maNga’s story began when Yağmur Sarıgül “Yamyam” (Guitar) seperated his ways with the cover band he played with at local bars. His plan for his new band was to combine rock music and electronic music bringing hard guitar riffs and rap vocals together. maNga began to form when Özgür Can Öney (Drums), Efe Yılmaz (Turntable),Ferman Akgül (Vocals) and Cem Bahtiyar (Bass Guitar) joined the new band. The band began playing “nu metal” and “hard rock” songs. As a result the band was named maNga after the traditional Japanese cartoon art, bringing five different characters, five different music styles and five different world views together. Under the name of maNga, which is a familiar name to almost anyone in the world, they have started an intenational musical carreer.
maNga’s recording adventure began in 2001 when Ferman suggested to join the song contest “Sing Your Song”. maNga took second place in the “Sing Your Song” contest with their first song “Kal Yanımda”. After this success, they began writing the songs which would later be recorded in their first album. When they recieved a phone call from Haluk Kurosman, producer they met during the song contest, they concentrated more on writing songs and giving concerts. They began touring Turkey, giving more than 50 concerts and sharing their music with different crowds.
Their debut album which carried the same name with the band “maNga” was released on December 14th, 2004 under Sony Music Turkey and GRGDN label. In this debut album, maNga sang “Kal Yanımda” featuring Koray Candemir from Kargo, “İz Bırakanlar Unutulmaz” featuring Deniz Akyüz from Vega, and “Dursun Zaman” featuring Göksel. Selling more than 180.000 copies, maNga earned a Gold Record award. maNga album was also released in Japan and sold many copies. “Bir Kadın Çizeceksin” was included in the EA Sports FIFA 2006 computer game soundtrack.
In 2006 maNga album’s extended edition was rereleased as “maNga+” including one new maNga song “Kandırma Kendini”and the Cem Karaca cover “Raptiye Rap Rap”. maNga+ came with a DVD that featured the music videos of this first album.
After the album’s release, maNga had many concerts and participated in many national and international festivals (Sziget Festival, Mannheim Turkish Rock Festival, Wembley Arena, London). Giving more than 250 concerts nationwide maNga came together with music lovers who appreciate the maNga music.
Travelling through different cultures and meeting many different people, more than 4 years after their debut album, maNga got into a new time period catching a smoother, more characteristic, warmer and more melancholic sound. As the band members grew up in these 4 years, their world views has changed and the variety and kind of music they listened to has changed. This change reflected on maNga’s sound, and their second album “Şehr-i Hüzün” which had a pre-recording period of 23 months. The joy of the first album’s great success came with great responsibility and a mission to top the debut album. The second album “Şehr-i Hüzün”, a product of many compromises and hard work, was released on April 15th, 2009 under GRGDN & Sony Music label.
“Şehr-i Hüzün” consists of 16 songs, adding up to more than 60 minutes of music. Instruments such as reed flute, piano, tambour and traditional music instrument called “bağlama” create a beautiful blend of western and orient sounds bringing out minor melodies that portray love, existential lonelines, death and melancholy. It is difficult to categorize the new maNga music that brings together rock, rap, electronic music, sufist music, and traditional Turkish music. Famous philosopher poet Karacaoğlan and Ömer Hayyam are quoted in the songs “Üryan Geldim” and “Hepsi Bir Nefes”.
Listeners can also get a CD+DVD version of the album that includes a 150 minute maNga documentary which was produced by Ferman Akgül. The documentary tells the story of maNga from the days it was first formed until the coming out of the new album.
maNga has conquered the hearts of their fans once again with two following videos from their new album “Dünyanın Sonuna Doğmuşum” and “Beni Benimle Bırak”.
Moreover maNga has won “Best European Act” award at MTV Europe Music Awards 2009 On November 5th, 2009. After this award maNga have released their third video, “Cevapsız Sorular”, which was shot in Budapest by Gürcan Keltek. In 2009, maNga has won numerous awards including the best video, the best band, the best song, the best album and the best performance.
Taking the winds of “Best European Act” to their back, maNga was selected to represent Turkey in the 55th Eurovision Song Contest by TRT (Turkish Radio and Television).
On May 29th , 2010, maNga competed in the 55th Eurovision Song Contest held in Oslo and finished the contest at 2nd place with the song “We Could Be The Same”. South African Dancer Natalie Marrable accompanied the band in the stage show, choreographed by Canadian artist Genevieve Cleary. maNga brought the second biggest success to Turkey in its Eurovision history.
“We Could be the Same” single is released by GRGDN label shortly before the Eurovision Song Contest. It has been the first single released by the band. The single CD includes 3 different versions of “We Could Be The Same” made in Turkey, Belgium and Sweden , two dance remixes by Gooseflesh, and the music video of the song which was shot in Istanbul by Gurcan Keltek.
After this international success story with the Eurovision, maNga started taking over Europe city by city nowadays. They played in the “Vitebsk Slavianski Bazaar” festival of arts in Belarus, gave a live TV concert in front of a couple of thousand fans in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and then played in Belgrade for their Serbian fans all in July 2010.
On July 2010, maNga gave a wonderful concert in Copenhagen, Denmark and the second single, “Fly to Stay Alive” was released digitally in Denmark under Sony Music Denmark label.
After the new single; maNga have released their fourth video, “Evdeki Ses”, a duet with Alper Aga from Cartel, which was directed by Ferman Akgul.
Directed by Charles Richards, “Fly to Stay Alive” video first aired on MTV European as a worldwide exclusive on May 19th, 2011. Within a very short period of time, the song skyrocketed to number 1 at “MTV Adria Rock Chart” and number 3 at “Top 20 Chart”. “Fly to Stay Alive” single is planned to be released in various European countries shortly. maNga is also working on a Turkish project, which is due for a 2011 release.
maNga (Sony Music & GRGDN, 2004)
maNga+(SONY BMG & GRGDN, 2006 )
Şehr-i Hüzün(Sony Music & GRGDN, 2009)
We Could Be The Same (GRGDN, 2010)
MTV European Music Awards, Best European Act,2009
55th Eurovision Song Contest, 2nd place, 2010
Balkan Music Awards, Best Group in the Balkans, 2010