90s Turkish pop lifting spirits during pandemic

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The coronavirus has certainly taken its toll on millions of people’s mental health, with many having to be isolated for many months and worried about the future that awaits them as the pandemic is not set to end any time soon.

In Turkey, 2020 was a difficult year because of the pandemic, but also due to an earthquake in the western province of İzmir, Turkey’s third largest province by population, on Oct. 30 that has killed 117 people. Against this backdrop, people have had to resort to ways to help them get through the ills of 2020. A study and a radio programmer have revealed that many have started listening to 90’s Turkish pop music again.

The 90’s were a golden age for Turkish pop music, with many millennials and their predecessors to this day mumbling many of the famous songs of back then.

A recent research has revealed that the 90s Turkish pop songs have had a positive effect on the human body and psychology.

Radio programmer Fatih Uslu, who plays the songs of the 1990s on his program “Time Tunnel,” said that these songs are in engrained in our souls and “unforgettable.”

“Those who lived in the 1990s are now remembering their memories while listening to Turkish pop songs of these years. Therefore, people over the age of 30 love the 90s songs. However, we see that young people love these songs, too. People born after the 2000s know the songs from the 90s by heart,” he said.

“During the pandemic, people were locked inside their homes. Watching television was not enough after a while and radios revived again. There has also been an increase in interest for 90s music that I play every evening. Today, when a song is released, we don’t’ remember it after two or three months. Popular artists make covers of the 1,090s songs. The younger generation think that the song is new. But then they realize that is from the 90s and start searching for other songs of these years. The 1990s were unforgettable years, we, as radio broadcasters, try to keep these years alive in people’s minds,” Uslu added.

Uslu likened the effects of the songs to a “vaccine,” saying the music had lifted the spirits of people.

“Listening to the songs of the 90s makes us happy. They take people on a journey into the past; makes us forget our troubles. For example, Serdar Ortaç’s ‘Karabiberim’ is among the most popular songs from the 1990s. Mirkelam’s ‘Her Gece,’ Mustafa Sandal’s ‘Araba’ and ‘Suç Bende,’ Candan Erçetin’s ‘Yalan,’ Tarkan’s ‘Aacayipsin’ album and also his ‘Ölürüm Sana’ album and Sezen Aksu’s ‘Gülümse’ are among the most requested songs for years.”

Upbeat music releases happiness hormones

Speaking of the effects of the ‘90s songs on people, Bahçeşehir University Psychological Counseling and Guidance Department academic Professor Bilge Uzun said, “Scientific studies reveal that music is very good for the human psychology and body. The 90s music has some features that boost people’s motivation. The studies say that music that beats a little faster than the heart rhythm causes people to be happier and be more motivated because it secretes the happiness hormone in the person’s body.”

“The general features of 90s songs is an acceptance without resistance to pain. They give the message that life goes on. For example, this spirit is felt in the song ‘Aldatıldık’ [we were cheated on], whose lyrics Sezen Aksu wrote. In fact, being cheated on is a negative concept, but Aksu offers this negative word to the audience with a rhythm in the song.”

Stating that the songs of the 90s make you laugh and also have a thought-provoking aspect, Uzun said, “Scientific studies also reveal that increasing the rhythm of music in bad weather or when you feel depressed affects the hormonal structure of the body. The 90’s music causes happiness hormone secretion instead of stress hormone.”

Emphasizing that the music of the 90s with its rhythmic sounds activate the parasympathetic nervous system, Uzun said, “When people are in a stressful environment, they need music to get rid of this stress. Besides, there is always a state of hope for life in the 90s music.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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