Described as “one of the finest, most intriguing singers on the British world music scene ....” Robin Denselow, The Guardian, 2019
London based, Kurdish Anatolian singer-songwriter Olcay Bayir’s music is a mixture of her original compositions
and songs based on Anatolian folk music tradition with dynamic, contemporary twist. Looking at her complex history, Olcay’s voice weaves of survival, exile, love and longing and rebellion.
Olcay was born in southeast Turkey not far from the Syrian border, Olcay’s soul was always rooted in the Anatolian musical tradition. As a teenager, she moved to London with her family.
She went on to study operatic singing at a London University, but realised that classical music was not her path.
Instead, she brought the power of a trained voice to the music of her homeland in her first album “Neva –
Harmony” (Riverboat, World Music Network, 2014), sung in multiple languages spoken within Anatolian geography. Her second album “Rüya – Dream” ( ARC Music, 2019 ) featured her own songs. Both albums were well received in industry press. Nominated for best newcomer in the Songlines Music Awards 2015 for her debut album Neva. Olcay also released a 4 track EP during pandemic was funded by Help Musicians Uk. Artist is currently working on her new album which will be published in the first half of 2024.
Olcay Bayir is recipient of Arts Council England, PRS Foundation - Women Make Music, Help Musicians UK- Do It Differently Funds.