Young Pals Music, helmed by Ayhan Sahin, was blessed with a full slate in 2009, keeping the studio and record label happily humming. Among the highlights of the year:
Ayhan joined forces with Dennis DelGaudio to form DNA, a music production house and new indie label. First projects include house favorite Karine Hannah, “Rockstar Supernova’s” Jill Gioia, “American Idol” contestant Normund Gentle (aka Nick Mitchell) and various other ongoing production projects.
Karine Hannah’s second full-length project “Karine,” produced by and co-written with Ayhan, was released in January in the U.S. and Turkey. In the latter nation, the national press was particularly attentive—thanks to Karine’s earlier connection with Turkish singing sensation Sezen Aksu—including pieces for CNN, Hurriyet and Sabah. Single “Gone” was given a dance rerub by nationally renowned remixer Craig C., while Karine made her live New York debut at The Metropolitan Room in September 2009, with DNA serving as musical director. Her new album, produced by DNA, is due in early 2010.
Young Pals launched Emre Yilmaz’s debut single “Only Yesterday” in March, which garnered a spotlight review in Billboard magazine, heralding the song as “the ultimate showcase [for Emre to] become one of the year’s most auspicious breakouts.” He followed through, opening this summer’s Istanbul Live festival in Central Park. His solo live debut followed in the fall with a sold-out performance at New York’s Joe’s Pub. Emre also launched his (adult) acting career with a leading role in the Turkish TV series, “Yeni Bastan.”
Chilean L.A.-based artist Jose Promis’ fourth album “Life is Grand!” was co-written and produced by Young Pals and released in January. Jose supported the album with live showcases in L.A. and France. He and Ayhan also appeared on Larry Flick’s Out-Q morning show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Flick wrote "Promis brings a fresh and intriguing vision to the mainstream. In collaborating with composer/producer Ayhan Sahin, he has created a cross-cultural sound that demands deep investigation. This is a remarkable debut that hints at a long, very special career ahead."
Ayhan Sahin’s dance remix of Matt Zarley’s “Here I Am” was included on the physical single release, alongside mixes from Grammy-nominated Love to Infinity, Solar City and Rafael M. It reached No. 1 in digital sales on dance portals perfectbeat.com and masterbeat.com.
MTV’s “Making the Band” finalist Adam Shenk recorded his full-length pop, R&B and jazz-scented “Suitcases,” with Ayhan producing, which will be released by Young Pals Music in March 2010. The set includes Emre Yilmaz on classical guitars. Adam is already performing songs from the CD at live venues across the Northeast region.
Puerto Rican artist Mitch Zorba’s album was launched in June, under the Young Pals Music banner. The album was recorded both in New York and San Juan, and includes Spanish- and English-language compositions.
And other notables:
- Ayhan spent a good deal of the year not only getting to know Turkey’s premier singer Sertab Erener and her partner Demir Demirkan; there were also a number of songwriting sessions with the intent of placing music on Sertab's upcoming 2010 Turkish language release.
- Upcoming: “American Idol” 2009 contestant Normund Gentle (aka Nick Mitchell)’s debut single “Bitch Slap” written and produced by DNA.
- French artist Lybert Ramade’s new album, produced by DNA, will be issued in early 2010 in France.
- Ayhan and Emre Yilmaz wrote with dance diva/No. 1 recording artist Sylvia Tosun for her upcoming international release.
- Ayhan’s works were featured on MTV’s “Made” and “American Idol Rewind,” as well as Style network.
- U.K. artist Damien Carmello’s “Sick and Tired,” recorded with Young Pals, was featured on DJ Gary Bushell’s Rancid Sounds podcast.
- Young Pals Music ally Tinatin co-wrote “Is It True,” which represented Iceland at the legendary Eurovision Song Contest this year. The song not only finished as the overall runner-up, but, at year-end, was acclaimed as the year’s “best lyric” by a global vote.
- Young Pals produced cover tune “Close Every Door” from Andrew Lloyd Webber for David Pascucci’s new album, out in early 2010.
- Ayhan’s earlier full-length musical “Gods” is being rewritten with Wallace Willholt Jr., for potential production early in the new decade. Other musical theatre ventures include arranging Michael Tester’s new musical show “Most Likely To,” showcased in New York’s Players Theatre. “Infidelity,” a musical by Dara Barlin and Heather Osterman was co-composed and orchestrated by Ayhan. He also music directed a workshop in New York for the show.
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