Updated: May 24, 2020
I remember being a teenage drummer and reading through the booklets of my CDs, checking out all the companies my favorite drummers endorsed. I remember thinking that once a drummer is endorsed and associated with a brand he’s officially made it in the music industry. He’s so good at what he does, that a company wants to be associated with him. For a long time one of my main goals was to get endorsement deals from companies that I liked. As I grew as an independent musician I lost the desire to be endorsed by companies.
Endorsements gone wrong
On cruise ships I got to work with many musicians that had endorsement deals. Sadly, I must say, most of these musicians weren’t happy at all with their negotiated deals. I met several musicians that were under contract with companies but did not use any of their equipment. I met musicians that would use the financial benefits they got from the companies and resell the gear they got. I also met musicians that signed contracts with companies they didn’t even know or didn’t even like. As a result, these musicians were constantly complaining about their companies and the gear they had to use. They were also the ones telling everybody how they should have never signed a contract with them.
To me, that was the classic case of musicians thinking about endorsement deals just the way I used to think about them when I was a teenager. That the companies would support you in all your musical endeavors and goals, that they would proudly present you to the public and that you could actually have an impact on the company. Well, none of that is usually the case, at least not for most musicians or companies.
Murat, my father and I having dinner in Murat's favorite restaurant by the beach in Samsun
Now, with my mind far away from endorsements, I got contacted by Murat Diril. I remember the moment I read his message. I was skiing in Switzerland and I opened my phone on the ski lift when I got the message from Murat. His message said that he had checked me out and that he liked me and that he’d like me to play his cymbals and become an endorser. Of course, I was flattered by the offer and I responded that I’d have to think about it.
Thus far I owned a couple of his brother’s cymbals and I played Murat’s cymbals a couple of times but never got to buy one. What I’ve heard from his cymbals and what the company image represents online and in the drumming community I felt pretty comfortable that I could play his cymbals exclusively, but I still didn’t want to sign a contract. So I asked if I could visit him and the manufacture as this would give me the best opportunity to get to know Murat, the brand and of course the cymbals. Murat agreed, and we signed a contract that stated that I was not allowed to conduct any negotiations with other cymbal manufacturers until I’ve visited Murat Diril.
I got Murat’s first message in January and in July we finally met in Samsun, Turkey where the cymbals are crafted. I went with my father who actually organized the whole trip for me #shoutout to my awesome dad!
Trip to Samsun, Turkey
Murat Diril is a really cool dude. He knows everything about the cymbal industry, knows everybody important in the business and knows every single step about how cymbals are made.
Murat was very welcoming. We stayed in Samsun three days, he always picked us up at the hotel, took us out for lunch and dinner and of course we spent a lot of time in the manufacture checking out how the cymbals were made and playing all his different cymbals.
Samsun by the Black Sea.
What was I looking for?
I had three main criteria before signing an endorsement contract with Murat Diril cymbals.
First, Murat himself. I had to like him, and he had to like me. Luckily, we got along from the moment we met.
Second, I had to like the process of his cymbal making. The craftsmanship that goes into those cymbals is mind blowing. Murat mixes his own alloy there in the manufacture. Everything is hand made. From the mixing of the alloy, to the hammering of the cymbals up to the printing of the logo. All his cymbals are 100% hand made Turkish instruments. Knowing, seeing, and experiencing what goes into making those beautiful instruments really impacts the way one approaches and plays such an instrument.
Third, I had to love his cymbals. I can actually say, there was not one cymbal that I didn’t want to take home with me and I must have tried about 60 different cymbals. For me that’s actually quite special. I have a very specific taste in cymbals, when I walk into a music store and it has 60 cymbals to try out I usually like either none or one of the cymbals. That’s actually true. I like when cymbals react immediately and accurately to articulation and dynamics. I like thin, soft and complex sounding cymbals. Each and every one of his cymbals has exactly that to offer.
Signing the endorsement deal in Murat's office.
So, I signed the contract, and luckily for me Murat still wanted me to even after spending such a long and intense time together. I am now, July 2019, a proud endorser of Murat Diril cymbals. I can call Murat my friend, and I know that I can count on the Murat Diril team in Samsun whenever I need something. I will be posting more about the trip to Samsun and the cymbal manufacture in following posts.