Özlem Tekin was born into a Turkish-American family in California. Though her father was a prominent professor at the University of California Berkeley, her family returned to Turkey when Tekin was four years old. Though she grew up in Ankara, her American roots were still present and Tekin went on to study Western music at the Hacettepe University Music Conservatory, specializing in the clarinet. After graduating, Tekin decided to start a hard rock band, more or less abandoning her clarinet. Since then, her musical style has expanded to included traditional Turkish music, electronica and punk. Most of Tekin's music is sung in Turkish and thus most popular in her country of residence.