AYLA Ersoy is a name you will be hearing more of this year as music continues to heal and inspire her to be the purest form of Ayla she can be.

She describes herself as a “deep, emotional girl” who dives headfirst into the waters of blues and jazz, savouring the immersion.

A young heart with a mature, sassy soul, she is passionate in conversation and her love for connecting with people through song is infectious.

“Oh, I’m going to make you feel something when I sing,” the 22-year-old boldly, but jovially remarks to the Press ahead of an upcoming show this weekend.

“I know there’s a light inside of me that I can give someone a glimmer of. I want to sing about facing yourself and the darkest places within you that you don’t want to look at.

“I want to make people feel something they may not have felt in years or weren’t even aware of.

“Music is everything to me and I leave myself out there when I play, and if I see someone leaving the night with a feeling they’ve never had before then that is everything to me.”

The singer, songwriter, and pianist calls Dunfermline home now after growing up on the other side of the Forth, with karaoke and open mic nights in Edinburgh and Scotland’s newest city her first exposure to playing live to an audience having spent many years previous writing her own songs alone in her room, day after day.

In the past year she has earned a residency with her band at The Jazz Bar in the capital’s Old Town, a venue she would walk past as a child with her mum, promising “one day I’m going to sing there”.

She routinely does so now with her childhood dream realised without any rush for fulfilment.

She has listened to her own voice, acknowledging but resisting desire to take guidance from others and making steps to the Bar at her own pace.

She knew how overwhelming it would be at a young age to throw herself into such an ambitious goal, admitting “my mental headspace wasn’t ready”.

“I had people supporting and encouraging me to put myself out there, but I had to take my time and slow the process down,” Ayla stated.

“I knew I would get there, and here I am now – I’m proud of myself and it makes me smile every time I think about it.

“It’s the first time in my life that I don’t feel as though I’m holding on to anything.

“I’ve been through quite a lot of s*** growing up and it really impacted me. It felt like every time I was going to heal something else hurt me.

“I was always trying to catch-up with myself, and it did feel as though I was never going to fully heal and recover.

“I have now, and I can fully focus my energy on my music and where I want to go.”

The wait was worth it as performing live jazz in an iconic grassroots setting is everything she dreamed it would be.

“There’s something beautiful about the way jazz touches you, and musically it just sounds phenomenal, and I truly lose myself within it,” she says, adding an album is in the making but that too will not be forced into fruition.

“I’m really working on my live performance right now as I want that to be amazing.

“Eventually, I do want to record but I’m on adventure right now to find out who I’ll be recording with as it can’t be anyone. I need to feel what they do, and they need to vibe with what I’m doing.

“I have ten songs of my own that I just love to play all the time solo and with my band. I don’t know how long this album will take; there’s no structure in place, it’s all free-flowing and I’m not putting any pressure on myself.

“If I start applying pressure, I’ll disappear from myself.

“I can sit down and write, sure, but I can’t just think of loads of words on the spot. It needs to come from a place within where the emotion is. I shut my eyes and let it come from the heart. I need to feel it.

“Ultimately, I want to tell a story of where I’ve been as a person. Writing music and playing music is my therapy.

“I’m not just writing a song; I’m getting out what I’ve been through and processing all these feelings. I’ve written songs that I know I won’t show to anyone, they are just for me, and I love them for that purpose.”

By design she has not released any music of her own online at present and grainy fan-shot clips on social media do not do her voice any justice, so seeing her play live is presently best practice for full authenticity and feel.

Ayla is set for Dunfermline this Saturday night at Fire Station Creative – where she performed during last year’s Outwith Festival – and you can expect original material and covers from a range of genres and influences, She is set to play from 9 to 11pm, with further details available from the venue’s social media channels.

  • Ayla performs once a month at The Jazz Bar with her band consisting of: Ali Hutchison (drums), Cameron Bradley (bass) and Harry Higgs (guitar). Visit the Jazz Bar’s social media for line-up announcements.