The digital release features Mr Öncal and partner BesteDenizel on vocals; guitarists ErsenEroğul, UmutZeytin, SertunçAkdoğu and RaşitPekmezci; AlperKarabacak on sax;HasanRahvancıoğlu on piano and percussion by SerhanÖncal.
Mr Öncal, who is the pomoter of the Sundance Reggae Festival at Kaplıca and former host to scores of local musicians at his backstreet Girne bar, said: “It took six months of networking in İstanbul for me to feel at home here.
“I have been coordinating festival stages, but although we speak the same language, it’s very different here.
“I took the leap because I believe in it. The train will never hit you if you wait on the platform!”
The self-styled“rasta” vocalist and drummer returns to the island next week for rehearsals with his band ahead of a performance at Turkey’s five-day Zeytinli Rock Fest at 10.30pm on Friday, August 25. The festival itself runs from August 23-27 and plays to an audience of 120,000.
“We’re booked to play the Grab your Tent and Come Festival in Mersin next and I’m hoping to be back in North Cyprus in September to promote the album,” Öncal added.
“I came to İstanbul for a purpose: Meram, which means My Purpose. I am really proud of the album and it’s very precious to me.
“It's the first reggae album in English and Turkish from NorthCyprus and it’s the right time for this music here.”Meramis available for free via the digital music service Spotify.
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