With Turkvizyon 2016 under three months away, we caught up with Azeri born Seyran who will be taking to the stage in Turkey for Germany.

The Turkvizyon Song Contest is just three months away and in the first of many interviews with this years participants we caught up with Seyran who is representing Germany at Turkvizyon 2016. In the first of two parts of our interview with the German representative, we talk about his career to date, his participation in Intervision, Eurovision hopes and his love of German schlager.

Thanks so much for talking to us, we’re a few months out now from the Turkvizyon Song Contest, how are you feeling about competing?

Well, I’m looking forward to participating very much but first of all, I’m very happy to become a part of this contest, which is growing more and more and which becomes a more and more important event for the Turkish speaking people in their countries.

Now I want to work our way through your life so far, what was it as a child that drew you to singing, I know that your mother had a large influence on your interest in music?

Yes indeed, my mother is a pianist and piano teacher and therefore I grew up with music. Wonderful tones were everywhere and so I began to play piano first. But time after time I realised that for me, the famous musical instrument was not the piano but my voice. Already as a child I liked to sing the songs that I heard in TV or the Radio ….

Seyran

“It was a great experience that you’ll never forget in your life”

You went on to study in Moscow before moving to Germany with your family, what did your first experience of living outside of Azerbaijan in Moscow teach you and how do you think it influenced you as a person?

I went to Moscow in 2000; my family has already moved to Germany but I was fascinated by the Russian music and show business – something that didn’t exist in Azerbaijan at that time! And I wanted to reach more and something bigger with my music than it was possible to reach in my home country. Besides I speak Russian perfectly and so I came to the decision to move to Moscow to study singing. During that time I made really great experiences because I was successful there and was on stage with many popular Russian stars. That gave me a lot of energy … But there was also the desire to live with my family again. And therefore I decided to give up my life in Russia and move to Cologne, Germany, in 2005 – another big step for me, moving to a foreign Country with a foreign language … But now I can say: I don’t regret that step!

In 2008 you made your first steps onto the international stage when you represented Azerbaijan at the Intervision Song Contest in Sochi. How did your participation in Intervision come about and how did it help you grow as a singer?

The proposal was made spontaneous by the Azerbaijan Delegation that asked me if I were interested to participate. First of all I felt happy about that, on the other hand I was a little bit skeptical because the preliminary is really a big, big event, almost like the ESC itself. It lasted two weeks which were filled with TV interviews, preparations, arrangements, rehearsals … It was a great experience that you’ll never forget in your life. And besides it opened up many doors for me and my name became known in other countries too.

Seyran

“It was an affair of the heart for me to produce and sing songs in German”

Following on from Intervision you have go on to try to represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest, what was it that drew you to the Eurovision Song Contest?

I’ve always been a big fan of the ESC, of the great shows and the concept that brings together people from so many countries. It was always my ambition to be a part of that myself.

Last year you tried to represent Switzerland at Eurovision with “Keine Angst”, this was one of your first releases in German, what expectations did you have going into the selection?

First of all I liked the procedure of Switzerland – in a different way of Germany – to give many singers/songwriters the possibility to take place in a preliminary decision by presenting their song via Internet and to let people vote for their candidate. I produced the song “Keine Angst” and its video especially for this contest. Unfortunately it was not successful at that time, but I will try again …

This year has seen you release your third album, the first in German, what was behind your decision to move from singing in Azeri and Turkish to German?

I live in Cologne/Germany since 2005 – and I want to be a part of it. So it was an affair of the heart for me to produce and sing songs in German. Furthermore I am a fan of German “Schlager” and last not least I’m a big fan of Udo Jürgens and his songs.

In the second half of the interview to be published on Monday we will talk to Seyran about how he became involved in Turkvizyon, his hopes for the contest and what we can expect from his song.

The Turkvizyon Song Contest was first held in 2013 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. The contest which is open to Turkic nations and regions such as Turkey, Kazakhstan and Yakutia. The contest follows a similar format to the Eurovision Song Contest, with songs limited to being 4 minutes long. To date Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have won the contest.