In a delicate dance of sound, BODUR captivating 3-track EP ÖZ takes us on a mesmerizing voyage of self-acceptance and personal transformation. With an ethereal blend of sensuality and power, the London-born Turkish-Sri Lankan artist effortlessly explores themes of youth, growth, and rebirth, presenting a project that is both political and deeply personal, showcasing her natural virtuosity.
BODUR is here to channel musical art into an exploration of self. The London-born Turkish-Sri Lankan artist harnesses an alternative electronic soundscape to embrace her dual heritage and layered identities. From the EP title to her visual aesthetics, BODUR’s creative process is shaping her as an artist who is inspiring a generation of South Asian and Middle Eastern women across the UK.
Translated from Turkish, ÖZ means ‘self,’ and that’s exactly what this collection of songs is diving into. According to BODUR, each track can be viewed as a microcosm; “I’m zooming in on particular stages of people’s lives that are particularly transformative.” Over the course of the three songs, we follow a distinct build in power and energy as she captures these stages of growth. Starting softly in music and vocals, the songs on ÖZ steadily build upon each other and end with a heavier, electronic sound – perfectly encapsulating BODUR’s musical range.
Track 1: ‘MY BOY’ – A Poetic Plea Against Toxic Masculinity
Through an exploration of youth, ÖZ introduces its first track ‘MY BOY’. Produced by Lapsung, the song was inspired by BODUR’s brother’s transition to manhood. She offers a poetic and rhythmic plea to the tight grip toxic masculinity can hold over young men; “Don’t beat the sweet out of my boy”. The soft vocals and enchanting soundscape in ‘MY BOY’ create a delicate song holding a powerful theme. The song features a verse from rapper, director, and longtime friend, Denzel Himself. The collaboration with Denzel is an important one for BODUR, especially with “him being so strict about who he collaborates with.”
Track 2: ‘GORGEOUS’ – Embracing a Hybrid Identity
It’s the second track of ÖZ where we see the most personal growth for BODUR. ‘GORGEOUS’ explores the beauty and discomfort of belonging to multiple cultures. As an ode to her Sri Lankan and Turkish heritage, BODUR’s lyrics take listeners on a journey of embracing a hybrid identity and acknowledging that the admiration of oneself is a political act of resistance. For any listener with an immigrant background, the song captures daily internal battles wherein we find our home, self, and acceptance. BODUR succinctly summarizes the thoughts that young women of color face every day. “Every single line is questioning what it means to be home. What does that mean? I grew up in the UK, but sometimes I don’t feel British at all. When I want to lean into my Turkish roots, there’s a disconnect because I don’t speak the language. I have a constant feeling of wanting full acceptance but not being able to settle on one binary identity. It’s about learning to accept that middle space, defying what’s expected of you, and loving yourself despite all the barriers we’ve faced.”
Closing Track: ‘Mummy’ – Exploring Rebirth and Toxic Relationships
Closing with ‘Mummy,’ BODUR offers a more powerful electronic production to conclude the project by examining the EP’s final theme of rebirth through a toxic mother-son relationship. Inspired by N.E.R.D, this song ends with screaming electric guitars, a heavier
BODUR‘s musical journey aligns harmoniously with her personal evolution. Through heartfelt lyrics and impeccable production, this EP serves as a transformative experience, empowering and inspiring South Asian and Middle Eastern women who grapple with questions of identity and a sense of belonging. “Representation is really important,” BODUR emphasizes. “I wrote this music for women like us, as a testament to their strength.”
Influenced by visionary artists such as FKA twigs and Flying Lotus, BODUR‘s EP seamlessly blends alternative electronic elements with experimental pop. Beyond singing and songwriting, BODUR’s musical growth extends to other realms. Whether mastering the traditional Turkish instrument, the oud, or hosting her monthly residency on Balamii radio, she fearlessly explores different avenues that shape her unique