Acclaimed Toronto-based jazz vocalist, Fuat Tuaç releases his fittingly titled second album, Immigrant, out now, reflecting on his experiences as an immigrant living in Toronto. Fuat sings in three languages — English, French, and his native Turkish — while curating a potpourri of jazz styles that, like the artist, traverse the globe.
Check out Stay, the first single from Fuat Tuaç’s album, Immigrant
“Immigration is a very hot issue in the world now. People move around the world for one reason or another, even COVID could not stop them. I wanted to share my story in Canada as an immigrant,” says Fuat. “I wanted to talk about my journey in Canada. I wanted to talk about the people I’ve met along the way; my experience inside and outside the jazz world; what I anticipated from Canada and what I’ve found; how people see me and how I see them. I wanted to talk about all of this and inspire people.”
“I’d like the songs on Immigrant to speak to every person regardless of their country of origin,” Fuat says. “I think the eclectic nature of the album lends itself to that.”
Check out “Immigrant” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdC7qRiI7uo
I wanted to talk about my experiences as a single man dating online looking for love and intimacy in a humorous way. Online dating now has an international vernacular and its own ground rules, infraction of which will come with grave circumstances. In today’s world, post-COVID, meeting someone organically, outside internet, is almost impossible so this song speaks to most of us.
I also wanted to talk as well about how social media rules our lives in this era. We use it for so many different purposes. Apart from trying to give the impression that our lives are perfect, many people use it for purposes of spying on others. “Who’s That Man?” tells the story of a dumped lover who becomes the stalker of his ex on social media.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4ByDtpjIqBEAMAvqaCiOOW?si=J8Gv7b1pRSmucbbXMy5HhQ&nd=1
The English language songs also include the wistful, melancholic, but inspiring title song, “Immigrant,” and the groovy “Moss Park,” a reflection on the homelessness in a Toronto Park.
These songs were written in lockdown and recorded recently, so they are also reflective of that period. I›ve also included some songs in French and a traditional Turkish song that I revisit in the jazz style.” Fuat says.
Globetrotting and time travel through the history of jazz are fused with hip, up-to-the-minute Canadian urban poetry which is in turn inflected with Turkish street flavor in Fuat’s album. The international feel of the album, like Fuat, is expansive, taking flight and soaring, seemingly intent on visiting more destinations than an airport departure lounge.
Underpinning the entire endeavor is some rock-solid musicianship provided by Eric St-Laurent on guitar, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet, Eric West on drums, and Jordan O’Connor on double bass. Celebrated vocalist Kim Richardson duets with Fuat on “Chez Moi” and the renowned vocalist from Istanbul, Yesim Akin joins Fuat on the traditional Turkish song, echoing hymns from the Asia Minor across the ocean. The album was recorded at Kensington Studios in Toronto, but Fuat traveled to Montreal and Istanbul to record the duets.
My guitar player, Eric told me, when I first told him that I wanted to record the album with him: “You are such a natural singer, you improvise a lot on the stage and your album must be reflective of your live performances on stage. Nothing more than that. If you ever lose your voice when you are old and you can’t sing anymore, we will bring in a huge, big band to accompany you so that no one will understand that you can’t sing anymore”. Fuat says.
Fuat plays regularly around town with the same band that he has recorded the album with, so it only came naturally to him to record the album with them to capture the existing natural sound of live concerts.
Fuat has a unique pedigree, partly because the cosmopolitan singer/songwriter used to be a qualified lawyer, practicing law in Istanbul, France, and the UK before the calling to pursue jazz full time became too strong. He relocated to Montreal in 2011 to study jazz at Concordia University where he earned a degree, plying his craft in the local bars and clubs of the city. In 2017, he released his first critically acclaimed album, Late Bloomer.
Immigrant Track Listing
1. NO STRINGS ATTACHED (TUAÇ) 2:46
2. ASLA UNUTAMAM (TUAÇ/FERRER) 4:00
3. CHEZ MOI (DUET WITH KIM RICHARDSON)* (FÉLINE/MISRAKI) 03:52
4. LONG & WINDING ROAD (UZUN INCE BIR YOLDAYIM) (VEYSEL/TUAÇ) 05:45
5. IMMIGRANT (TUAÇ) 3:44
6. AEROPLANE (PALMER) 4:00
7. WHO’S THAT MAN? (TUAÇ) 4:52
8. MOSS PARK (TUAÇ) 3:37
9. LA RUA MADUREIRA (FERRER) 4:44
10. STAY (TUAÇ) 3:53
11. UZUN INCE BIR YOLDAYIM (DUET WITH YEŞIM AKIN)** (VEYSEL) 6:28
Fuat Tuaç: vocals
Eric St-Laurent: guitar
Kevin Turcotte: trumpet
Eric West: drums
Jordan O’Connor: double bass
*Kim Richardson: #3 duet “Chez Moi”.
** Yeşim Akin: #11, duet “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim”