Nilüfer Yanya: “I never used a pick until I recorded my first album – it needed to sound angry, and I didn't want to break my fingers!”

Nilüfer Yanya
(Image credit: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

The name Nilüfer Yanya is one you’ll find in many ‘ones to watch’ lists for this year – and with good reason. The young Londoner released her debut album, titled Miss Universe, in 2019 and last year’s Feeling Lucky? EP further intensified the hype around her name. 

She started 2021 by performing on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – her first, and certainly not last, taste of primetime international exposure... 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).