Ah! Kosmos is the solo project of Istanbul-born musician Başak Günak, who dropped on to the scene in May 2013 with her first EP titled Flesh. Having just wrapped up an European tour at the end of last November, Ah! Kosmos spoke to us on beginnings, first album she ever bought and her plans for the future:
Let’s begin with the past: How did Ah! Kosmos come about? How has your music evolved over the years? If you consider your point of origin, what has changed from then until now?
It all began three years ago, when I first started releasing my own music and collaborating with different artists, I adopted the moniker Ah! Kosmos. But my music journey goes way back than that. I first started playing keyboards when I was young, followed by guitar at 13. After highschool I proceeded to play bass guitar in different bands. Upon deciding to go solo, I released my first EP in 2013. That was, of course, a process through which my understanding of composition went under a serious amount of change. I feel that working with choreographers and my personal interest and enthusiasm towards live performances definitely played a prominent role in that.
Your album “Bastards”, which was released by Denovali Records as a follow-up to the Flesh EP definitely fiddles with the senses, it is intriguing and has an imaginative narrative technique to it. What are your thoughts on the album’s whole creative process?
Thank you so much for the kind words. Bastards is comprised of songs that I wrote in Istanbul in the last two years. Therefore it can be defined as a collection of all the emotions that I experienced in the city, as if they were a line to my own mind. I can safely say that the songs are echoes of things that directly impacted me.
Social media enables musicians to connect with their audience in a lightning-fast way now. How does it feel to share and get instant reactions from your audience?
It really does. By eliminating the sense of distance, it makes things more immediate. Having released the album, I began to feel a different connection with my old songs – it’s as if it’s time for the songs to forge their own connection, they are on their own now, which makes me feel content.
What are some of the movies, books and albums that best describe your thought sphere these days?
I am currently reading Aslı Erdoğan’s “Mucizevi Mandarin” (Miraculous Mandarin). It’s a pretty dark book. Xavier Dolan’s Laurance Anyways is one of the best films I’ve seen recently.
How do you spend an ordinary day?
Music takes up all my waking hours. I also enjoy cooking these days, it relaxes me a great deal.
So far you’ve performed at prominent local and international festivals such as Sonar Festival Barcelona, Venedik ElectroFestival, Tokyo Electronic Music of Arts Festival, Meet D3 Festival Dubai, CitySonic Festival Mons, Brusssels Piknik Elektronik and Budapest Punkurica Festival – which performance would you say was the most memorable?
I thoroughly enjoyed performing at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona.
What was the very first album you bought? Do you still enjoy listening to it?
The first cassette that I bought for myself was The Cranberries’ “Ode to My Family”. I remember listening to it so much that the tape was worn out. I still have it at home, but haven’t listened to it in quite some time.
Where did you play your very first gig? Who was there, how was the atmosphere?
It was at my middle school graduation, I played the guitar with another friend of mine, Merve Tetey. Our setlist included songs like Hotel California. I think there were around 1000 people in the audience, which is why we were very nervous.
What are your upcoming plans?
I am currently working on my new songs and collaborating with new artists. Hopefully the songs will be released soon.
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