Alya Al-Sultani (aka Alya Marquardt) is a British-Iraqi singer and composer living in London. Alya Al-Sultani’s long-awaited debut album, ‘Chai Party’, was recorded with an ensemble of leading European jazz and world musicians from New York, in the same space that Herbie Hancock recorded Rockit.
‘Chai Party’ incorporates elaborate ensemble arrangements of Iraqi folk songs and her own compositions, bringing richness and harmonic complexity to songs that have largely remained hidden from Western audiences.
This project is an exploration by Al-Sultani to understand her feelings about the country of her birth, attempting to hold both the beautiful and the ugly, the mechanical sounds of war and the human sound of song and present the diaspora experience in the fusion of different musical styles and histories.
“It’s a real pleasure to hear how Alya has embraced her own rich cultural heritage and used some elements of that to not only acknowledge the past but to introduce us to her present thoughts on what will look to be an intriguing musical journey.” -Orphy Robinson