A conversation with Hazal Selçuk about “Homeless Birds”

Q: Hi! What inspired you to write “Homeless Birds” and how did you come up with the idea?

A: The concept of home has always been an important subject for me. I had to learn to cultivate a sense of home within myself no matter where I am in the world. I struggled with a sense of not belonging. There are lots of people in the world who have to leave their home due to war. And many have nowhere to go. The global response to their pain varies, at times it is non-existent. With Homeless Birds I wanted to talk both about the pain of having to leave home and the struggle of not belonging.

Q: What message or theme do you hope readers take away from this single?

A: Pain eases when we feel seen and heard. I wanted to reach anyone who feels like a homeless bird and let them know they are not alone. 

Q: Can you describe your writing process and how it differed for this single compared to other pieces you’ve written?

A: My writing process was extremely intuitive. I did not have lyrics or any melody idea. I just knew the title of the song and I started with a chord I liked. The piece evolved from there. Other songs I have written took me longer to develop, but this one just wrote itself. 

Q: Are there any particular artists that have influenced your work, and if so, who?

A: There are many artists that inspire me. My father, Timur Selçuk was a composer. His work influenced me greatly. Apart from Turkish music, German composer Kurt Weill and Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim are composers I like listening over and over again. Overall any artform and artist inspires me to try something new.

Q: What challenges did you face while writing “Homeless Birds,” and how did you overcome them?

A: Trusting that my voice and ideas are worth sharing with others as an artist has been a challenge for me. I have to remind myself that making art is an ongoing process and there is no final arrival point. Bringing art into every day life has been an important practice for my well being. No matter what my artistic medium is, I consider art a tool where I can safely connect to myself, to my reactions/responses to life. I remind myself that this alone is a worthwhile endavour. I don’t need likes, subscribers or popularity to continue to be an artist. I just need a little support which I continue learning to give to myself.The critic eventually shuts up 🙂

Q: Are there any other forms of art (painting, film, etc) that you draw inspiration from or find yourself incorporating into your writing?

A: I have been a theater artist for many years. My songs draw a lot from theater creation process which is based on improvisation, character development and sponteneous discoveries in living life and nature. I make videos for my songs and almost always work with images and metaphors that deepen the meaning of the song for myself and hopefully for the audience as well.

Q: What other work do you have coming up that fans can look forward to?

A: I just released 10 songs of Kurt Weill. The arrangement is a jazz ensemble. I am singing in German, English and French. An album that I am finishing up which will come out in the fall consists of Turkish songs (they are fine examples of classical Turkish music and folk music). I arranged and sung them in a blend of genres, influenced by theatrical music, jazz and a cappella. I am also working on 2 albums that mainly will be my songs. I combine my releases with monthly vidoes in my Youtube channel and always include subtitles or some form of translation.