(Disclaimer: This post is not an affiliation post. It’s just me talking about an app I like.)
It’s the afternoon. You glance at the clock and groan: It’s only 2 pm. You have three more hours till you clock out from your daily 9-5 job. But, you are tired from that after-lunch fatigue. You ponder, should you eat sweets (the sugar can energize you) or make a cup of coffee? Although these choices sound like a nice idea, they might not be the best one.
I have recently been using an app called The Fabulous. I have been using it for two weeks already and enjoy it so far. Fabulous is designed for the user to do a variety of goals during the day. From the moment when you wake up to the second before you drift into dreamland, there is some sort of activity that you have to do. Doing these activities will help create a better you. Some of the tasks are drinking water and eating healthy yet meaningful meals. One of the actions is exercising throughout the day. This is something I think that I’m not good at. I cannot run (I hate running actually) and I don’t have room in my tiny apartment for big equipment.
I was in a pickle: What would be the right exercise for me?
Dancing with My Mornings
I came up with some sort of solution after pondering on the issue for a while. I could stretch for eight minutes, which isn’t a horrible idea. Yet, I wanted something that was more active, something I could enjoy music with. I just wanted to DANCE!
I am not a professional dancer. I only took a dance class for a summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. The reason why I took that class was that I wanted to be a better musical actress during that phase of life. That was only for like eight weeks. I didn’t do anything too intense since it was a beginner’s course. But that didn’t stop me from getting my groove on. Ever since middle school, I would watch countless music videos, performances, and dance videos, trying to intimidate them to the best of my ability. I will never be a professional or start dance videos on Youtube, and I’m ok with that. I dance to have fun and get energy — the most essential things in life right now.
I have different musical moods in the morning. Sometimes I want an 80s’ song, sometimes I want a song in Japanese, and sometimes I want a slow jam. Because of this, I never have one exact playlist for morning exercise. Last week, I was jamming to Little Mix’s “Wings”. This week was Michael Jackson’s “Slave to the Rhythm”. Every day is a new adventure with a new morning exercise tune from the past and the present.
Starting Off the Day With…
One of my favorite songs to dance to and do stretches with is “Şımarık” by Turkish singer Tarkan. I was introduced to this song by Spotify. It appeared on one of my Daily Mix playlists one day. I fell in love with it instantly. Traditional Middle Eastern music and a modern pop sound are mixed flawlessly together to bring this sassy dance tune.
Although the song’s title is translated as “spoilt” in English, “Şımarık” is more commonly known as “Kiss Kiss”. And you can hear why in the chorus when it ends with two kiss sounds. I love this, and whenever I dance this song, I build a small routine around the chorus and the kiss sounds.
I didn’t understand what Tarkan was singing at first. But, I didn’t mind it. I loved the instrumentation and dance beat a lot. Tarkan’s vocals are really fine and smooth. His singing style showcases that he is a talented singer (and sooooooooo good looking 21 years ago). Songwriter Sezen Aksu knew how to make a well-crafted dance song that combined new beats with traditional ones. And her talent shows in “Şımarık”. I love how the sound of the Kamancheh perfectly blends with the deep bass beat. These two factors make the song catchy and enjoyable.
Check the music video below and tell me what you think of the song.
You can find the English translation for this song here.
“Şımarık” Around the World
In 2001, Greek-American singer Stella Soleil covered this song in English. It was a minor hit as it reached #27 on Billboard’s US Mainstream Top 40. Although the instrumental is the same as the original, the feeling is a bit off. Though Stella’s vocals are too rough for this cover.
Australian singer Holly Valance later covered Stella’s version for her debut single. The instrumental is more pop-ish than Tarkan’s release. But at least the vocals are much more suitable for this version.
I will end this post with one last cover. There have been countless versions of “Şımarık” sang by various artists in many languages around the world. This cover below is the Japanese version. I pick this one because a) it’s Japanese b) I am a fan of Kentaro Hayami (he sang a theme song for a Super Sentai series (think Power Rangers) in the 90s), and c) the vocals match well with the song. Kentaro’s vocals are not too overpowering and rough. Instead, they are smooth and ear-pleasing.
There are countless other versions of “Şımarık” (like the Kpop version by Mina). I would have to publish a magazine to talk about each version more in-depth. But, if you have heard of “Şımarık” and/or it’s many covers before, which version do you prefer? Tell me in the comments!
About the Artist
Turkish singer-songwriter Tarkan has been a prominent figure behind Turkish pop music since the early 90s. Born in West Germany in 1971, the singer-songwriter and his family moved to Turkey when he was a teenager. After the move, he went on to pursue his childhood dream of being involved in music by attending music lessons.
Tarkan released his first album, entitled Yine Sensiz, in 1992. But it wasn’t until five years later, with the release of the single “Şımarık” that the Turkish singer-songwriter became a global star. The album that the single came from, Ölürüm Sana, went onto sell over three and a half million copies. In 1998, he signed with the label Universal Music Group and released a self-titled compilation album a year later. It charted on several music charts in various European countries. Because of his music, he started a Turkish boom in such countries as Germany and Turkey.
Since the turn of the millennium, Tarkan still releases successful albums and is honored at various award ceremonies for his work. He is continuing to evolve as an artist and try out other genres. In 2016, Tarkan won the award for “Best Project” in Turkish Classical Music for his classical Turkish album Ahde Vefa.