West Londoner Nilufer Yanya is a name to take note of with her soulful songs and seductive melodies.
Just back from a European tour, the 22-year-old singer tells Baylee McWilliams about her new production opportunities, and what we expect from her in the next coming months.
When did music start for you?
It started with piano when I just age six. Then I learned to play guitar when I was about 12 or 13 and I started writing at the same age, so it’s been a while.
Being from a mix of Caribbean, Irish and Turkish descent, does background come through your music?
I’m not sure, I feel as a person I’ve developed on my own. I really admire those genres of music, but the music that I make is from inside of me, and only me, if that makes sense.
Who are you working with producer wise now?
I’m working with this guy called Oli Barton-Woods, who’s been working with Alaska Alaska. Then I’ve been producing stuff with Nick and Jazzi from my band so, I’ve got a few producers on the go.
How is the touring going?
I got back from the European part of the tour on Saturday and I’m going to Istanbul next week. Then I’m back for my UK tour at the end of May and I’ve also been playing in America. I will be heading back to do a festival over there soon. It’s like being on a World Tour!
How difficult is it to bring a song to life on stage?
Sometimes songs are really easy to translate to live, and some can be really challenging. Sometimes a record can be simple, but you have to look at all the different variables like the sound and the room, you’ve got to make it sound as strong as possible. I work a lot on the arrangement with my band, it’s really helpful having a band to work with, they understand because they’re performing it live with me.
You performed at The Great Escape last year and return again this year, what can fans look forward to?
We’ve got a synth now and last time we had a keyboard, so there’s going to be less people on stage this time round. There’s going to be more power in the sound itself. I feel The Great Escape is really good as it showcases each performer and gives them a platform.
But because its run like a festival and there are so many things that can happen on the night like you can be kicked off stage earlier than planned. Last year I didn’t get a soundcheck.
But you get to see people perform, meet and talk to other bands and network.
What other festivals are you playing this year?
I’m playing a small festival called Form Arcosanti in Arizona and also Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. UK wise I’m doing Dot to Dot and The Great Escape. Then in June I’m at this festival called Kallida in Hereford, then Bestival and Electric Picnic Festival in Ireland.
Last year I was playing mainly in the UK and Europe, but I’m worldwide this year.
What can fans expect?
I’m working on my album and I need to get that sounding as good as possible. I’m going to be playing new songs in my live set and I might have a single coming out too but I’m not sure yet.
Sorry for being mysterious! But I just don’t really know, I’m going to be playing new songs amongst the set, so live you will be hearing new stuff.
Interview by: Baylee McWilliams