A kaleidoscope of global influences and raw talent, Selin‘s music invites listeners on an unforgettable journey. Born in Istanbul and raised across Northern Ireland, London, and Scotland, her life experiences have shaped a sound that expertly combines rock legends, Y2K pop icons, and much more.
Launching her career in 2021 with the punchy and slick synth stylings of “Gidip Gel,” Selin has continued to demonstrate her versatility with each release. Her latest single, “LOVERS HURRICANE,” is a theatrical sad girl anthem penned in collaboration with Gil Lewis and acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Close. This sweeping ballad captures the emotions of a lost love affair that didn’t get its fairy-tale ending, as well as the maturity of learning from the past and moving on. The cinematic production provides the perfect backdrop for Selin’s rich and full-bodied vocals, delivering poignant and heartfelt lyrics that have already resonated with fans on TikTok.
In stark contrast to the pop-rock vibrancy of her breakout single “cool,” released in August 2022, “LOVERS HURRICANE” highlights Selin’s ability to switch between genres effortlessly. Selin’s joint single “Enemies” with Roxen gained a prominent spot on Spotify’s Times Square billboard, and her recent appointment as Gap’s brand ambassador in Türkiye is a testament to her rising commercial viability as an artist.
With her diverse influences, evocative lyrics, and powerful vocals, Selin is fast becoming a key name to watch in the music world. As she continues to work on her highly anticipated debut album, her star continues to rise, and it’s clear that Selin is poised to take the world by storm. Read on for the full interview.
Your music videos and social media presence showcases your unique sense of style and fresh take on beauty. How do you use these elements as a mode of expression in your music videos and on-stage performances?
Ah, thank you that’s so kind! I’m not sure if I can say I have a specific presence that I purposely try to push. I think the greatest element I push, is the organic reality of being my uttermost self. I’ll never force something upon myself, if a certain outfit or “look” doesn’t make me feel comfortable then I won’t do it. I think with videos, I usually go with an idea based upon how that specific song makes me feel.
I then usually pick an era of fashion to go with it, again based on what it makes me feel at the time. Stage-wise, my goal is to always deliver an authentic performance, to fully deliver the song in its rawest form, to connect with the crowd and allow them to feel the same sort of emotions. Keeping it personal always feels good. I always feel like my shows are myself, my band and just a room full of friends who share a common love for music. I think that’s what makes a show unforgettable. I still have a lot of learning and growing to do, and I’m excited to see where it takes me in a couple of years.
The visuals for “LOVERS HURRICANE” features stormy, dramatic visuals. Can you talk about the way these visuals reflect the emotions and message behind the song?
I wrote this song about a topic that I’d been keeping stored away inside of me for a while. To get to the point, the whole message behind this song, is the story of “the one that got away”. I think we all may have a person in our lives that we wish we could have gotten an ending with, or at least pushed further with. That lingering thought of “what if it worked” or “maybe if I had done THIS, perhaps then it would work?’.
The constant what-ifs can tend to eat us up inside. I had a similar experience with someone, and for a while I stored the unfinished “book” on a mental shelf in my head. Then one day when I was in the studio with Sarah close and Gill Lewis, we talked about this topic for a long time, and the song just flowed out. It was actually a relief to finally write about it. It genuinely felt like I finished this “book” myself, and I wrote the ending, and then once again stored it in my mental shelf. Who knows maybe one day the story can continue?
Your fans on TikTok have organically started creating POV videos using the sound. How does it feel to see your music inspiring others to express themselves creatively?
Honestly, it’s so interesting to see the different things people come up with, TikTok genuinely blows my mind. I have so much to learn from it still. It makes me feel quite happy when I see people relate to the lyrics (even though they are kinda sad) and make content to it. Knowing that it opened up a portal of inspiration or creativity from a song I wrote is quite touching actually, and not gonna lie, makes me feel a bit cool haha!
You also mentioned that writing “LOVERS HURRICANE” was like finishing a book. How important is it for you to use music as a catharsis for your emotions and experiences?
I think everyone has an outlet to fuel their emotions, mine in this case is through melodies, stories, and lyrics. I’m actually not so good at confrontation, it’s something I’m working on. So until I improve that, music will be the way I share my thoughts and inner questions to the external world. I strongly believe that we all have something that burns a fire in us, and on days when we don’t feel as bright or as good, it’s important to remember this fire within.
Perhaps on a day when the fire isn’t burning, we can use those internal “negative feelings” almost as bits of paper, or remainders to throw into this fire and make it grow. So that’s why my experiences and emotions are like the components I use to ignite this fire. It definitely helps haha!
Out of curiosity, you’ve collaborated with various songwriters, musicians, and have a diverse range of musical influences. In what ways have these collaborations and influences shaped your sound and personal style?
From a young age my taste and let’s say, palette in music has always been quite varied. I’ve never fixated upon a single genre and called it “mine”. I think I go through eras, just like seasons change, I tend to change and adapt my style according to what I’m listening to, or what perhaps people are listening to, or what’s trending sometimes. To me, all genres have something I can grab or learn from.
That’s why I enjoy collaborating with people in all genres and styles. I love electronic music, it taught me a lot about writing catchy quick easy to sing-a-long to melodies. I love rock music, I love the energy and rawness it can convey. I adore jazz, the tenderness of the melodies, the precision of the notes and scales. I love country music and its emotional heart-grabbing melodies and lyrics etc.
I’ve always been indecisive of what genre I am, but I came to the conclusion that there is no actual answer to that. Music is a color palette, and it’s up to the painter to decide what color or colors they want to paint with. One day it can be just green, one day it can be blue. That’s completely up to us! : )
That being said, you have a multicultural background, having lived in various countries throughout your life. How has this unique perspective influenced your music and creative process?
Being Turkish, but growing up in UK, has definitely shown me both cultures in a different light. In no way am I able to say I am fully up to date and informed to the fullest regarding the two cultures, but it’s taught me a lot. Music wise I was exposed to the Turkish music my grandparents listened to in the car, the Turkish folk music my father played at home. Then of course the younger generations’ music around the time I was growing up in high school in the UK. They all added a sort of influence in my life.
Moving around and constantly transferring schools wasn’t always easy, but looking back it’s taught me how to adapt into different social circles. Making friends or networking was never an issue, and I think that comes from the constant change of environment that I experienced because each time we moved, I had to push myself to make new friends. Which definitely fed into my ability to be comfortable on stage. Language is also a big part of it. Western and Eastern melodies have many similarities but also large differences, so growing up on a diet of both gave me access to discover different aspects of each.
I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but writing in Turkish challenged me, and somehow that fed into my way of writing in English. I guess we could say I like to use spices from both kitchens and see what happens! It’s interesting to show the Western world of music a more eastern side and vice versa : )
Pivoting back into fashion, it obviously informs your image as an artist—how would you describe your style and what are your fave trends at the moment?
Honestly, I never looked at myself and decided one day that I would have a “Specific style” but I think I’m really drawn to the ’70s/80s era. I love experimenting with the timeless styles from then. I can’t leave the house without my favorite (faux) leather jacket and a pair of retro sunglasses. Icons like Bowie, Shania Twain, Cher, Stevie Nicks etc. all influence my style. I’d say it’s a dash of 70s with a sprinkle of 00s. Again, it’s kind of up to what I’m feeling.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
If emotionally you feel drained and near to the sensation of giving up. Don’t. Your work and effort will always pay off, and life will come with its rewards. Stick to your goals, be gentle to yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient, but keep going. Because if you can visualize it, then it’s not long till it will happen. You got this.