe, plus German lyrics. That clash of cultures is beautiful.
On the other hand, it is like a punk song. Because it is very simply made, and it is getting across its message without any lyrical imagery, metaphors etc..
You do not need to take a seminar to understand it. You listen to this song, and you immediately understand the situation of the singer, and the community he lives in.
In this song that is 40 years old, you can find a specific part of German history, the story of Germany as a site of migration.
Now is the time for people to really understand and appreciate this song, in a moment when the story of Germany is being recognized as diverse.
You could find the German piece written on Ata Canani's album by Ulrich Gutmair here .
This piece is written in the framework of #60JahreMusik project financed by Berlin Yunus Emre Institute.