515-B North McDonough St.
Decatur, GA, 30030
Doors 5:00 PM / Show 6:00 PM
"I guess I'd call it my own personal brand of global pop music," Mutlu says of his new EP Dreambook.
Indeed, the five-song release finds the charismatic singer-songwriter-guitarist delivering distinctive, personally-charged music that's effortlessly contemporary, yet deeply connected with R&B and soul traditions as well as a broad range of cross-cultural stylistic influences.
A Philadelphia native and first-generation American of Turkish descent, Mutlu has already built a substantial fan base in his hometown, while winning widespread praise for his prior releases. He's also collaborated and toured with Daryl Hall & John Oates, and gained considerable attention for his work with noted singer-songwriter Amos Lee, with whom he's toured extensively as a support act and backup vocalist. He's also shared stages with the likes of Joe Jackson, Adele, Eric Hutchinson, Katy Perry, John Hiatt, Leon Russell, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and G. Love and Special Sauce amongst others.
Mutlu brings a wealth of musical and life experience to Dreambook. In addition to being the first product of his current collaboration with the distinguished production/songwriting team of Rob Hyman, Rick Chertoff and David Forman, Dreambook showcases Mutlu's multiple strengths as a sublimely soulful singer, a uniquely expressive songwriter, and a guitarist of taste and imagination.
The artist, born Mutlu Onaral, grew up steeped in Philadelphia's deep R&B traditions, eagerly absorbing the fundamentals of old-school soul music and incorporating it into his own musical persona. His local success led to a recording deal with Manhattan/EMI Records, which released his acclaimed 2008 debut album Livin' It, produced by the late, great T-Bone Wolk, and featuring guest appearances by Daryl Hall, Amos Lee, G. Love and Raheem DeVaughn.
On Dreambook, such memorable new numbers as "One Life With You," "You Should Be Happy," "Turkiye" and "Mutlu In America" once again reflect the artist's second-nature grasp of R&B, while simultaneously exploring the musical and cultural influences that he absorbed growing up in a Turkish family.
"Growing up in Philly, I was always exposed to a lot of great R&B and soul music, and that was the music that had the deepest impact on me when I started writing songs and performing," Mutlu explains. "But hip-hop, reggae, folk music and various world sounds also had a significant influence on me at different times, and I can hear all of those influences in the music I make. On Dreambook, we tried to meld together a range of different influences, and still make it personal and somewhat autobiographical at the same time."
Dreambook also marks the first time that Mutlu has made a conscious effort to integrate his own cultural background into his music, giving the music an added level of personal resonance.
"I was exposed to a lot of Turkish music from a young age, but when I was younger I didn't realize that growing up between two very different cultures had a major influence on me," he explains. "The most conscious aspect of this record was to bring in some of the Turkish melodies, which have always been second-nature to me, into the songwriting and production approach. It was also important for us to bring more of that cross-cultural vibe into the lyrics and help to convey my background in a more in-depth way than I previously had.
"I've covered a few Turkish songs throughout my career, but that influence never truly took shape in my own songwriting and record-making until this EP. Rob Hyman, Rick Chertoff and David Forman inspired me to bring out more of that influence, musically, conceptually and lyrically, and that became an integral part of this set of songs."
Having achieved a new level of musical expression on Dreambook, Mutlu looks forward to working further with his new production team to continue to develop his current direction.
"My goal is to be a true catalogue artist, and build an international fan base that will stay with me album after album and tour after tour," he states, adding, "I've had the opportunity to have so many great experiences, and I've made fans and learned so much.
"My greatest challenge now," he concludes, "is to transition into being a headliner in my own right, and to cultivate my own scene and my own community. I feel that, with Dreambook, we've laid the groundwork for me to truly establish my own sound and style, and to make a true, transcendent connection with people."