Ayca Ozefe Deli Gibi
One of my music productions and mixes was recently featured on the cover art of Turkey's largest new music playlist on Spotify, with Ayça Özefe's song taking the spotlight.
I had the pleasure to work as the producer, arranger and mixing engineer in the Indie Pop, Alt Pop single project Deli Gibi by Ayça Özefe. We started working on the song at March, 2022, and it was released on August, 2022.
After we met we started sending each other some demos, and I fell in love with one of the demos she sent me:
We had an online meeting to talk about this demo, and we talked about some roadmaps and reference songs we both love. When we were on the same page, I had the idea in my mind, so I started working on it immediately. Back then I didn't have an acoustic guitar with me, only an electric guitar, but I knew that I needed an acoustic guitar for the song. Fortunately, I have a very wide range of musicians in my network, so I asked Emre Akdeniz to just give me a repeating pattern. He recorded the same theme with the chord progression I asked for and sent me the files on the same day.
I worked on the sound of the acoustic guitar, and wanted to make it sound vintage, and almost like it's sampled, so I used a couple of lo-fi plugins to achieve that. We were thinking about keeping the production as minimalistic as possible, so I only added a bass synth for the first verse, a couple of keys for the color, and digital-sounding drums to match the vintage vibe of the acoustic guitar with the modern sounds. Here is the first instrumental idea that I sent Ayça:
Completing the song
After this first demo, I created a full version of the instrumental by adding more instruments such as synths, piano, and ear candy fx. We also created pre-choruses and post-choruses for the song.
At the same time, we were thinking about how we can structure the whole song, and also keep the lyrics in English, or change them to Turkish. In the end, we decided to change them to Turkish, but keep the soul of the beautiful melody that was available to her by singing in English because it's not a familiar melody that somebody would sing in Turkish. So, Ayça came up with beautiful lyrics after some time, and we talked to improve the lyrics with a few touches, and we were almost ready to finish the song.
We had the same synth bass throughout the song, but she realized that it makes the song a little bit boring, and less dynamic, so she asked me to find something more interesting for choruses. It was a pleasure for me because I always love creating melodic ideas with bass sounds. So I used a virtual bass guitar plugin and created the bass parts at the last minute before the demo vocal recording session.
Here is the first full song idea that we came up with. There are empty sections for solo instruments but we weren't sure yet which instruments to use. Also, she was sick, so we recorded these vocals only for demo purposes to see if our ideas really worked in the real world:
Completing the recordings
The time was to complete the empty sections that we thought of as solo instrument sections. We wanted to work with Emre again to record electric guitars throughout the song. It was a fun session where we shared our ideas with each other, and took the song to another place because of that collaborative environment.
Here is a moment from the guitar recording session:
We also had to record an actual bass guitar with an actual player. As I constantly work with Musiversal, I booked a session and provided the sheet music to my talented friend Bruno Migliari to record the bass parts, which came out fantastic.
Back of my head, I was always hearing a trombone or trumpet (maybe just because I love the sound of these instruments), and I took a risk and decided to also record a trumpet section with another talented musician Jon-Paul Frappier via Musiversal.
Ayça wasn't able to join the recording session at that time. But that didn't stop her to create amazing melody ideas for it. So she sent me this fantastic melody idea for the trumpet section which I also shared with Jon-Paul by adding it to the song:
Then it was time for recording the actual vocals. As we live in different countries I wasn't able to involve in the recording session. She recorded the vocals in Burak Bedirli's studio, and we comped the vocals to have the perfect combination.
Here is the finished production without any mixing and mastering:
Then I sat down to mix the song, which I find very easy if I'm the one who produced the song because I always think about the technical aspects while I'm arranging and producing a song. But as we were listening to many different versions of this song, and my ears have already gotten used to its sound, I decided to send it to a mastering engineer even though I can master a song pretty well. I haven't regretted working with another mastering engineer on any song because there are always some parts to improve on any mix. Even if there is not any, you can get the approval of a third person. I sent the mix to my friend Marcin Bociński for perfection, and we had the final version:
When it was's first released under Sony Music, Ayça was on the cover art of one of the major playlists on Spotify which is New Music Friday Turkey, and right now the song has close to 500k listens.