Quick Questions: Olcay Bayir

Concert Promotions Intern Rosie Sewell talks to captivating Turkish singer-songwriter Olcay Bayir ahead of her concert at Turner Sims on Thursday 19 March

RS: Your recent album Rüya (Dream) has many references to journeys in it. What story are you hoping to tell on this album?
OB: In Rüya (Dream) I am telling the stories of my personal experience from the last 4 years, my musical journeys, what I have learnt, feelings I’ve gone through. My original songs reflect this and I also re-interpret some traditional songs with the way I feel and see.

RS: Do you find that your nationality and homeland is a primary influence in your music?
OB: My main influence is where I grew up and the melodies I hear in my head from my childhood. But one thing I’d like to mention is I believe that culture – more than religion or nationality – provides identity. I’d rather talk about traditions and regions than specific religions and nations. You are you, whatever religion or country you’re from. My main influences are my culture and roots, but every music I hear, every emotion I feel too.

RS: Do you find that playing for audiences in Turkey is very different to playing for audiences in England and Western Europe?
OB: Very different. How people hear and appreciation music is quite different, and that’s normal. One song is loved by Turkish audiences, and they may sing along to a well-known song, but it may not find the same response from the other. It’s something to keep in mind when delivering a performance. And of course I need to explain the background to songs to an English-speaking audience.

RS: You have a fantastic group of musicians accompanying you for this concert. How did these collaborations come about?
OB: Many thanks, I met all these beautiful musicians through music making. Some of them I’ve been working with since my first album. Some of them joined more recently.

RS: Do you find that your song writing is also a collaborative process?
OB: I start my songs alone until the song feels complete to me. To build it from there and give it a final shape is always a collaborative process.

RS: And finally, what would your dream day off be?
OB: Being in a cottage in a valley where there is no sound apart from nature itself, away from technology.


BOOK NOW: Olcay Bayir: Dream for Anatolia is live at Turner Sims on Thursday 19 March 8pm

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