Can Bonomo, one of the most popular names among young Turkish music fans, will represent Turkey in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the singer/songwriter’s management announced Monday.
“This has been a huge surprise for me,” Bonomo said during an interview aired live Monday evening on the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation’s (TRT) TRT-1 during the station’s evening news.
Twenty-four-year-old Bonomo, an İzmir-born pop singer/songwriter who released his debut album “Meczup” (Lunatic) in January 2011, said during the interview that he was “glad and honored to have been given the chance to represent Turkey abroad.”
Monday’s announcement puts an end to months of speculation over who will represent Turkey this year at Eurovision, an annual topic of debate among the Turkish public that often divides opinions. Social media networks in Turkey had been abuzz for weeks with rumors over who would represent the country in the 2012 contest, with several acts – including those of rocker Şebnem Ferah and pop singers Atiye, Hande Yener and Murat Boz -- emerging as likely candidates on a speculated five-piece shortlist the TRT was considering for the Turkish entrant.
The TRT, which is the Turkish partner of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) -- the annual organizer of the Eurovision contest, boasts a board that annually selects an act to send to the competition. The board also takes into account results from online opinion polls on the TRT website as to which act should go to Eurovision, yet Bonomo was not among the likely candidates by Monday.
Bonomo said during Monday’s interview that he believed the TRT choice to send an up-and-coming act such as his own to Eurovision would encourage more aspiring musicians to burst onto the Turkish music scene.
Bonomo said he is planning to work on the song or songs he will propose to the TRT for the contest over the next month or so, during which he plans to stay away from his busy routine of making live appearances across Turkey.
Asked which language the song will be in, yet another topic of public debate in Turkey each year ahead of Eurovision, Bonomo told TRT he has not yet reached a decision. “I have a number of ideas [for the song], some of them are in Turkish and some are in English. We’ll select the one that suits me the most,” he added. Nevertheless, Bonomo noted, the song will be one “themed around the concepts of friendship, peace and happiness.”
Bonomo combines elements and instruments of rock and electronic music in his self-described style called “İstanbul music,” essentially an indie pop sound influenced by such diverse bands as The Beatles, The Shins, Wax Poetic, The Kinks and The Libertines. Bonomo said this sound is what defined his debut album, and the song he will sing at Eurovision will definitely be in the same style.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the 57th edition of the annual event, is scheduled for May 22-26 in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. Azerbaijan won the 2011 contest with Eldar & Nigar’s song “Running Scared.”