Işın Karaca (Turkish pronunciation: ɯʃˈɯn kaɾaˈdʒa) (born 7 March 1973 in London) is a British born Turkish Cypriot pop singer.
Her family were Turkish Cypriots from Britain. Her mother Şeniz Büyükkaraca is a restaurant owner in Cyprus and her father Ali Büyükkaraca (died 2011) was a real estate agent originally from Afyon. She has a son (Erda Kıvanç, born 1993) from her first marriage whom later she divorced. She had an affair for 12 years with arranger-composer Erdem Yörük. She was married with director & motocross racer Sedat Doğan in 30 May 2011, the couple divorced 2 years later in November 2013. She gave birth to her girl Sasha Mia in 2011.
She graduated from the London IV King Edward School with a theatre major.
Backing vocalist (1997-2001):
Işın began her musical career as vocalist for Sezen Aksu. In 1997, she performed songs in the Turkish translation of Disney's Hercules' Soundtrack. She also performed the Turkish translations of this album. In 1999 she became the lead vocalist of the musical group "Panic Attack", but the group separated before releasing any albums. In 2000 she competed for Turkey on Eurovision Song Contest's pre-eliminations with "Bir Kırık Sevda". She didn't pass pre-eliminations for Eurovision but she represented Turkey in the OGAE Second Chance Contest and became 7th with 104 points. One year later she tried again with "Kaderimsin", but again she wasn't selected to represent Turkey for Eurovision. In OGAE Second Chance Contest, "Kaderimsin" became 14th with 52 points. She also appeared in Sezen Aksu's music videos "Oh oh" and "Allahın Varsa". In 2000, she was featured in "Geçmişe Yolculuk" from Fresh B's "Gerçek Kal" album. Until 2001 she continued working as back vocalist of Sezen Aksu. She also modeled for the XL fashion company "Sumak"'s Fall-Winter catalog in 2004-2005. She and her brother Akın Büyükkaraca own a musical production company: Akış Production.
In 2009 November, she modeled for Adil Işık's 2009-2010 Fall-Winter catalogue "Love My Body" collection. The photoshoot was shot by famous Turkish photographer Serkan Şedele.
"Sezen Aksu" years (2001-04):
As she got her fame by working with Sezen Aksu as her backing vocalist, she released her debut album, Anadilim Aşk (My Native Language is Love), with help of her. The album is released in 2001 under "Power Records" label. All of the songs on this album were written by Sezen Aksu, except two of them have lyrics written by Ali İlyas. She made a great success with this album, becoming popular all over Turkey. Her first single Tutunamadım and second single Başka Bahar became hits. The video for the third single "Aramıza Yollar" was shot by Waleed Nassif. This video was the first High Definition video in Turkey. Famous Turkish actor Toprak Sergen also appears in this video. There's a video shot for "Doğum Günün Kutlu Olsun Oğlum", but this video was never aired due to conflicts with her music company. First release of this album sold-out quickly and they re-released with an addition of "Tutunamadım (remix)" in 2001. This version also sold-out quickly, and in 2006 it was re-released with "Seyhan Müzik" label. After the first album was released, she contributed to several albums like Selmi Andak's "Uluslararası Ödüllü Selmi Andak Şarkıları", Hakkı Yalçın's "O Şarkılar", Alpay's "Sessiz Kalma" and collection of "Yeni Türkiye Coşku Dolu". She performed a song in soundtrack album of Ezel Akay's movie Where's Firuze?. She also starred in this movie as guest star. In 2004 she formed a group named "Masalcılar Storytellers" with Erdem Yörük, Eda Özülkü and Metin Özülkü. They made their first album called "Masalcılar I" in which they tell stories to children. The group intended to make a series of albums like this and they credited this inside the cover of the album, but they never released another project.
At 2004, She released her second album, İçinde Aşk Var (There's Love Inside). She worked with different writers like Aysel Gürel, Suat Suna, Ümit Sayın. She also wrote a song in this album. This album has only one song written by Sezen Aksu. First video Yetinmeyi Bilir misin? becomes a hit. Second video "Bekleyelim de Görelim" also made a great success. The last video came to a Sezen Aksu cover "Hoşgörü".
In 2006 she contributed in Mehmet Tokat's poetry album "İnadına Seveceğim". Then she performed "Ben Sana Vurgunum" for Ali Kocatepe's tribute album "41 Kere Maşallah" which was a celebration of Ali Kocatepe's 41st year as an artist. She performed "Eski Bir Resim" in rap-singer Ogeday's album "Mecburi İstikamet". She also contributed in charity album "Yaşasın Okulumuz" which aims to make schools or improve the conditions of them, mostly in sub-urban areas.
Başka and Uyanış (2006-09):
In 2006 she released her third solo album, 33/3 Başka (Different). She worked with Alper Narman and Fettah Can on this album. She wrote a song for this album too. There are no Sezen Aksu songs in this album. First video Mandalinalar becomes a hit. Second video came to "Kalp Tanrıya Emanet". Third video became "Bırakma".
