June 29, 2022

By Roland Eyerich ….

The Hilmi Özakin Band were guests at The Soulist Coffee and Music House in Alsancak on Friday 28th February.  A premiere for the new project from Hilmi Özakin performing “Pop – Soul – Rock – Classics“.

When you go to a concert of Hilmi Özakin, it`s not a surprise, he always presents a melting pot of hip music covers. He did it with his former Band, The Healers, with “Reggae” taking us on a trip from Jamaica via the UK to the Ivory Coast, and also on this Friday night event with a melting pot of Pop – Soul – Rock and also Reggae songs.

For the first time The Hilmi Özakin Band with this new program were on stage at The Soulist. It was a successful premiere for this new program, including Bill Withers, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Bobby McFerin, Police, Gnarls Barkley, Maroon 5, Santana, Doobie Brothers and of course Bob Marley.

Hilmi Özakin:
Since I started to play guitar when I was 14/15 years old, I always liked foreign music (English music). From that time I listened to English music more than Turkish music, to be honest I’m not listening to much Turkish music at all. The Playlist is not a list of a specific kind of music. There is pop, rock, old and new music… any kind that I like in it. I also try to choose songs which most people know or listen to on the radio to fill in, so people can enjoy and have fun while they listen our music.

The band started with the Bill Withers classic Ain´t No Sunshine and Part Time Lover by Stevie Wonder for the show. A good mix of pop-soul-rock classics followed. You could feel the love for music from Hilmi in the songs. He pulls the band up and this was also transferred to the guests at the Soulist. The songs are not just covered … Hilmi and his band performed these songs in the Hilmi Özakin band style, personal character and voice from Hilmi and the special interpretation of the songs …. Hilmi and his band want people to have fun when coming to their concerts.

So on this night at the Soulist Coffee & Music House, there was great feeling and  atmosphere with a change in the program at the end, after a nearly 2½ hour gig. The Hilmi Özakin Band started with Englishman in New York and Smooth as the opener for a Reggae finale and songs from Bob Marley – Shine, LaLaLong, Stir It Up and Songs for Freedom. Reggae – the real power of this band.

The Hilmi Özakin Band with a successful Debut at “The Soulist”.

The Band:

Vocal & Guitar – Hilmi Özakın (ex-The Healers)

Drums –  Altuğ Çevik (Öldüren Şampanya)

Bass –  Güven Çağlar (ex-The Healers)

Guitar –   Ümit Tulumbacı (ex-The Healers)

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