Talented Oud player and singer-songwriter Aliya Cycon was born and raised in the U.S., but her music suggests otherwise. Just four years after picking up the lute-like stringed instrument while traveling in the Middle East, she became the first female Oud player to graduate from the renowned Berklee College of Music. Now, her unique music reflects her experience as an American woman who fell in love with Arabic culture, while mixing in influences from her life-long love of Flamenco, New Age and Balkan music. Her debut album "We Will Be Light" was described by DownBeat Magazine as "an alluring and shimmering dance between world-pop and traditional music." Aliya Cycon Project has released two albums, an EP and a single under that name, but in 2019 she transitioned to releasing music under her name, Aliya Cycon.
Cycon delivers fearless and soaring vocals in English, Arabic, Spanish and Ladino, while showing off her Oud playing through catchy riffs and soulful improvisations. She has performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Awards in Oslo, and toured in Jordan, Kuwait and Tunisia as a Cultural Ambassador for the United States Embassy. In 2018, Cycon moved to Valencia, Spain, where she frequently performs, but she cut her teeth as a performer in the U.S. almost a decade ago. Notable collaborations include New Age/West African percussionist Tony Vacca, Jordanian music stars Tareq Jundi and Nasser Salameh, Tunisian icon Zied Gharsa, and LA-based pop singer Naïka. Cycon is a proud endorser of Godin Guitars, La Bella Strings, and Avid Technology. Aliya frequently performs alongside her trumpet virtuoso husband, Timotej Kotnik.
Under ALIYA CYCON PROJECT, she released the small-ensemble and traditional "We Will Be Light" (2015) , the large orchestral-fusion album "Prayer" (2017) and an upbeat Mediterranean fusion EP called "Aliya and The New Andalus" (2019).
As ALIYA CYCON, she has released the singles "Breath: Psalm 150" (released May 2021) and "You Are Loved" (released February 2022). The latter is a collaboration with the popular Tunisian brother-sister duo Selim and Noor Arjoun.
All of Aliya's music is available to be purchased online (here).
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Watch this short video summarizing Aliya's unique story