CEZA (Bilgin Ozcalkan). Turkish rapper. While Ceza was known as a solo rapper at the beginning of his rap career, he with Dr. Fuchs in 1998 set up Istanbul’s first rap music band named “Nefret”. After the band did their first professional work by delivering 4 songs to a compilation rap album named “Yeralti Operasyonu” first released in 1999, their two albums “Meclis-i Ala Istanbul” and “Anahtar” were released in 2000 and 2001 consecutively, which have pioneered and shaped the minds of many youngsters in Turkey. The band which gave countless concerts in some of the very important music festivals continued their work solo afterwards.
Ceza, who increased the respect showed to rap music in Turkey with the release of his first solo music album “MedCezir” in 2002, also became the role model and inspiration source for many young MCs due to quality of his lyrics. Not only did he achieve getting attention of music authorities and media, but also of many different masses.
Till the release of his album “Rapstar” in 2004, he performed at many important music festivals and event such as H2000, Rock'nCoke, Rock Istanbul, J&B Techno Festival, Istanbul HiphopFest, ElectronicaFest and Fête de la Musique.
Ceza, whose music album named “Rapstar” sold more than 150.000 copies and attracted attention of the music industry authorities, worked with artists from different backgrounds and familiarized bigger masses with rap music.
Ceza played a part in famous Turkish director Fatih Akin’s documentary film Crossing the Bridge (2005) and his scenes in the film were applauded loudly by masses at many films festivals as well as International Cannes Film Festival.
He produced a soundtrack for a cinema film titled “2 Süper Film Birden” and his songs were used in a film called “Wut”.
In the same year, Ceza, who produced a soundtrack for the film “Pardon”, was also featured in many successful TV and radio ad campaigns. The artist went on a Germany concert tour including 5 cities with European rappers like DasBo, Afrob, Sammy Deluxe, SwizzIllyIdol and his sister Ayben who is also a rapper like his brother, where they performed Turkish rap to many non-Turkish speakers.
The artist recorded a maxisingle named “Sıra Sende” for a project called “Hayata + Gençlik Fonu”. The project’s whole income was going to be used for young talents. The artist also released another maxi single in the same year titled “Feyz Al”.
In 2006, he released his album “Yerli Plaka” which contained his famous song “Fark Var” that has become a slogan in Turkish language. In this album Ceza recorded a song “Gelsin Hayat Bildigi Gibi” with Turkey’s one of the biggest stars Sezen Aksu and another song titled “Dark Places” with Kansas’s legendary rap star Tech N9ne.
The album’s first music video was produced for “Yerli Plaka” which hit number six in MTV World Chart list.
In 2006, he performed at international music organisations ''StimmenFest'' and ''SplashFest'' and became the first singer who performed Turkish music at these festivals for the first time.
He was the first Turkish rapper performing at one of Europe’s most important Hip Hop festivals “MTV Hip Hop Open Festival” where world’s most famous rappers also performed.
2007 was such a successful year that Ceza achieved another success story by winning an award from “MTV Europe Music Awards”, and became the first Turkish musician to win the aforementioned award.
In 2007, in a Project supported by German government, he gave workshops to youngsters from different ethnic backgrounds like Turkish, German, Arabs and others. The Project continued for one year with the name “Ceza & Friends” at Berlin Hebbel Theatre.
In 2007, he was featured with the songs “Istanbul”, “800” and “Tutsak” in Mercan Dede’s album named “800”. With the concert he gave in New York in May 2007, hundreds of thousands Turkish and American citizens watched him. His songs grabbed so much attention from Turkish and American citizens during the long hours of Turkish walk along the New York streets.
Same year, the artist, who produced the music of a theatrical play called “9 ay son gun” and the soundtrack of a film named “Polis”, did not have the chance to release a solo album due to having intense concert programmes, instead in June 2007, he released an online EP called “Evin Delisi” to make his followers happy and gave chance to young talents in this album as in others.
In 2008, he continued workshops named “Don’t Panic, I am Islamic” as part of the “Happy Vibration” project at Berlin Ballhaus Theatre.
Ceza who has been the cover of several music magazines, became the cover of “Rolling Stones” in 2008, and surprised thousands of people as well as his fans.
With the song “Karşı Takıma El Ver” he composed in 2008, the artist was the first musician to get honour diplomacy and “Fair Play” award from the Turkish Olympics committee.
