Video of the day: Nilüfer Yanya – In Your Head

Nilüfer Yanya is an upcoming star in the British music scene. Currently on the cover of Loud And Quiet magazine, and tipped as an Artist to Watch in 2019 by The Guardian, The Independent, i, Q, Dork and The 405. Those are impressive platforms to get a mention on.

With ‘In Your Head’, the foundations seem to be firmly laid for Nilüfer Yanya’s debut album Miss Universe, which will be released on 22 March via ATO Records/PIAS and her confirmation as a rare and utterly original British songwriting talent.

Nilüfer Yanya will be playing at CHELSEA VIENNA on 21 April as part of a huge tour that will see her play show across Europe and the US.

DISCOVER

MORE SONGS 

ABOUT 

Though she’d been writing songs in her head since she was six, and on the guitar since she was 12, it took a long time for Nilüfer Yanya to work up the courage to show anyone her music. “I knew I wanted to sing, but the idea of actually having to do it was really horrifying,” says the 23-year-old. When she was finally persuaded to do so, by a music teacher in West London where she grew up, she says “it was horrible. I loved it”.

At 18, Nilüfer – who is of Turkish-Irish-Bajan heritage – uploaded a few demos to SoundCloud. Though she’s preternaturally shy, her music – which uniquely blends elements of soul and jazz into intimate pop songs with electronic flourishes and a newly expressed grungy guitar sound – isn’t. And it didn’t take long for it to catch people’s attention. She signed with independent New York label ATO, following three EPs on esteemed london indie label Blue Flowers, and earned a place on the BBC Sound of 2018 longlist. She also supported the likes of The xx, Interpol, Broken Social Scene and Mitski on tour.

Now, Nilüfer is ready to release her debut album, Miss Universe. Though she recorded much of it in the same remote Cornwall studio she used to jam in  as a much younger person, it is bigger and more ambitious than anything she has done before. ‘Angels’, with its muted, harmonic riffs, channels ideas “of paranoid thoughts and anxiety” – a theme that runs through the album, not least in its conceptual spoken word interludes which emanate from a fictional health management company WE WORRY ABOUT YOUR HEALTH™. “You sign up, and you pay a fee,” explains Nilüfer of the automated messages, which are littered through the album and are narrated by the titular Miss Universe. “They sort out all of your dietary requirements, and then they move onto medication, and then maybe you can get a better organ or something… and then suddenly it starts to get a bit weird. You’re giving them more of you and to what end?”

TOUR

6 February | 9:30 Club, Washington^
7 February | Union Transfer, Philadelphia^
8 February | Royale, Boston^
9 February | Beacon Theatre, New York City^
11 February | Danforth Music Hall, Toronto^
13 February | Majestic Theatre, Detroit^

14 February | Thalia Hall, Chicago^

15 February | Thalia Hall, Chicago^

16 February | Firsy Avenue, Minneapolis^
18 February | Gothic Theatre, Englewood^

19 February | Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City^

21 February | Crystal Ballroom, Portland^
22 February | The Imperial, Vancouver^
23 February | Neptune Theatre, Seattle^
26 February | The Filmore, San Francisco^
28 February | The Observatory North Park, San Diego^

1 March | The Theatre, LA^

28 March | Babylon, Istanbul

3 April | CCA, Glasgow

4 April | YES, Manchester

5 April | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

6 April | The Cluny, Newcastle

8 April | O2 Academy Leicester University, Leicester

9 April | Evolutionary Arts Hackney, London

11 April | Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

12 April | Thekla, Bristol

13 April | O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford

14 April | The Haunt, Brighton

16 April | Bitterzoet, Amsterdam

17 April | Nochtwache, Hamburg

18 April | Kantine am Berghain, Berlin

19 April | Motel Mozaique, Rotterdam

21 April | Chelsea Club, Vienna

22 April | Ampere, Munich

24 April | Exil, Zurich

25 April | Blue Shell, Koln

26 April | Le Point Ephemere, Paris

29 April | Les Nuits Botanique Festival, Brussels

30 April | Merleyn, Nijmegen

1 May | ACU, Utrecht

1 June | Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain
8-12 August | Belle & Sebastian Boaty Weekender

^with Sharon Van Etten