Music is most peoples’ gateway to just put the world around us on ‘pause’ for a while and loose ourselves in feelings and emotions. And while most fans ‘only’ enjoy listening to their favourite musicians’ songs, some get even more inspired and cover their song of choice. This feature is about a very talented singer and drag fan, who has been wowing drag stan Twitter lately with her musical talent by creating beautiful cover mixes of different songs, drag or not. She even got the seal of approval of Sharon Needles herself!
We got to talk to Fulya about her passion for music and drag and we even got some helpful hints and tips on how to slay this thing called adult life!
Fulya: I’m from Turkey. Originally I got into the popular scene of drag via a youtube video a coworker of mine shared on his facebook. I was aware of drag as an art form but did not know about RPDR until then.
DA: We know you have a strong love for Sharon Needles, is it fair to say
she’s your favourite queen? If so why?
Fulya: She’s absolutely my favorite queen. But more than as a queen I see her as an artist. I appreciate her wit, talent and performances. I think she’s more than just fashion and makeup, she has a view point of politics and humor that I can relate to and it makes her stand out from other people as well. I was a fan of her through her cover of “why do you think you’re nuts”, and to me it was incredibly helpful through a tough time for me. The more I learned about her, the more I learned to accept myself as I am. If I was to say my favorite queen I might say Lady Bunny is my favorite queen, she’s legendary and I don’t think anyone else compares to her. But my favorite artist who’s also a queen is Sharon Needles.
DA: Do you have any local drag performers you could recommend to us? Also, how’s the drag scene where you’re from?
Fulya: I’m not very close to the Turkish drag scene but we have a really important queen figure in our culture whose name is “Huysuz Virjin” which translates to “Grumpy Virgin”. She’s, I believe, 83 years old currently and I’ve enjoyed her songs and performances when I was a child, all the way back in the 90’s. Granted I didn’t understand 80% of her jokes because they were so dirty but still her energy and sass was widely appreciated through the whole country, despite Turkey being a middle eastern country, as surprising as it sounds.
Currently the drag artists in Turkey I know are Matmazel Coco (@matmazelcocomc), Miranda Biranda (@miranda_biranda), Nurtopusaçan (@cakemosque) , Amanda İşbaşında (@amandaisbasinda), B@r@n (@alpisipisi) and while she’s a dancer she’s one of my favorite look queens Gia Andropgyny (@giaandrogyny). Some of them focus more on the popular and cultural side of Turkey in their art and I can’t say I’m a big follower because I don’t relate to the music or entertainment, but they are very good at what they do.
DA: You create amazing mash-up of songs and we love your voice! Have you
always been very passionate about music and singing?
Fulya: Thank you so much! I was involved with music from a young age because my parents both come from a musical background and especially my mom has always been very supportive of me. My grandfather was an opera artist, both my mom and dad are musicians with a classical background from one of the most prestigious conservatuaries in Italy. I had been accepted into Istanbul University Conservatuary when I was 9 years old and had attended it for 3 years under classical guitar, before I dropped out because I wanted to pursue science as a career and decided I could involve myself with music as a hobby if I had chosen to. When I was around 19 years old I applied for opera after a whole year of preparing as a mezzo soprano but I did not make the cut compared to the highly skilled opera singers who also applied with me back then :)) After that I had taken classes and performed as a jazz/bossa nova singer.
DA: What’s your favourite kind of music to listen to? And what are your
top 3 Drag queen songs?
Fulya: It depends mostly on my mood but I am very picky with music. I enjoy a wide range of genre from classical music to punk music, bossa nova and even rap. But I think it all boils down to the musical quality that speaks to me. My top 3 Drag Queen songs would be a tricky question, because I could list 3 of my favorite songs by a drag queen but they’re not necessarily under the category of “drag queen songs” because I see Sharon’s music much more than that. “Dead Dandelion”, “Everyday is Halloween” and “Hail Satan” would be my top three; dead dandelion is beautiful with both it’s lyrics and melody. Everyday is Halloween is in my opinion a cover that’s better than the original and the work of Armen Ra is genius and elevates the song into a haunted, magical level. Hail Satan I have picked partly because I am partial to punk rhythms and also because of Jayne County, what an incredible name to work with!
