Candemir’s career in music began with his high school band which won several awards from “Milliyet Liselerarasi Muzik Yarismasi” (Milliyet High Schools Music Contest). After graduating from high school Koray Candemir began performing at local music clubs. In 1994, after hearing him perform, Selim Ozturk and Mehmet Senol Sisli invited Koray to join Kargo as the lead singer. In 1996, Kargo released their debut-album “Yarina Ne Kaldi? (What is left for tomorrow?) The album was an instant success, making Kargo the most popular rock band and Koray Candemir one of the most recognizable faces in Turkey.
He released four more albums with Kargo during 1997–2000, Sevmek Zor (Love is Hard), Yalnizlik Mevsimi (Season of Loneliness), Sen Bir Meleksin (You are an Angel) and Best of Kargo. All of these albums helped to increase the popularity of Kargo and Koray Candemir. After the best of album is released, Kargo decided to go their separate ways for a while to focus on their personal projects. During this time Candemir took steps towards a solo career, with the release of his debut solo effort Sade (Simple) in 2001.
In 2002 Candemir surprised his fans as he took the role of presenter on the “Sing Your Song” (Sarkini Soyle) music contest which aired on Show TV. Later in 2005 Candemir provided his support and back-vocals for the debut album of Manga, the runner up of “Sing Your Song” music contest.
After a three-year hiatus, Kargo regrouped in 2003 to begin work on their next studio album. Their 2004 release “Ates ve Su” (Fire and Water) was welcomed by the fans with great interest. In 2005 Candemir showed this expertise in music as he was one of the jury members in “iCan Film, Muzik ve Tasarim” (iCan Movie, Music and Design by Apple Computers) contest. In 2005, Candemir released “Yildizlarin Altinda” (Under the Stars) with Kargo. This album consisted of covers of Turkish rock and pop songs and became instant success selling over 100,000 copies. With the success of “Yildizlarin Altinda” Kargo toured Turkey, giving more than 100 concerts which made them earn the second position in number of concerts given by a Turkish Rock Artist. In 2007 for the first time Candemir took on the role of producer on debut album of G.E.C.E., a newcomer Turkish Rock Band. G.E.C.E.’s debut album is released in May 2008.
Koray Candemir has also worked with several Turkish artists throughout his career. Candemir rerecorded “Sairin Elinde” (on the Hand of Poet), a major Kargo hit with Athena, Turkish Ska band, in 1998. The same year he also worked with Sebnem Ferah, who is one of the best female rock artists in Turkey, at yet another Kargo hit “Kalamis Parki” (Kalamış Park). In 2005 Candemir sang back vocals for “Kal Yanimda” (Stay With Me) by Manga, Turkish nu metal/rap core band. In 2006, he recorded “Yeniden Gelsem Dunyaya” for the tribute album for Tanju Eren and “Belki bir gun” (Maybe One Day) for “Barda” (At The Bar) movie soundtrack.
Candemir’s popularity is also recognized by many Turkish and international companies. As a result he starred in many commercials which includes Dr. Renaud Paris (1999), Axess Card (2001), Halk Gofret (2006) and Coca-Cola (2007). In addition to these commercials with his band Kargo, he participated in Casio (1997), Efes Dark (2000) and Jacobs Coffee (2008) commercial campaigns.
Candemir is a credited actor in His Secret Life movie directed by renowned Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Özpetek. His role required him to learn Italian. In 2004, it was announced that he would play the lead character of Niko in “Yabancı Damat” (Foreign Groom) TV series. Later on Candemir dropped out of the TV series as his touring schedule with Kargo would not allow him to be committed to this project.
Candemir has worked on behalf of UNICEF and United Nations Population Fund.
In 2005 UNICEF partnered with the Turkish Ministry of National Education to launch “Haydi Kizlar Okula” campaign which aimed to increase the equality in the education system by helping girls between ages of 6-14 to attend school. During the campaign “Güral Porselen” began to sell specially designed mugs to raise funds for the campaign. Koray Candemir provided his support to the campaign with his photos appearing on the mugs to attract more sales.
In April 2007 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched their “Staying Alive + Me (named Bir Genclik Hikayesi)” in Turkey with the help of their sponsors, MTV Turkey and Levi's. As this campaign targeted educating teens about safe sex practices, they opted to choose Koray Candemir as the celebrity spokesperson for the campaign. Candemir still actively participates to “Bir Genclik Hikayesi” by attending workshops visiting universities and recording TV spots to raise awareness.Sade (Universal) (2001)
Fate ignoranti, Le 2001
International English title:The Ignorant Fairies
USA title: His Secret Life
Director: Ferzan Özpetek
- Nefesini tut (Hold your breath) (3:57)
- İçini Dök (Tell what's on your mind) (4:30)
- Eskisi gibi olmaz (Can't be like before) (3:31)
- Sade (Simple) (3:45)
- Aşk (Love) (4:24)
- Gerçek acıtır (Truth hurts) (4:08)
- Herşey yalan (Everything's a lie) (3:19)
- Seni sevmesem (If I didn't love you) (3:29)
- Kuyunun dibinde (At the bottom of a well) (4:01)
- Ailemin yanında dururken (While standing by my family) (3:09)
- Seni sevmesem (enst.) (If I didn't love you - Instrumental) (8:49)