While 2015 may be designated as the year of the sheep, Manhattan-based independent record label Young Pals Music is forging ahead like a lion. Celebrating nearly 10 years as a full-service music & publishing company, the label continues to expand its versatile musical palette with R&B, rock, pop, dance, musical theater & jazz projects.
Topping the list of upcoming releases is Turkish-born, NYC-based performer, actress & songwriter Melis Aker, whose debut EP launches this spring. Collaborating with Young Pals Music Founder & Producer Ayhan Sahin, the project comprises acoustically driven original songs, performed with guitars, piano and violin, with lyrical themes based on Aker’s observations of life in the big city. Contributing instrumentalists include Turkish guitarist i Yilmaz, Broadway pianist Tom Gallaher, legendary percussionist Mike Sorrentino (Rainbow, Deep Purple) and double-bassist Evan Gregor.
In addition, Sahin is ushering in the new year as co-producer of the live show “Groovist,” a monthly
residency at Manhattan’s East Village club Drom (as well as other New York City venues), featuring Young Pals Music artist, singer, songwriter & guitarist (and longtime mutual collaborator) Emre Yilmaz. He will deliver popular covers and original songs in a festive, party atmosphere. Sahin is assisting in track production, as well as assisting in Emre’s live ensemble.
Young Pals Music is also prepping the sophomore release from award-winning Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter & guitarist Michael Benedetto, due in early summer. With its pop, dance & electronic template, the album represents an evolution from his traditional alt-folk roots. What remains is the artist’s savvy for traditional lyrical storytelling.
Produced by Sahin, Benedetto’s CD follows 2012 debut“Burnt Hill Road,”which was dedicated to raising money for children’s charities, and profiled in the New York Daily News. He is a two-time winner of the West Coast Songwriters Association Awards (Best Song & Best Performance), and a regular performer throughout NYC’s illustrious downtown club scene.
Also coming in the first half of 2015: a revival of Sahin’s original stage musical “1453,”which documents the fall of Constantinople. With a new staging in his native Turkey, the production will be followed with a freshly conceived concept soundtrack. Originally titled “The Conqueror,”the show was staged and performed nearly a dozen times across Europe and the Middle East. Sahin & Onur Orkut originated the story.
Later this year, Ayhan Sahin will release his first-ever solo album, which brings together 12+ award-winning vocalists and musicians. The 10-track opus is tentatively titled “POP,” blending organic instrumentation with contemporary production. All songs are written with and co-produced by hit songwriter Bernadette O’Reilly, the founder of Breaking Records, who has also worked in artist relations, management and song placement.
ABOUT YOUNG PALS MUSIC
Independent record label Young Pals Music was founded in 2007 by producer & songwriter Ayhan Sahin, with a global focus on artist development, songwriting & collaboration, vocal & instrumental recording, mixing, merchandising & consultancy services.
With a Master’s degree from NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the arts, Sahin has staged original theatrical works in his native Turkey, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Now based in New York City, his full-service company has worked with the likes of Olivia Newton-John, Melba Moore, Phoebe Snow, Sezen Aksu and Sandra Bernhard. Sahin has been profiled in more than two dozen newspapers, magazines and online publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Fox News, MTV, VH1, Yahoo Music and Life magazine.
In 2014, Young Pals Music achieved its greatest success to date, with the May release of the debut solo album from Mexican star Bianca Marroquin. She is renowned for her leading role as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s “Chicago,”and as a judge on TV’s “Mira Quien Baila”(the Spanish-language version of “Dancing With the Stars”). Marroquin’s full-length “El Mundo Era Mio” was courted by the Latin and Broadway press, including a live performance on Univision.