Barista (Bahadır Han Eryılmaz) is a Turkish musician with multiple influences who has decided to release a 5-volume EP set of a total of 26 tracks. Open Sesame is his third album after Daydream (2014) and 57 (2016). He has actually recorded 39 songs for the Open Sesame project and has simply chosen the best of them according to genres. Volume 2 appears to be 80s MOR influenced.
Barista has no formal music training but feels this multi-volume release shows how he is growing as a musician, but still retaining what he calls the ‘naïve enthusiasm’ of his first album. He describes his music as ‘satisfying, multi-layered, with substance and detail’ and says that he wanted the lyrics ‘to convey a theme, story, idea, or experience in unity’. He doesn’t wish for commercial success and doesn’t want to play live. He prefers that people are aware of the album even though it is unlikely to appeal to anyone who prefers the current trends.
And the music? There’s a touch of country, a hint of Bryan Adams, Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen. It’s get up and dance music, wide open sky and fast car listening. Guitars and drums and soaring vocals. A tune you can hum. Lyrics you could learn. It takes you away from where you are, and puts you firmly on holiday. He recorded the demos in his studio in Istanbul and laid down most of the tunes in Ojai, California with an all-star cast of supporting musicians including Simon Phillips (one of his heroes), Jesse Siebenberg and Sara Azriel. Thanks to the supporting musicians, most of the songs are sung in English and all the instruments are played live. Barista admits that Turkish does not lend itself easily to the sound he wanted to create, but says that he wanted to make the music he missed hearing. He chose to write English-language lyrics because most rock music is sung in English.
Barista says that he is an introvert by nature, but he wants to share his experiences through original music because it heals his inner world. His influences are wide and varied, including Toto, Styx, the Alan Parsons Project, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, Steve Winwood, Journey, Supertramp and Turkish folk music. He doesn’t consider himself a full time musician though, saying that he ‘makes his living otherwise’. He uses music as an outlet, but has the luxury of some high-powered connections to help him make the music that he misses.
This may not be a chart success, but for listeners who came of musical majority in the 80s, or those who like that style, Open Sesame Vol. 2: Press Rewind by Barista will be very happy listening.
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