Nilüfer Yanya (1995-) is an English singer, songwriter and musician. Yanya is the daughter of two visual artists, her mother is of Irish and Barbadian heritage and her father is Turkish. Yanya grew up in Chelsea, London listening to Turkish music and classical music playing at home. She gravitated to guitar rock and learned how to play the instrument at the age of 12.
Les Inrockuptibles has likened her material to the likes of King Krule, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Parquet Courts and the Breeders.
Informally starting her musical career with demos uploaded to SoundCloud in 2014, Yanya turned down an offer to join a girl group produced by Louis Tomlinson of One Direction and focused on developing her own music instead. She has spoken out against this model of talent acquisition, telling The Guardian “‘Let’s go and pinch some young people, tell them we’re going to make a really successful group but we’re obviously going to make a lot more money than them.’ It’s a very selfish thing to do.” The project was reportedly abandoned after a year.
Her first EP, Small Crimes/Keep on Calling, was released in 2016. Her second EP, Plant Feed, was released in 2017, followed by Do You Like Pain? in 2018.
In 2019, Yanya released her debut studio album, Miss Universe, which received rave reviews and critical acclaim, with critics noting her ability to bounce back and forth between musical and lyrical styles, shifting between “gimlet-eyed composure and cataclysmic panic”. Yanya’s music has been described as nervous and restless, combining influences from indie rock to soul, jazz, and trip hop. A Stereogum review called her voice “malleable and endlessly expressive.”