We continue our "up, close & personal" question series with Berlin based Hüma Utku as R.A.N. "Roads At Night" as full, R.A.N released an album "Her Trembling Ceased" and a remix EP "Stories Retold" with Partapart. R.A.N's music has a lot to tell - even without any lyrics. Though here's her thoughts in words about her perspective of the environment that shapes her music.
how does music occupy your daily life - physically and mentally?
Now that you ask I realize that I have music in the background almost all the time. When I go to work in the morning I’m either listening to music or I have a music piece stuck in my head. I put my headphones on as I work. On my way back I listen to music in the train. When I’m home I either put on music or I work on my own music. Even right now I am listening to the latest single of IAMX. Crazy.
how does the city you live in shape your music emotionally and sound wise?
Living in a city like Berlin, it’s impossible to deny the city’s influence. Sound wise Berlin really helped me to expand my boundaries and have confidence in whatever I do. In this sense I find Istanbul pretty limited when it comes to variety of sounds in a certain art scene. The Istanbullus have a strict sense of what sounds cool and what looks cool – we are pretty judgemental, I think. You can actually see this in our daily lives as well. In Berlin, everything seems to be welcomed in the art scene. I have seen literally everything here. This being said, it’s harder to get recognized in Berlin. If you’re an artist, you’ll have tough competitors from all over the world. To be appreciated, you have to be really honest with your work and underline your own authenticity because the audience here is simply jaded. It’s harder to impress them and awaken their curiosity.
Emotionally, I’m someone who is more productive when I get some introverted and down time. This city respects personal space and actually, it leaves you alone...really, really alone. This has both negative and positive sides. In any case, it helps me listen to the sound in my head.
have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? (if yes, how? if not how do you expect it to happen?)
I don’t think so…not yet, probably. I recently did my first performance as R.A.N in Berlin and received amazing feedback from the audience. So that was my 1 minute of fame may be.
how did one non-musical subject affect your music?
I would say my family. Both the humans and the animals in my family affect my music.
I can talk a bit about the animals as they are a recurring theme in R.A.N visuals and story. The album cover of Her Trembling Ceased there’s a Bear. The video of the track ‘’Her Trembling Ceased’’ has dogs in it (which is specifically asked for). I recently got R.A.N stickers printed with a Wolf figure and Deer figure on them. Animals are a big influence of my life therefore on my music. I was lucky enough to grow up with dogs. I’ve done some Wildlife work with large predators and birds. I’ve done animal rights work both organized and individually. To me watching and communicating with animals is a fountain of inspiration. Variety of characters, habitats, voices. It’s impossible for me to keep them out of anything I do.
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