Several musician friends like Sezen Aksu, Okan Bayülgen, Mor ve Ötesi, Ceyhun Yılmaz, Ayben, Aylin Aslım, Fairuz Derin Bulut, Demir Demirkan, Killa Hakan, İstanbul Attack, Kadıköy Acil, Burhan Öçal, Aslı, DJ Funky C and Manga supported Ceza at 10th year celebration of his professional music life and the income of the exclusive night was donated to the homeless children association.
In this period, the artist gave too many concerts and due to frequent road trips, he became ill and prevented from flights for some time.
In December 2008, Ceza who released an album with Killa Hakan called “Bomba Plak” produced an animation like music video for the song “Paydos” taking place in the album.
His music was used in a film released in the same year named “Chiko”.
The song “Fark Var” in his music album “Yerli Plaka”, which was released in 2006, first used as the music of a Turkish series, then as a jingle of a GSM company, and then as the jingle of different political parties during the 2009 election campaign period without Ceza’s permission.
While Ceza dealt with too many concerts and workshops in most of 2009, he rejected an offer of attending the “Eurovision Song Contest 09” and instead he went on a tour with Turkey’s one of the biggest music festivals “Fanta Music Festival” as one of the two headline musicians. Except from this music festival, he gave solo concerts in cities like Kesan, Siverek, Samsun and Diyarbakir with more than 50 thousand people attending to the concerts. It is estimated that the artist’s performances during solely on his 2009 concerts were seen by more than 1m people.
In 2009, Ceza performed at “Istanbul Jazz Centre” 2 days consecutively, which was another first time achievement for a rap singer taking place in a Jazz concert.
He was featured in 10 songs of Killa Hakan’s music album “Volume Maximum” in 2010.
The song “Aller Besten” in the album hit number one in MTV Germany’s top list although no music video was produced for this song. Even though the most of its lyrics were Turkish, it remained in the German top list for weeks.
In 2010, he released his album “Onuncu Köy” consisting of 15 songs. Ceza worked with different musicians from Europe and Turkey for this album, which had no featurings.
Due to people’s great interest in Ceza, he was invited to Fanta Festival for the second time in 2010, and reached to hundreds of thousands people with his new music album.
Being invited by the President of Republic of Turkey for 29 October Republic Reception, he proved how serious his art has been taken. Many young rap music lovers were proud of this invitation and seriousness of rap music in Turkey.
He performed a duet in Germany’s one of the leading rappers Kool Savas’s song “Futurama” with many other rappers from around the world, and represented Turkish language successfully on international platforms once again.
Except from album work, Ceza who work with many local and foreign musicians was also a wanted name for social responsibility projects due to his deep and meaningful lyrics. Not only has he supported many social projects with his voice but also with his involvement in such activities like; support for anti-war, anti-piracy, homeless children, disabled people, anti-crime, anti-violence against woman, anti-violence against animals, people suffering from cancer, and he has been awarded many times by several organisations and associations.
In 2011, the rap star entered into the business world by releasing his own brand named “Evin Delisi”.
In May 2011, 75 year old great music man, the founder of Montreux Jazz Festival , Claude Nobs was also among the people to see Ceza who performed on the main stage at “Bremen Jazzahead” festival. After the concert, Nobs exclusively congratulated the artist for his performance.
In May 2011 again, he performed a song called “WorldwideChoppers” with rap music’s worldwide essential names like Tech N9ne, BustaRhymes, Twista & Yelawolf in the music album named “All 6 & 7’s” of Kansas city’s legendary rapper Tech N9ne.
In the cinema film “40” released in 2011, his various songs were used. After the film’s 2009 Osaka Film Festival screening, the music video of “Açık Ara Bul Kon” song broadcasted on Japanese television channels and fortuitously the song was quickly grabbed among Japanese folk due to being easily pronounceable in Japanese.
In July 2011, the artist who supported the compilation rap music album “Organize Oluyoruz Vol 1” with his song “Sen de Biraz Delisin” also recorded a music video for the same song.
In June 2011, Ceza gained exposure to North American hip-hop fans when he was briefly featured in hip-hop artist's Tech N9ne's international collaboration track on his All 6's and 7'salbum called "Worldwide Choppers", also featuring rappers Busta Rhymes, D-Loc, JL of B. Hood, Twista, Twisted Insane, U$O and Yelawolf. It debuted at #104 on the U.S. BillboardBubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, making it Ceza's first appearance on any chart in the U.S. It also reached #15 on the Heatseekers Songs chart.
Ceza, who released a surprize single track named “Turkish March”, continues working on his brand new studio album that will be introduced in 2013.