Blessed with a stunning voice and the ability to sing in multiple languages, Olcay Bayır is delights live and in the studio.
Last month, she released a new 4-track EP Inside (İçerde) to great acclaim. Four gorgeous tracks rooted in Anatolia, yet soaring to many other different cultural places.
Olcay received funding awards from the Arts Council and Women Make Music – PRS Music Foundation UK, which helped finance her latest work, and this weekend she gets to share it live with all of us.
On Friday, Olcay will be appearing with her band at The Live Room at Saltaire in Yorkshire for two socially distanced concerts.
Friday’s early show (starts 6.30pm) is being streamed live courtesy of event partners The Roots Live, allowing people around the country to watch and enjoy the concert. The show is available to view online for a week after it is broadcast.
About Olcay Bayır
Olcay was born in Gaziantep, a city in the south of Turkey that lies close to the Syrian border. She grew up in a Kurdish Alevi family, who gave importance to traditional and communal music.
For centuries, southeast Turkey has been home to diverse communities, and Olcay experienced first-hand the multi-cultural and interconnect worlds and music of Anatolia – Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, and Arab.
Her family would move every few years to different parts of Anatolia, giving a young Olcay a broad insight into the cultural and religious differences within the region and also what it means to be “Anatolian”.
“I believe that culture – more than religion or nationality – provides identity. I’d rather talk about traditions and regions, rather than specific religions and nations. You are you, whatever religion or country you’re from.”
This worldview has been embedded not only in her life philosophy, but also her music. Whether live or recorded, Olcay (pronounced Ole-j-eye) takes the audience on a journey into the heart of Anatolia.
Using a mixture of traditional and original songs she and her band bring to the fore a melting pot of cultures and full of music that often remain invisible to regional outsiders.
Olcay sings in Turkish and Kurdish – both languages are rhythmical and deeply touching. Her musical voyage takes us from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, where we meet wandering aşık (poet-bards), reaching the areas adjoining war-torn Syria that were once heavily populated by Armenians.
She revisits her own Kurdish and Alevi roots, inviting us through the music to explore our own roots and changing identities.
Performing live with Olcay at the Saltaire are Aurel Qirjo (violin), Huw Bennett (bass), Christian Prior (keys), and Kostas Kopanaris (percussion).
Title: TLR Presents Olcay Bayir
Date: Friday 04 June 2021
Venue: The Live Room at Saltaire, Caroline Street, Saltaire, Shipley BD18 3JZ
Time: Early show (live and livestream) 6.15pm to 7.45pm. Late show (live in Yorkshire only), from 9pm.
Admission: tickets for the livestream cost £12
Tickets for the live stream are available via TLR: Olcay Bayir (Buy Tickets) — Roots Live
More info about the artist is available from Olcay’s website: olcaybayir.com