Sofie: On June 6th, 2017, we were both booked for a Sofar Sounds event in Weimar, Germany. Tugrul, who had performed at several Sofar Istanbul concerts before, was on tour with the singer songwriter Yank and played guitar.
Sofie: That day marked my very first gig, so I was really nervous. I remember stopping every ten meters on my way there to calm down and take deep breaths. As soon as I started playing with my friends on cello and cajon it was truly joyful though — such a beautiful first stage experience! The atmosphere in the room was fully attentive and afterwards people hugged me and responded to the lyrics of my songs. It was pretty overwhelming.And the third act was Benjamin Yellowitz from London. He was touring with his best friend Adam. Both of them became really close friends. With Ben I played three tours over the following years.
Sofie: Watching Yank and Tugrul play fascinated me a lot. Their music sounded as if it came from faraway places, that I could only imagine. I sat there with my eyes closed, trying to soak in every notion of the music that was being shared in the room. I felt a certain excitement but I had no idea of how much that day was going to change my life.
Sofie: Two years later, I had a tour booked and invited Yank and Tugrul to come along. We hadn’t met since the first Sofar concert, but he recorded the guitar for my first single “Honey“ and sent them to me. That summer I also had to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome, which made my arms hurt a lot. One morning I woke up in Berlin after a gig and I couldn’t open my left hand. It was really scary, because the doctors had said that I might never be able to play an instrument again. So I called the guys and said that I had to cancel the tour, but Tugrul immediately offered to learn the guitar parts of my songs. He learned them overnight, and the next day they came to Germany. We met at Kunstfest Weimar, where we had 40 minutes to rehearse before playing in front of 200 people.
On that tour we fell in love, and afterwards I moved to the Netherlands for about one year, where they lived amongst an amazing community of Turkish musicians. We traveled to Istanbul together, where we produced a new song that will be released in the beginning of 2020. Last summer we got married and moved to Germany, where we play concerts for a living.
Sofie: We revisited Sofar Weimar in September and performed there as a duo. They made a video of our song “Urban Jungle“, which we wrote on a bench in Utrecht right after I moved to the Netherlands. It’s dedicated to all the people I met along this crazy journey, which kept me grounded and inspired me to keep creating music.
Sofie: Maybe all of this would’ve happened differently if there wasn’t the concept of Sofar Sounds and the amazing local team of Sofar Weimar. Thank you guys!
Thank you, Sofie and Tugrul! We love being a part of your beautiful love story.
Connect with Tugrul: Instagram
Check out the Sofar Valentine’s Day shows we have planned around the world this holiday — you might just find a Sofar love story of your own!
Header image of Sofie and Tugrul by Lennart Riedlinger