Altın Çocuk “The Golden Boy” Yavuz Çetin (born Yavuz Hilmi Çetin September 25,1970 - August 15, 2001) was a Turkish musician as well as songwriter and singer in the blues and psychedelic music genres, who gained renown in his native country for the skill and sensitivity of his guitar performances and, in the wake of his suicide at the age of 30, before the release of his highly-praised album, Satılık, has achieved a near-iconic posthumous status as a talent lost on the brink of great achievement.
Yavuz Çetin spent his early school years traveling through the country’s various regions, as his father, journalist Erdal Çetin, responded to the demands inherent in the profession. In 1984, at the age of 14, the adolescent music enthusiast was already taking blues and rock guitar lessons from guitarist Hasan Cihat Örter and, the following year, started learning to master the acoustic guitar and, subsequently, the electric guitar. Before graduating from Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa High School, he and classmate Ercan Saatçi who, in later years, became a noted musician as well as sports journalist, entered HEY magazine’s music competition and their song, “I Will Cry”, became the winning entry.
In 1988, continuing his quest in Istanbul for higher education and advanced musical training, Çetin began studies at Marmara University’s Music Department while earning an income as a musical performer in clubs such as Beyaz Ev, in the port town of Bodrum, where he played in 1989–90. In 1991, upon turning 21, he formed, with young musical colleagues Batu Mutlugil, Kerim Çaplı and Sunay Özgür, the musical group, Blue Blues Band. Having married in 1992, Yavuz Çetin and wife Didem filed for divorce four years later. In that year, 1996, and for the remaining four years of his life, he was also a guitarist at the numerous concerts played by the noted band Mazhar-Fuat-Özkan aka MFÖ
In 1997, Yavuz Çetin issued his first album İlk ve Son…, produced by his longtime compatriot Ercan Saatçi, but the album was unable to capture the spirit of that moment’s public musical mood. He also earned an income from writing numerous advertising jingles, such as a well-remembered Coca-Cola spot, and his tune “Dünya”, which was chosen as part of the soundtrack for the 1999 film, “Propaganda”, with a score composed and arranged by master guitarist Erkan Oğur.
He collaborated, as well, on various albums with turkish pop singers such as Teoman, Kıraç, Sibel Tüzün, Soner Arıca, Göksel, Deniz Arcak and Acil Servis. In Göksel’s hit song “Sabır”, he became the first Turkish guitar player to use a talk box. Of particular note is his solo on Deniz Arcak’s Bırakın Beni from the Kıpır Kıpır album which, in an illustration of his mastery of the rock and blues guitar tradition, was recorded on the first take after only a couple of rehearsals. It also became the last studio session recording in which he participated.
Six weeks before his 31st birthday, after expending months of intense effort writing all of the tracks for his second album, Satılık, and having completed the album’s final recording session, Yavuz Çetin committed suicide by leaping from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi Bridge. Posthumous acclaim followed the subsequent release of the album which a number of music reviewers described as a work of genius. With the passage of years, both Satılık and the previously overlooked İlk ve Son… have gained a near-cult status as Yavuz Çetin’s music and words continue to be heard in the region keeping his legend alive for the listening public.