Who is AyseDeniz?
AyseDeniz Gokcin is a Turkish concert pianist who has been playing the piano since she was five and a half years old and touring since she was nine. When she was seventeen, she left Turkey to study music abroad, earning her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at Eastman School of Music in New York and her Master’s degree in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
She describes her mission as follows, “I do a lot of classical performances. I usually aim to unite audiences from all different genres, and that’s my mission to travel around the world and to unite people against musical discrimination.”
Musical discrimination is how she describes individuals being imprisoned in one “box” or musical genre. She notes that she feels strongly that everyone should be able to listen to as many types of music as they’d like, which is why she does a lot of rock covers and composes her own music – to inspire others to listen to different genres and styles of music.
Music and Social Media
AyseDeniz had a significant boost online when one of her covers was shared on Pink Floyd’s Facebook page. Her Facebook grew rapidly as a result.
“So, that’s kind of how my social media started to gain traction, and then I wanted to eventually get out of the Pink Floyd persona because I didn’t want to be known as the pianist who just performs Pink Floyd, so I did a classical album recording of Chopin… and I also recorded a Nirvana album.”
She shares that she enjoys the contrasting styles of grunge or rock music and classical music. She polled her fans and began creating different covers, including covers of Nirvana’s music.
Her Original Compositions
AyseDeniz shares that she was excited to release her compositions, especially when the response she received was tremendous.
“I started doing more original compositions because I thought, “Okay, why not? Since I’m doing all these arrangements [that] are very different than the originals, I could definitely compose my own things”.”
She explains, “I just didn’t know if people wanted to hear what I had to say in my own musical world, but the album I recorded became top two in the U.S. classical charts and in the UK as well.”
For her, this was incredibly rewarding to see that her fans were not only interested in her covers of popular music but also her original compositions.
Today, she creates many original compositions and enjoys interacting with her audience during the production process. She shares that she enjoys sharing new melodies and hearing what her audience imagines about the melody.
AyseDeniz says she would ask her fans about the new melody, “What do you think it’s about? Where is it taking place? What’s the character? And then they would write paragraphs of amazing things, and so I thought, wait, this is something people want to be a part of. So, why don’t I use social media to bridge that gap?”
The interaction during the production process is fun for fans and creates a strong community.
She notes, “Social media is my community. It’s literally the reason why I wake up every day and start practicing and composing,”
Social Media Success
AyseDeniz shares that her biggest social media platform is currently Facebook. She also enjoys posting visual posts on Instagram and music videos on TikTok, which she’s received a lot of positive feedback for. Specifically, her Phantom of the Opera baroque-style mashup was picked up by the TikTok algorithm and received over 2.2 million views.
When asked about the secret to her success, AyseDeniz notes that her creativity and authenticity are the biggest keys to her success.
“I don’t fit in a category, and that has been an issue for labels for a long time for the industry because they were like, so what kind of music is this? That’s why fans like it because I don’t fit in a category, so I think people love being a part of something new.”
She added that she also enjoys showing her emotions and passion while she plays because many musicians keep a stoic face while playing. However, she explains, “I think people like to see happy musicians.”
“I think the number one thing that I’ve learned and I would encourage is don’t worry about being perfect because people love to see the backstage and the making and the progress. So, if you don’t have a final product, you should definitely post about your struggles, the journey, and the process.”
Being a Kawai Artist
AyseDeniz shares that her biggest collaboration so far has been with Kawai Pianos.
She notes, “I don’t actually see it as a brand partnership. I see it as more of a lifetime partnership with them and a friendship. They’re more like family now. They send pianos to me where I need [them] in the US and North America.”
The Kawai Piano was also the first piano that she had at home as well.
Her collaborations with them include “Showcasing the pianos. Every single type of content that you’d put out there… I use their pianos whenever I can.”
She has also worked with a classical music publisher, the same publisher who created the academic sheet music that she learned piano on.
AyseDeniz shares, “It’s crazy to think that these brands that were part of my life became my supporters.”
When asked about her dream collab, she shared that she would love to work with a car company.
She notes, “I always think of pianos as cars because it has pedals, keys, [and] you play on it and can go fast [or] you can go slow. I always have this image of a commercial in my mind where it would be a car and a piano on a highway or something and then with the piano playing and then the car goes around.”
AyseDeniz shares that she is building a tour currently for next year. She also has a story-building project.
She says, “I’ll ask everybody to submit their own stories and then create characters from them, and I will showcase them in the concerts.”