Ayça (her name translates to “shiny as the moon“) is a jazz singer living in Bonn.
She grew up in the Ruhr area, the biggest conurbation of Germany, in a multicultural, bilingual environment.
Her father, a Turkish poet and author, played quite an important role in her early musical upbringing.
Growing up with his daily piano improvisations, she started singing even before making serious efforts to imitate regular speech.
Having gained her first musical training in a children’s choir, she started taking piano lessons and attended ballet class.
At the age of 16 she found her true passion while doing her first appearance as a vocal soloist.
She studied vocal jazz at ArtEZ Conservatory in the Netherlands where she also founded her first quartet.
During her studies she began to explore her Turkish and Laz roots and included own arrangements of folk and art songs to her repertoire, which she sang during concerts in Northern Europe and on a first tour through Turkey.
After graduation Ayça moved back to Germany, collaborated with jazz musicians from Cologne in different formations and by the end of 2016 formed a new quartet.
During that time the State Music Council NRW granted her a recording scholarship.
In 2017 she recorded her debut album “Lazjazz“, which was put out in 2018 by Jazzhaus Records (Germany) and in 2019 by Dogan Music Company (major label in Turkey).
A concert at the 2019 Rudolstadt-Festival was broadcast live by WDR 3 (West German Radio).
Later in 2019 the group was awarded first prize at the “creole competition NRW“ and thereby chosen to be part of the “Musikkulturen NRW“ catalogue.
Fortunately her family bought a second residence by the shore of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. So from early childhood on Ayça spent most of her summer holidays there.
This enabled her to maintain a deep connection to country, language and culture of her parents, a crucial prerequisite to her artistic development.
In addition it’s been the singer’s heartfelt wish for a long time to preserve the vanishing culture of her ancestors on her maternal side, the Laz.
The Laz are a caucasian minority that has been oppressed in Turkey for a long time.
Their history dates back to ancient times and the Laz language, which is related to Georgian, has been classified as “critically endangered language” by the UNESCO.
The various influences and aspects of musical identity get woven and intermingled into her lyrics, compositions and arrangements.
In association with her experienced band members Ayça creates a style of cross-cultural jazz that is very unique and artfully crafted, but still rooted in ancient oral traditions.