Zerrin Özer Bookmark and Share


4 november 1957

Zerrin was born in 1957 in Ankara, Turkey, as the younger sister of singer Tülay Özer. She had singing lessons in traditional music but her big example was Janis Joplin. In 1975 Zerrin entered a talentshow for the Turkish TRT television. She won first prize and was allowed to record her first album called ‘Bizler ve Sizler - Yalvaririm’ which came out in 1976. Between 1978-1980 she worked with İstanbul Gelişim Orchestra on jazz and dance music projects. In 1980, Özer teamed up with songwriter Ohran Gencebay  for the album ‘Gönül’. The album was more pop and less traditional. In 1982 she performed ‘Binbir gece’ (‘Thousand and one nights’) concerts at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. A year later Özer performed in Olympia Hall in Paris. During the eighties Zerrin kept switching between pop and traditional with albums like ‘Dayanamıyorum’ in 1987 and ‘Dünya Tatlısı’ in 1988 to fall in last category. These albums show the full potential of the vocal range Zerrin has.

 In 1990 Özer married to Alper Önal, but divorced a year later. In 1991 her album ‘Sevdigini Bil ‘ flopped big time at which point Zerrin proclaimed to stop her singing career. The album ‘Olay Olay’  was filled with leftovers from her former recording sessions. The retreat didn’t hold however because in 1996 Zerrin was back in form and on stage. Her 1996/97 album zold very well but it was with ‘Bir Zerrin Özer arsivi ‘ that she again received critical acclaim. The follow up album ‘Ben’  sold over 1,5 million copies in Turkey. In 2006 she married for the second time with Levent Süren.

On the web:

- Zerrin's official website: http://www.zerrinozer.us

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Sanne Salomonsen (Sweden)

What do we think:

PR: The first Zerrin album I heared was 'Olay olay', which is absolutely not like her other albums, I discovered later on. But anyway, the album contained some unearthly sounds by a platinum blonde singer with an extremely loud voice over eurobeats. I did not know what to make of it - was it good, experimental Turkish music or just cheap superficiel eurodisco? I gave it the benefit of the doubt and bought some other albums by Zerrin. They were much more traditional Turkish popmusic, but still with that great voice and facinating rhythms. Since then, I consider myself as a true Zerrin-fan and Zerrin one of the diva's of Turkish popmusic.

DB: The story goes that Zerrin sold her vocal cords to Japanese scientists for a huge amount of money. After her death the cords go to them for research since she has such a exceptional voice. This is a somewhat bizar story but hearing Zerrin's voice i wouldn't be surprised if she actually did it. Although she made a fair amount of modern sounding albums my favourite is 'Dayanamıyoum' with its hypnotic traditional music. The album sounds like one continues track bringing you in a trance and imagening your on a cameltrip in the dessert.

Recommended albums :

♪♪♪♪ - Dayanamıyoum - 1987

Dünya tatlısı - 1988

Sevildiğini bil - 1991

♪♪♪ - Olay olay - 1992

♪♪♪♪♪ - Zerrin Özer 97 - 1997

♪♪♪ - Bir Zerrin Özer arşivi - 2000

- Dünya tatlısı - 2000

♪♪ - Ben - 2002

♪♪♪ - Ölürüm ben sana - 2002

Further listening:

Seni Seviyorum - 1980; Sevgiler - 1980; Ve Zerrin Özer - 1981; Gelecek misin? - 1982; Mutluluklar Dilerim - 1984; Kırmızı - 1985; Evcilik Oyunu - 1985; İşte Ben - 1990; Zerrin Özer - 1996; Ve Böyle Bir Şey - 2005; Ömür Geçiyor & Zerrin Özer - 2007

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided