Selda Bagcan or Selda, was born in Mugla, Turkey in 1948, is a well renowned Turkish folk music singer, composer and politic activist.
She has been one of the most effective names in Turkish Folk and Folk Rock music for years. Her protest style and leftist, socialist political views both in lyrical and activist means brought her a great support from the public yet caused many troubles with the military and governmental authorities. Selda Bagcan's lyrics demonstrate a political struggle as well as the problems and demands of working class and the public. Her satirical lyrics make critical references to contemporary politicians from both left and right-wings yet mostly criticizes the right-wing governments and imperialism.
She both composed her own songs and covered Turkish Folk songs. Bagcan's covers involves the usage of western instruments like acoustic guitar as well as traditional ones like saz or baglama. Her modern and universal style in covering the traditional folk songs, involving a wide variety of musical styles from progressive and psych rock to traditional folk catches the attention of many music lovers who are into different genres of music. And because of her powerful and emotional voice, she is known as (and she calls herself) bitter sound of Turkish people.
She has started his musical career when she was a student at Ankara University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Engineering Physics. The first two singles had sold around one million and following this success she somehow had to choose music as a profession. She had gave concerts in many countries including Germany, Netherlands, France, England, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and Australia. Also attended to the Golden Orpheus 1972 representing Turkey with the request of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She mainly performed on activities mainly organized by left wing foundations and initiatives. In 1973, for the first time she toured the Western Europe.
After the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, her activities were limited by the military junta and she had been arrested and jailed three times between 1981 and 1984. She couldn't attend to The WOMAD (Word of Music and Dance) Foundation Festival 1986, which was supported by Peter Gabriel, just because her passport had been seized. But the festival committee decided to add one of her songs to the official record of the festival. This record has helped her to receive many international invitations for festivals around the world. With the hard efforts of the WOMAD Foundation, the government returned Bagcan's passport in 1987. At the same year, she attended Rotterdam Art Festival (June 13), WOMAD and Glastonbury Festival (June 19), Jubile Gardens (June 20), Eurls Court (June 25), Capital Radio Festival (June 26). After her Western Europe tour in 1988, she gave local public concerts during 1989 and 1990. These concerts were free and hundreds thousands of people were gathered.
In year 1990, she was invited to Netherland by Rasa Organization (Interkultureel Centrum) and gave public concerts in Utrech, Jmegen, Tilburg cities and later on in Prizren ve Pristina, Yugoslavia. She also traveled to Israel and Denmark for concerts and festivals, at the same year. In 1992, she recorded the film musics for Kurşun Adres Sormaz.
She lives in Istanbul and runs her own business under the name Majör Müzik Yapim (Majör Music Production)