Fidan, aged 17, who describes herself as London-Azeri, was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and brought up in the UK. She developed a passion for her musical roots through her father who regularly invites Azeri musicians to perform in their family home and she began singing at the age of 13 whilst attending Azeri school in London. The young teenager is influenced by the ‘mugham’ style, a complex form of traditional Azeri song with instrumental accompaniment and despite no formal training, performs at a number of Azeri events in London. Fidan is the youngest-ever World Routes Academy protégé and is also currently studying business at Sixth Form college.
Fidan says of the World Routes Academy: “I’m so excited that the World Routes Academy has chosen me as its 2013 protégé. I feel very honoured to be given the opportunity to work with Gochaq over the coming months and I will work hard to make myself, my family and most of all, my beloved Azerbaijan proud.”
Gochaq Askarov has been described as “An extraordinary voice”, “a fantastic singer”, and “crown prince of Azerbaijani classical mugham” by Western musical press and the Mugham style of music that he performs has been proclaimed by UNESCO a “masterpiece of oral & intangible cultural heritage of the humankind” (2003).Gochaq Askarov
Gochaq comes from Garabag, the district of Azerbaijan known for many great Azerbaijani musicians. Singers from Garabaq are famous through-out the Caucasus for their beautiful voices.
Gochaq started singing at about the age of five. When he was fifteen Gochaq moved to the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, and lived alone as a refugee. Later on he entered higher education at the Azerbaijan National Conservatoire majoring in Mugham singing. In 2006 he became one of the laureates of the First Republican TV-competition “Mugham Star”.
For 6 years of his public music activity starting since 2007, 34-year old Gochaq Askarov has given more than 40 solo concerts both in Europe, America, and in his home country. His voice has been featured on many radio broadcast in Germany, Netherlands, USA, UK (including Radio 3’s World Routes), Australia, and Italy.
He features on the critically acclaimed World Routes ‘On the Road’ CD released in 2012