In 2007 she performed "The Final Countdown" in Dolapdere Big Gang's Just Feel. This is the first song performed in English by Işın Karaca in an official recording.
In 2008 she was featured in Ogeday's Maxi Single. They performed "Eski Bir Resim" in RnB, Electribe, House, Reggaeton and Electronic style. In June, she performed cover of Esmeray's hit "Unutama Beni" for the theme song of ATV's "Elif" TV series.
Işın Karaca's fourth studio album,"Uyanış", was released on 29 May 2009. She worked with Sibel Alaş, Erdem Yörük, Erol Temizel and Zeki Güner on the album. She is also a songwriter for several songs in the album.
Arabesque albums (2010-11):
In April 2010, she released her first arabesque album: Arabesque, which included covers of famous arabesque songs. The album was released when Arabesque music gained popularity among Turkish pop music singers. The album has sold more than 100.000 copies, which is more than her pop albums. This lead her to release the sequel album in June 2011: Arabesque II. The sequel album also become successful, which has sold more than 50.000 copies.
Return to pop music (2013-):
In July 2012, she announced from her Twitter account that she has been working on a pop album. Later she announced the album title as "Her Şey Aşktan" (English: Everything is because of love) from her Twitter account. The album is released on 8 May 2013.
In 2013, she performed "Geceyi Sana Yazdım" in "Onurlu Yıllar" album, which is a tribute album for Onur Akın in his 25th anniversary in music. In 18 March 2013, she and 16 other singers sang "Çanakkale Türküsü", a special song for 98th anniversary of Gallipoli Memorial Day. In May 2014, she performed "Vestiyer" in Ahmet Selçuk İlkan's duets album Söz.
She had a leading role in a movie called "Sen Ne Dilersen" (International English title:Whatever You Wish) directed by Cem Başeskioglu. The movie has very talented actors like Işık Yenersu, Zeynep Eronat, Yıldız Kenter, Fikret Kuşkan, etc. She made a great performance with her role "Marika" although it's her first career movie.
She was to act in "Herşeyin Bittiği Yerden" directed by Turkish film director and actor Ezel Akay, where she co-starred with Okan Bayülgen. The movie is about 1999 İzmit earthquake. The film was scheduled to be released on January 2009, however it was cancelled due to financial problems.
In 2005 she hosted a musical program called "Işın Show" in channel ATV. In the show she hosted several popular Turkish singers and actors every week. The program ended in 19 August 2005. She appeared in Turkish TV series Haziran Gecesi as a guest singer.
In 2007 she and Vatan Şaşmaz hosted "Kadın Her Yaşta Güzeldir" which was a beauty contest between mothers. In 2007 she also became the musical coach of Vatan Şaşmaz in first season of "Şarkı Söylemek Lazım", in which popular non-singer celebrities sing songs for the show. They became very successful that they come 4th out of 12 contestants. In mid-2007 she hosted a musical show "Haydi Söyle" in channel Turkmax.
In 2009, she appeared as a guest actress in Turkish adaption of The Golden Girls, Altın Kızlar, with her role Nurse Binnaz.
In 18 September 2012, she started hosting "Başucu Şarkıları" in TRT Müzik channel.
In 2005, she rebuilt the library of "Gölcük Kız Meslek High School" which was damaged in 1999 İzmit earthquake. On 3 July 2005 she gave a charity concert and donated the income to the school. On 19 April 2006 she opened the library, which was named after her.
In 2006 she contributed in Yaşasın Okulumuz project, which aims to make schools or improve the conditions of them, mostly in sub-urban areas. She sung the theme song with other artists and gave one of her songs "Sen" to be included in the album made for the project. She also joined the charity night aired on Show TV, where she and other voluntary artists answered calls for donations.
In April 2008, she contributed in charity album "Gel Sende Katıl Umudun Şarkısına" (Come, join the song of hope), a song made for "KACUV" (Foundation of Hope for Kids with Cancer). This project aims to build hygienic houses to be used for treatment of kids who had cancer.
In 2009, she and Sedat Doğan started a project named "Doğudan Doğan Işık" (The light that sets from east). It is an exhibition, which aims renewal of village schools in Turkey. They started their first photoshoot in Mardin.
As of 2 March 2005 she was writing a blog named "Kaleminden" (From her pen) on her official website, that is mainly about news of her works but occasionally contains her point of view on daily events. The articles sometimes concern about global awarenesses or national problems with a wide range of interests from politics to music industry. She currently had written 66 articles.
In 2005 she announced that she was writing a book. Later she told that it is a diet book named "Büyümek İçin Küçülmek Lazım" (Need to get smaller to grow) and will be published when she is 36 in size. The book is about her memories while losing weight, and there will be also tips about diet recipes.
In 2008 she became columnist of http://www.2kadin.com website and has been writing since 18 June 2008. Her columns are about relationships, and her target audience is women.