June 3, 2023

By Chris Elliott and Margaret Sheard ….

The Soulist Coffee and Music House in Alsancak has become a very popular venue for those people who enjoy live music, including blues, rock, reggae, jazz and classical.

Alper Cengiz opened the Soulist in January 2017. He and Roland Eyerich became friends and together they have since been promoting live music at the Soulist to an ever increasing audience. 

CyprusScene recognise and appreciate the dedicated work of these two people and have been pleased to present them with the CyprusScene award.

Below is some information about Alper and Roland, two music loving people.

Alper Cengiz

Alper was born in Ankara in 1971.  As a child he was fascinated with legends such as  Elvis, Ray Charles, The Beatles etc. and grew up with rock’n’roll.  His sister was a violinist so there was also classical music in his home.  He also tried to learn to play the cello but this didn’t work well, nor as a music teacher at the University.

Later Alper started to sing with local rock bands in Ankara and finally in 1995 he started his own band “Soul Stuff”.  This was based on the Blues Brothers Band and is a 6 piece band with a brass section.  Soul Stuff has performed all around Turkey and also Jordan and Cyprus, and is still performing today.

When coming to North Cyprus, Alper’s aim was to create a stage for different kinds of music and also for the abundance of talented musicians.  During the two years the Soulist has been operating they have welcomed musicians from both sides of the island and Turkey.  There have been additional events for charity with “Friends across Borders”, a Christmas market and monthly classical music evenings (held on the last Sunday of the month).  A more recent event is Breakfast with Jazz which is also held monthly (normally the second Sunday of the month) at 10.30am, where music lovers can enjoy breakfast accompanied by jazz and this again has proved to be very well received.

As well as music, Alper wanted to have a place for people to enjoy good coffee during the day in a warm and cosy atmosphere and with music on certain evenings it has made the Soulist a unique venue for a cultural and social life.  

Of course you can also see Alper performing himself at his Alper & Friends events at the Soulist.

Roland Eyerich

In January 2017 Roland Eyerich started a new radio show in the German language with Bayrak International – “Blues and Rock Show with Roland”, a mix of old and new, which is presented every Sunday evening from 9pm to 10pm.

Roland is from Koblenz in Germany and was an officer at the Federal Ministry of Defence. He had been visiting the TRNC with his wife for a number of years to stay at their home in Lapta.

Following his retirement and after much travelling, in particular to Scotland, which he loves, he studied social science and now tries to help and support the younger generation to develop skills and create for themselves a better future.

Another of Roland’s passions is music through which he says  “it`s not only a show for German people as my intention is to bring people together without regard of nationality, colour, religion or language. Music is one of the instruments for making people happy and peaceful.

Roland’s show can be heard on Sunday evenings at 9pm North Cyprus time by selecting FM 87.8 and FM105 for live streaming.

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