About Behiye Suren

"What I really love to do is tell heartfelt stories, woven into the threads of soulful, east/west fusion music - music that transports you home to yourself, like a flying carpet ride. I love to sing these stories, so people can connect to their own stories when they hear the words."

 

Behiye’s dream of making music came to life in New York in 2000 when after some formal voice training, she landed a spot in the chorus of the Vertical Player Repertory Opera Co. After returning home to Sydney, she honed her songwriting and performance skills by studying music at TAFE, QUT and UWS, and fronted as a vocalist for various bands from bossa nova to blues & roots.

In 2010, Behiye recorded and released her self-funded debut EP ‘Season of Plums’, about divine/romantic love, and growing up in a migrant family in Australia. Distributed on MGM, the album rotated on SBS and FBI radio stations. She independently toured the album in Australia, Dubai, Beirut and Turkey, was featured in Kuwaiti Airlines Magazine and Time Out Istanbul, and appeared on television and internet in Turkey and Beirut.

In 2011, Behiye officially moved to Istanbul, following a heart’s yearning to dive into the music of her heritage. She was a regular performer at popular central venues such as Karakedi and Kooperatif, and a featured artist for the documentary ‘Gidenler’, which spotlighted 12 Istanbul musicians. She worked with local artists while studying traditional music privately at the national conservatorium. In 2012 (In Istanbul), she met her collaborator and mentor Natalia Mann. This was the turning point in her music career. In 2014, the pair applied for a grant and were successful in being funded over $20,000 by the Arts Council of Australia to make a full length album. 

In 2015, as a 'peace ambassador', ​Behiye Suren was invited to play at Anzac Centenary by the Australian Consulate in Gallipoli, performing at the VVIP breakfast in the presence of Prince Charles, Harry and the Aust. and NZ PMs. Another centenary highlight was sharing her music with Russell Crowe on the set of his film The Water Diviner in Istanbul. He broadcast her songs during filming (there was a set DJ) & even put the name of her song on a prop in his film. In 2016, she was invited back to Gallipoli by the Australian Consulate as a cultural ambassador between Australia and Turkey, to play a concert for youth with local musicians at a university and major venue, Hayal Kahvesi. Another huge achievement in 2016 was collaborating with and recording her 'Grandma's Lullaby' song with Turkey's master of folk music and iconic creator of the fretless guitar Erkan Ogur with whom she will tour nationally in 2018.

Since coming back to Australia, Behiye Suren has performed at venues and events for International Women’s Day and opening gala night for an international film festival, working with local and multicultural musicians. Her album is due for release at the end of this year.

"I like the eastern flavours a lot, they bring a unique quality to Behiye's music which is a rare thing to hear. Strong lyrics too, it's great that she is writing narratives & characters rather than the usual 'pages from a diary' style that is so common. Finding your own sound is always difficult & many artists never do..." Five-time ARIA award winning producer Paul McKercher (Sarah Blasko, Eskimo Joe, Josh Pyke)