Berklee is home to myriad music students–making many of them subject to becoming just another face in the crowd. So they’re left to pursue unique outlets that set them apart from the countless other jazz and rock musicians. Berklee alum Alper Tuzcu combines his production skills with his love for his roots in creating folksy world music. Bringing his Turkish background to a modern American sound, his latest singles “Forbidden Fruit” and “Guide Me Away” exhibit his profoundly diverse past.

In addition to the two singles, ten more songs make up a full length, all of which were written and produced by Tuzcu. After spending several years abroad and around the U.S., moving from Boston, to Valencia, Spain, to Istanbul, Turkey, and Los Angeles–arriving finally back in Boston–Tuzcu was inspired by the wide range of cultures he was exposed to. The title of the album–Between 12 Waters–is an homage to this travelling, as well as one of his inspirations, Flamenco artist Paco de Lucia.

I collaborated with 7 different vocalists for 12 songs in the album, all from different cultures,” Tuzcu said. “I’m inspired by Turkish folk poetry for my lyric writing style and Armenian/Greek church music for the harmonies and melodies of my music. It all comes together pretty naturally for me because where I grew up, Istanbul, is a melting pot of all these cultures so this is a very intuitive process for me.”

Tuzcu aims to erase cultural borders with his music, by showing how they can all come together to create a beautiful project. He’s behind the guitars on the tracks, but reached out to several vocalists to perform on the album. Ganavya Doraiswamy of India sings on “Guide Me Away,” and Mariko Reid of New York sings on “Forbidden Fruit.”

The album is set to be released via Palma Records on January 20th, but you can stream the two singles here today.

“Forbidden Fruit”

“Guide Me Away”

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