DA: How do you choose the songs to mix together? How long does finishing
a mix take you on average and do you have a favorite part in the process?
Fulya:I originally record a mock up cover over songs I already know and love and when I confirm that the songs fit together I open two channels of singing them over another. I sing the first part and then record the second part ie. harmonies, sing overs. It doesn’t take me longer than an hour and two because I’m impatient haha! But if I had the chance to record it with something more than just my phone, I’d be more of a perfectionist and so it’d take me a lot longer. My favorite part is when my friends listen and tell me they enjoyed listening to it. That’s the best feeling in the world.
DA: Are there any songs you would still like to cover? Or can we even
suggest songs to you?
Fulya:I have a list of songs I need to check, yesterday I tried my funny valentine/Don’t Share Your Needles with Sharon Needles and it surprisingly came out pretty cool. I also want to try and see if Girls Just Wanna Have Fun works with Dead Girls Never Say No. But I do want to expand my horizon into more songs in the future. I’ll be very happy if you suggest songs to me, as mashup or just covers. Rebel Yell was originally going to be a mash up with Dracula but Stephanie (@makeupmomma4) suggested Why do you think you’re nuts and it turned out to be even better!
DA: Let’s talk about the other life outside of the drag fandom: can you
tell us a little bit about your line of work and maybe give some advice
to people who aspire to pursue
a career in that field?
Fulya:I graduated from Ocean Sciences and had a scholarship in Japan to further study algae where I wrote my thesis. However currently I work in advertisement, digital marketing to be precise. I am a social media manager and I work with some big name brands as well as leading an operational team. I analyze and based on these reports I create a strategy for brands to follow online including tone of voice, contents and ads. My advice is to be online, read and analyze. Have an online presence too because the key to social marketing is becoming viral and the key to becoming viral is creating content that customers can relate to. Which is why it’s important to know the online language your target audience speaks but also promote your brand within the guidelines.
DA: Has there ever been a fangirl moment when a queen noticed you on
Fulya:Oh yes. Mostly whenever I get to talk to Sharon and Chad, because they are both artists I respect and love a lot. I feel extremely happy that they were both supportive with the covers I made, which is more than what I could have asked for.
DA: If you could perform with any queen, who would it be and what kind
Fulya:Oh Sharon, hands down! Are my answers even surprising to you at this point? Not only because I love her as a fan, I also think we are similar in sense of musical style, we both appreciate some old school punk and rock. I’d love to do back vocals for her, of course the show will be all her because I have zero to none stage presence. It would have to be with a live band because Sharon shines on stage with live music. Actually she can do the whole show, I just want to watch her be amazing HAHA!
That being said, performing a musical number with Jinkx Monsoon or Thorgy Thor would also be pretty cool. They’re also extremely talented musicians that I respect a lot. Can we just sing something from Jesus Christ Superstar or Hamilton? No? Let’s just go to karaoke at a broadway bar. I’m getting way over my head.
DA: Where can we listen to you? And do you have any music-related future
goals, might there even be chances of you publishing your music?
Fulya:At the moment I only have a soundcloud for the mash up songs I’m currently doing at : soundcloud.com/audionihilism.
In the future I’m going to continue performing at local jazz bars and I may have an album proposal but currently it’s in the works because I’m unsure of what kind of direction I want to take musically. It’s very likely that I’ll continue to do music though and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy what I make as well.
DragAdventures would like to thank Fulya for talking to us and we can’t wait to see where this musical journey will take you!
You can listen to Fulya’s creations on her soundcloud here.
Go follow her on Twitter (@audionihilism).