Turkish Singer Aleyna Tilki Shares the Stories Behind 'Take It or Leave It' and 'Diamonds'

With her irresistible tracks and defiant confidence, it's no surprise that Turkish singer-songwriter Aleyna Tilki is a viral superstar.

Her tracks are upbeat and anthemic, containing boldly outspoken messages that stand up against the haters who say she has to conform. We love that Aleyna is always unapologetically herself, not just freely expressing her own truth, but also empowering others to do the same in the process.

Her last two tracks were the rock-tinged "Take It or Leave It," which saw Aleyna art directing her own music video, and the funky and romantic "Diamonds" featuring Swedish duo Jubël. We got the chance to chat with her about both songs, plus her upcoming album and what it meant to her to be part of  Spotify's May EQUAL campaign. Keep reading to find out all she shared with us.

The Story Behind 'Take It or Leave It'

Aleyna Tilki: I wanted to break the boundaries of perfectionism and show my true essence with all the reality in it. I wanted to reflect my happiness and my sadness with all my truth and darkness in me, crying out loud. I believe in the motto "Where there is dark there is light," so I've written this in the song.


What 'Take It or Leave It' Means

AT: This song showed me that people will accept me for who I am. The global audience embraced me with my true personality. This might also show that everyone can unapologetically be their own essence.


Aleyna's Favorite Lyric

AT: Of course the part that says, "Where there's dark there is light." This emphasizes the meaning that you can find hope in every dark place.


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The Story Behind 'Diamonds'

AT: This song's story is about not having to settle for anything in your lifetime and really focuses on the topic of love. It's basically about the journey to finding your love match. So, there are a lot of questions people ask themselves like, "Do they deserve someone else"? I believe your life partner should be your No. 1 supporter.


Collaborating With Jubël

AT: I met them in London on a day with the most magical weather. That was the first time I have listened to "Diamonds" in the studio. The song's lyrics resemble my actual personal life in that period. "Cause he will never treat me right," lyrics reflected my feelings for my boyfriend at that time. I thought this was a message from the universe to me, so I decided to accept this message. Also, Jubel's energy was really great. I am so enthusiastic about North European people and culture, so both the song and Jubel were a great match for me.


What 'Diamonds' Means

AT: The listener of the song shall think if they need "another kind." We don't have to settle for what we have in life, and in love especially. This is a song about seeking your relationship match, so people must ask themselves if they deserve someone else or another person. I think your life partner shall always support you and inspire you in every step of your life.


Aleyna's Favorite Lyric

AT: Definitely the part that says, "You deserve another kind," because it's a really great match for my mood nowadays.


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Her Upcoming Album

AT: You'll be more surprised with my next releases because we're all witnessing my journey of finding myself. All of my songs have the same feeling and vibe, but I want to embellish them with different sounds. My next solo release will be a hyper-pop release, which is the genre that attracts me most nowadays.


Spotify's EQUAL Global Campaign

AT: I am honored to be on the EQUAL Global cover, because even if you are a woman or man, rich or poor, or whatever you choose to be, we are all equal, all human beings. This is my motto. EQUAL fits my motto perfectly. There are many inequalities in the world, including for women. I believe people must forget their knowledge about society and reform a new kind of mindset.

I would really like people to accept that everything is not about masculinity. This mindset is really harmful and toxic. People from all genders and orientations should express themselves freely for real liberation.

Aleyna Tilki in tie and skirt

(Image courtesy of Aleyna Tilki)


For more interviews with today's biggest talents, click HERE to read our chat with Siobhan Williams on her role as Laura in The Quarry.