A Christian singer-songwriter who lost her ability to make music for two years because of a debilitating neurological condition is set to release a new single this Easter.
Through Your Eyes will be the first song released by Seniz Suleyman since she was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND), a condition that affects her physical and mental health.
“It truly and honestly feels incredible to be making music again,” said Seniz, who studied for a Music Production Level 3 Diploma at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) in 2015.
Seniz, 25, who lives with her family in Enfield, achieved a Distinction* at CONEL and went on to graduate with a first-class BA (Hons) Music Production at the BIMM Institute.
She said: “I am wonderfully blessed and grateful to be able to do so and I am very excited to create and share my gift for music freely again, especially with my family and friends who have loved and stood faithfully beside me.”
FND is caused by a problem with the brain and nervous system. Symptoms vary from person to person and include various cognitive, mobility and sensory difficulties, chronic pain, fatigue, panic attacks, insomnia, migraines, anxiety and depression.
“I began walking, talking and thinking in slow motion and my memory was severely impacted and everyday tasks became more difficult. This desperate situation lasted for more than a year and became so unbearable that I even began to question my faith,” said Seniz.
“It was all-consuming. I had no idea what was going on. I genuinely feared that I would not only never be able make music again, but I would also not recover or be well again. I was simply existing.”
Seniz was diagnosed with FND in early 2022 and was told by specialists there was no treatment available for the condition. She was later advised by a nutritionist to change her diet and take natural supplements to improve her mental and physical health.
Seniz also received support from her family, friends and members of Apostolic Christian Church (Sheepfold) in Edmonton, which she has attended for more than 10 years.
“All these things helped me break out from my debilitating mental oppression and fluctuating mood changes and my physical health also began to improve,” she said.
Seniz is set to release Through Your Eyes on Apple Music and Spotify under Seniz Sound and also has plans to release an EP called Grown From Grief, which will feature five tracks she wrote during her studies including her first song at CONEL called I Lean On You.
She previously produced an EP called Are You Ready? in 2019-20, featuring five powerful and rousing songs inspired by her faith, but did not release it until April 2021.
Prior to starting at BIMM Institute aged 17, former CONEL music lecturer Paul Jones helped Seniz get a commission with Sounds of Red Bull, a label under global music publisher BMG Production Music. She has since been asked to produce 10 more songs this year.
Seniz’s music has since featured on programmes and trailers for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, BT Sport, CBS, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Film4, History, National Geographic and Sky Cinema.
“My teachers at CONEL were very supportive. They gave me lots of encouragement and good feedback,” said Seniz.
“They would sit down with you and suggest changes on how you could improve, so we were able to make our music the best it could be. They really pushed you to do better.”
Seniz’s interest in music began as a child when she would listen to her cousins play Disney songs on the piano who also introduced her to music making software GarageBand.
She taught herself piano while attending Victory in Christ Ministries church in Enfield and had singing lessons in her early teens while studying for GCSE Music.
“I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I tried to copy each note by listening to what they were singing and began learning to play by ear,” said Seniz.
“I went on to YouTube and would listen and watch a pianist called Mark Fowler play music from the Transformers movies and Hans Zimmer film scores. I would try and copy him with my tiny keyboard from Toys R Us.”
Seniz has been playing and singing in the worship team at Apostolic Christian Church (Sheepfold) for more than eight years and hopes her music resonates with people of all backgrounds.
“Music has the power to make you feel a certain way but when you combine it with words it can be even more powerful, and when the two collide with visual media it’s like an explosion of inspiration,” she said.
“I want people to know that they can overcome anything, even when it looks like all hope is lost. It’s very important to never stop believing and to share and bless others with your own God-given gifts in any way you can.
“Ultimately, I want to inspire people with music the way it has inspired me.”