Daily Sabah: Dear Buika, you are a shining star all over the world with your extraordinary voice. Can we get to know you better?
Buika: Honestly, I'm still discovering myself, and I feel like my story has just begun. Though I have always been in love with singing, and I remember myself as a little girl singing and dancing on the streets and in my house. Everybody was interested in music too. An African person loves to sing to purify the soul - I just sing because I don't want to hate. So, I am still trying to love people more and more, and singing really helps me to forgive.
DS: How were you discovered as a musician?
B: Since my very early childhood days I have always felt this energy to sing, and I believe my mother knew it too, but in fact my aunt was the one who supported me in the beginning, giving me a chance to perform at a hotel. That was my first-ever professional move. After all, I found myself surrounded by managers and professional people, giving me a chance to find a professional way to sing.
DS: How do you define your music?
B: I am not the one who tries to define my music, but I just feel like my music belongs to everyone, it represents our emotions, and I believe all people somehow live inside music. I sing flamenco, I sing jazz, I even sing some blues, but my music is all about our needs, our hopes and love.
DS: You don't have a musical education background. How did you learn to play so many musical instruments?
B: I guess it was luck. I had a very close neighbor named Jacob - he was a very clever boy, and he was really good at playing piano too. We were good friends, and I remember spending most of my time with him. He was around nine years old then, and he taught me to play the piano. He was my smart, lovely teacher and little brother, and he really encouraged me to try some other instruments too.
DS: You are from Africa, and you grew up in Spain. Have you ever faced racism because of your skin color?
B: We were the only black family in the neighborhood, but there was also a Chinese family. I remember myself hanging around with a little Chinese kid in the neighborhood too. We were just kids and had no idea about skin color. Even though we felt somehow we were different, our neighborhood was full of beautiful people - all the gypsy families were so warm, and all the families were very protective when it came to kids.
So, I grew up there, and I'm just lucky because I learned to accept people when I was so young.
DS: Your voice deeply affects listeners' hearts. One cannot help getting sad while listening to you singing. Has life treated you so badly?
B: I can easily say that I am somehow romantic, and I deeply believe in love, and I guess when you believe in love, you may feel somehow sad too. I believe some pain is good for all of us too because only after you love someone deeply, and only after you experience some pain, can you forget about yourself, and it gives you freedom.
DS: You have performed many concerts in Istanbul. What do you think about this city?
B: Every time I perform in Istanbul I feel like it's a very special occasion because I love the mystical historical feeling there. I also feel like Pasion Turca is my family - they have been representing me for so long that we are family. I'm also very excited about sharing the stage with Pink Martini; I know that our performance on July 15 is already sold out, and now they are going to perform the previous day too [July 14]. I feel like Turkish people love Pink Martini, and I am going to be part of it now.
DS: What do you think about Turkish music? Which Turkish musicians are you familiar with?
B: I know Fahir Atakoğlu well, and I guess he's not only a musician but also a magician. I love the way he touches his piano too. I also discovered Sezen Aksu, and I even wrote down some Spanish lyrics for one of her songs - I sometimes sing it out loud when I'm home. She feels so deep in her way of transmitting emotions.