Gaye Su Akyol is bringing her ‘freedom-loving’ Anatolian psychedelic beats to London this weekend

Gaye Su Akyol’s critically acclaimed first international album Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu (Glitterbeat, 2016) established her as one of Turkey’s most compelling new voices, her music effortlessly straddling diverse genres such as rock, folk and Turkish classical music.

She spent the next few years touring the globe with her band, showcasing her vibrant live abilities: a surreal, post-punk rebel with surfer-esque appeal. Her distinctive experimental sound, influenced by the likes of Nick Cave, Nirvana, Zeki Müren, and Selda Bağcan, has won her a legion of new international fans.

At the end of 2018, Gaye released her follow-up album, İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir (Glitterbeat), winning more plaudits for its soulful, rich musical palette. The 10-track album pitches Gaye as a poetic folk chanteuse with a strong political message, as she dreams of “pure freedom” and seeks to “create a counter-reality in order to challenge organised evil”.

Musically, her band’s impressive folk-rock sounds again come to the fore: sturdy bass riffs and percussion woven into Turkish melodies, with a dash of electronica, and traditional Turkish stringed instruments the oud, bağlama and cümbüş.

Gaye Su Akyol video for Bir Yaralı Kuştum, from her latest album İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir

It’s won Gaye a nomination as Best Artist at this year’s Songlines awards, where she will also perform on Saturday 30 November. So if you’ve missed your chance to get a ticket for her Friday sell-out concert at the Jazz Café, buy fast for Songlines, where you will also get a chance to see remarkable artists from around the world including Mariza, Fatoumata Diawara, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, and Monsieur Doumani live.

Concert Details

Event: Songlines 2019 hosted by Cerys Mathews (BBC 6 Music)
Date: Saturday 30 November 2019
Times: 8pm till 11pm, plus afterparty until late
Venue: EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney), 11-17 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London N16 8BH
Info & Tickets: £21.45, available online from Soundcrash.


Main photo of Gaye Su Akyol by Aytekin Yalçın, Facebook/Gaye Sy Akyol