When 23 year-old soul pop-artist and Londoner Nilüfer Yanya was first performing her songs as a teenager she found it both terrifying and exhilarating.

“Music for me was part of finding out about my own city, London,” Nilüfer says. “Because I was going off to perform, sometimes with a friend, sometimes not, and I'd have to navigate my way around the whole vast metropolitan area. I'd been trying to write songs since I was six and playing guitar from age twelve but I hadn't been out and about a lot till I was seventeen or so and started doing little gigs. I am of Turkish and Irish descent but London is my home. I'm a typical 21st century Londoner! But my family's culture was a bit different and they'd often be misunderstood or misinterpreted when I was young. Lately I have been to Turkey – my dad's home country – a few times and it has become a much more real place to me now. I'm glad about that. It's exciting to know there's another place you can also belong to. Though first and foremost I'm a Londoner!”

At eighteen Nilüfer uploaded some demos to SoundCloud. Soon she'd caught people's attention and she released three EPs on indie label Blue Flowers. These were 'Small Crimes' in 2016, 'Plant Feed' the subsequent year and then 'Do You Like Pain?' Next she signed to independent New York label ATO and was rapidly nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2018. Her forthcoming debut album is 'Miss Universe'.

Nilüfer blends elements of soul and jazz into her intimate music and for her minimalisation is key. “I try never to forget that the spaces between the notes matter just as much as the notes themselves,” she says. “I often underpin my songs with a single electric guitar so you get an intense but uncluttered sound which I think is a potent mix.”

Despite her recent success, Nilüfer is determined to resist getting swept up in the hype. Her live bandmates are old schoolfriends who she says keep her grounded. And she feels playing support in the past to the likes of the xx, Interpol, Broken Social Scene and Mitski has helped teach Nilufer how to make her own way successfully whilst enjoying every aspect of what she's doing.

“I am thrilled now to be headlining a tour – and appreciate my audiences very much,” Nilüfer Yanya says. “But, don't worry, I am never going to be someone who gets too carried away by it all. I keep things in perspective!”

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