Fethiye is full of so many interesting characters, we decided it was time to meet a few of them!
This is the first in a series of interviews with local people, living and working in Fethiye.
We introduce to you, Arda Karaca…
Arda is a local musician and the owner of the Müzik Garaj in Fethiye. We went to talk to him to find out a little more about him and what he does…
How did you first get interested in playing music?
From my earliest years, I’ve always loved rhythm. I started playing the drums in 2003. At that time there was nowhere to learn in Fethiye so, with the help and support of my friends, I taught myself – rock music, jazz, reggae and blues in particular. There were no other drummers in Fethiye at that time. I used to make music with whatever I could find, like with pots and pans from the kitchen and using courses I found on the internet.
To begin with, in 2003, I used to jam with friends and, in time, we developed a style of our own. Eventually I bought my own drum kit and, two weeks later, my friends and I played our first concert in Çalış. We developed a programme and started to play concerts in Fethiye.
The band has had many names over the years, but the first one was called “Sosyete”. We have played at venues all over Muğla, but we have also played all across Turkey, in such places as Antalya, Denizli, Afyon, Izmir and Istanbul.
Currently I am playing drums with the band Covermen, and we perform every week at Motto Dining in Çalış, at the Dalyan Jazz Bar, and at Rixos in Göcek.
How would you describe the Live Music scene in Fethiye?
The live music scene in Fethiye isn’t so great, as far as I’m concerned. On the whole, Fethiye’s teenagers aren’t really into the kind of music my friends and I like to play. For many boys here, bars are just places for picking up girls, rather than listening to good music! Perhaps they aren’t really ready for the kind of music we play.
We find that foreigners and some Turkish people like our music but unfortunately a lot of local people don’t have much respect for musicians and music that isn’t “Turkish”. Their knowledge of music is limited to their own environment, and that’s Turkish pop.
So when did you open the Müzik Garaj in Fethiye?
I opened Müzik Garaj in 2012. I started it somewhere else, but we have been in these premises for the last six years. It’s great!
What motivated you to open the studio?
My dream had always been to support music in Fethiye and introduce children and young people to music, to familiarise them with music and support their learning of different musical instruments. It is about teaching music [and musical instruments] to our students.
We teach a wide range of instruments here to whoever wants to come and learn; we’re teaching them whatever they want to learn.
Can you tell about the types of services that the Müzik Garaj offers?
Müzik Garaj is about providing every kind of service for our students and customers and we offer a wide range of services.
We have different music teachers for a range of musical instruments and we organise live music and concerts. Recently we ran a series of open stage nights at Deep Blue Bar in Fethiye to support local musicians and give them a platform to play their music.
We run music courses in drums, piano, guitar, saxophone, flute and so on and we are currently working on setting up some of these music courses in the local schools.
We buy and sell instruments, service and repair them, whatever’s required. We offer rehearsal space and that kind of thing. Really, we’re offering everything to do with music.
I understand that you are also involved with the FETAV Children’s Choir?
Yes, I’ve been working with FETAV for the Children’s Choir for the past few years, for various festivals either here in Fethiye or in Antalya. Our musicians accompany them as they sing. We love children!
What are your plans for the future?
We are busy working with the schools and supporting the music scene in Fethiye right now, so I am being rather cautious about making new plans at the moment. But for me and the rest of us here at the Müzik Garaj, music will always be our number one priority.
If anyone would like to contact you about your music or the services you offer at the studio, what’s the best way to reach you?
We can be contacted via the “Müzik Garaj Organizasyon & Enstrüman & Müzik Stüdyosu” Facebook page, or by phone on +90 505 227 53 33