Jeyhan. Remember the name. Actor and singer Jeyhan Turker has a career that is taking off and accelerating to certain stardom. His film “The Fourth Question” was the winner of Best Christian Short Film at the World Music Independent Film Festival and he’s got a single coming out December 4th, “Own It.” He’s an example of an artist who is advancing on many fronts, doing many amazing things.
Jeyhan works on the craft of acting through studying improv, audition technique, and monologues. He works hard on his craft even though singing comes more naturally too him than acting does. Jeyhan recently took on the problem of bullying in schools. In the “The Fourth Question” Jeyhan plays Franklin, a teenager that gets bullied when he goes to a new school. (Find out more about the film here.)
Jeyhan’s song “Own It” talks about the importance of doing things ones own way. Jeyhan emphasizes that when you do something, in any phase of life, you’ve got to make it yours and sail past the naysayers. Jeyhan, who counts Beyonce` and the late Michael Jackson as inspirations, has a maginificent voice. Listen to his “Save the Night” cover by clicking here. Jeyhan recently took a few moments off from his packed schedule to talk in depth about his acting and singing success.
William Powell: You act as well as sing, which is more of a challenge for you?
Jeyhan Turker: I love both acting and singing so much and I’ve been doing both for almost my whole life! I think that acting would be more challenging though because when acting, you have to step into the shoes of a totally different person than yourself and make up a whole life for them. Acting is so fun for me and a way for me to escape, but can be challenging and tedious. Singing comes much more natural to me. There is a lot of work that goes into singing as well when making sure the right technique is being used, but it just feels like less work to me!
WP: “The Fourth Question” was the winner of Best Christian Short Film at the World Music Independent Film Festival, who do you play in the film?
JT: In “The Fourth Question”, I played Franklin, a teenage boy who becomes a victim of bullying when starting at a new school. Franklin is shy when first getting to know him and doesn’t make friends at first, but when one of the popular kids in school stands up for him and becomes his friend, he begins to open up and show everyone his true colors!
WP: What is your song “Own It” about?
JT: “Own It” is about doing what you love to do in life your way and owning it, even if others think it’s “unrealistic” or “not normal.” It’s all about not caring what others think and living life to the fullest by doing what makes you happy.
WP: What were your musical influences when you were a kid?
JT: I grew up mainly listening to Michael Jackson and Beyoncé. Michael and Beyoncé are my main idols and I look up to them so much. I remember watching videos of their performances and imitating them in my room as a kid, hoping one day I would be where they were in front of millions! I love their music styles and hope to be even half the artist Michael was and Beyoncé is! Along with Michael and Beyoncé, more of my recent influences are Sam Smith and John Legend.
WP: How’d you learn to act?
JT: I learned to act by taking many acting classes as a kid. I began classes when I was nine. I studied improv, audition technique, monologues, and many other things. I also love to just watch successful actors in movies, like Eddie Redmayne and Jennifer Lawrence, and learn from them. My style of acting is more natural and I like to keep things subtle because I feel that’s how a normal person would act.
WP: How’d you learn to sing?
JT: When I was younger, I always sang around the house. It was non-stop! Everywhere I went, I was singing. I would catch myself singing at the weirdest times and I’m sure I annoyed many people!! I also just watched singers perform and listened to songs and tried to sing with them. When I was 14, I began taking vocal lessons with a teacher and that has helped me to improve so much! I’ve learned about breath control, support, and so many other things that contribute to good technique, which will help me to have a long career instead of a short lived one.
WP: Is Pop music dead?
JT: I definitely don’t think pop music is dead! I mean, there are some songs on the radio that don’t make sense and are just there to be “catchy” and make money, but if you think about it, pop music is what basically runs the industry today. Pop music is dominating radio and is all you hear now. Look at Adele. She sings pop/soul music and her songs are beautifully done. Her songs are amazing and they also sell like crazy!
WP: Are we going to see you on a show like “The Voice”?
JT: I’ve thought about doing singing competition shows, but have never really followed through with it. For now, I’m going to be sticking with doing my own thing with my single and seeing what happens. It’s not in my plan to do a show like “The Voice,” but you never know for the future!
WP: What films do you have on the horizon?
JT: I don’t currently have any new acting projects coming up. I’m more focused on my singing career right now so that’s my number one priority! I’m just excited to get “Own It” out there so people can jam out and have a good time!