By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Outraged by the controversial death of George Floyd, musicians Rükiye and Tylarik banded together to perform a “global collaboration” for the anti-racism song, “Minneapolis Man,” written by Greek poet Giorgos Hondralis.
The song was released in July 2020 via Spider Music and celebrates unity.
Rükiye – a German-born daughter of Turkish parents – has over a million hits on social media and six albums under her belt, with a melodic range that can be heard in four languages – English, German, Greek and Turkish. Tylarik, a black man, is a recently retired law enforcement officer from Texas and is a Southern Soul Music award-winner in addition to being an actor, singer and songwriter.
The Music Bugle had the chance to chat with the duo about “Minneapolis Man” and more.
Music Bugle – Musically, how did the song “Minneapolis Man” come together?
Rükiye – After what happened in America, the poet Georgios Hondralis wrote the “Minneapolis Man” poem the same night. Spider Music contacted with Tylarik about that poem and we started working on that.
Tylarik – The same minute I read the poem, music came out and it became a song.
Music Bugle – What convinced you guys to work together?
Rükiye – COVID-19 and lockdown brought us working together for some home videos our label Spider Music was going to upload. That is how we met each other. Later, came the “Minneapolis Man” and we recorded that song as duet.
Tylarik – It was a pleasure to work with her. She is very talented.
Music Bugle – What kind of feedback have you gotten on “Minneapolis Man” so far?
Rükiye – I have received only positive feedback so far. Newspapers picked it up and published it immediately. Radio stations, social media, musical magazines and television are also talking about it.
Tylarik – We’ve received many reviews stating how much they appreciate the song, “Minneapolis Man.” All the responses have been positive. For example, we’ve received comments stating the song is a tribute and that it memorializes George Floyd.
Music Bugle – Do you feel that things have truly changed in society as a result of protests around the country?
Tylarik – I believe protests bring awareness to issues going on in our society.
Rükiye – Of course. Change is a lengthy process and every movement contributes to awareness, which is the first step in change.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt the cause for change in the world?
Tylarik – In my opinion, social media gives an individual an opportunity to voice their personal views without outside interference. Social media brings awareness to issues and accomplishments around the world that local news may not cover.
Rükiye – It depends on which side it comes from, but on the whole, one can speak about a positive contribution against racism.
Music Bugle – Will you two collaborate again in the future?
Tylarik – It’s been a joy to work with Rükiye. She’s bright and very professional. I look forward to collaborating with her on future projects.
Rükiye – I certainly hope so! I am very happy with this collaboration.
Music Bugle – Who are some of your musical influences?
Tylarik – Artists from different genres and styles have influenced my music, such as Freddie Mercury from Queen, Marc Anthony, Franky Beverly of Maze, Prince, George Michael, Michael Jackson, Patty Labelle, Maxwell, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston and so many more.
Rükiye – For me, it is important to listen to good music. It doesn’t matter what kind of musical genre it is, as long as you enjoy it. I listen to and enjoy rock, soul pop and traditional music.
Music Bugle – Are you working on any new music right now?
Tylarik – Yes. I’m working and creating new material about different concepts. Music is my passion.
Rükiye – I am working on a number of different projects. However, the most prevalent at present is an English Balade that is being written by Giorgos Hondralis.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tylarik – Like everyone else, it’s a life-changing event and like many, I’ve lost loved ones close to me. The death of a family member was devastating.
Rükiye – Like all people, since COVID-19, my social life has been severely restricted, so I decided to dedicate my spare time my musical projects.
Music Bugle – What is the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?
Tylarik – Apart from writing new material, the most productive thing I’ve done was to reevaluate my goals and priorities.
Rükiye – This is an easy one! The song “Minneapolis Man.”