With just a handful releases under her belt, Poppy Ajudha has slowly unravelled the layers to her elegant and endearing take on modern jazz. Growing up in South East London her entire life, music has always been a part of Ajudha’s upbringing as her father owned a night club until she was thirteen years old. If it wasn’t at her dad’s place, The Paradise Bar, it was from the funk and soul tapes that her mother would play in the car. Looking back, Ajudha explains how it was in these moments where “most of my knowledge of music comes from”.
Although she always knew that music is the path she wanted to take, it “took a while to believe in myself”. However, along with albums like Amy Winehouse’s Frank, Gil Scot-Heron’s What’s Going On, Cymande’s Promised Heights and more recently Solange’s A Seat at the Table which shaped her music, Ajudha’s teachers (whether at school or in the real world) have been instrumental in “shaping my understanding of myself and my self-confidence as an adult”.
“SO MUCH OF MY WRITING IS ME WORKING OUT BOTH MY POLITICAL INTENTIONALITY AND MY PERSONAL FEELINGS.”
When asked about what inspired her to make music in the first place, Ajudha simply said that it was something “I just needed to do, it’s always been a kind of therapy for me”. Describing her creative process as “very natural”, Ajudha goes onto explain how a lot of her focus goes into “working out both my political intentionality and personal feelings”.
Both of these notions are cornerstones to the singer’s music, as you can’t help but feel a sense of comfort and relaxation when you listen to tracks like “David’s Song” or “Peace of Mind” (below). Finding that perfect balance in echoing her own feelings about the world as well as her own life however, is the key to what allows the music to truly resonate and connect with listeners so well.
“HOPE OF ALTERNATIVE IMAGINARIES”
Ajudha wants to bring the “hope of alternative imaginaries” in her music, whilst acknowledging that it can be difficult to “describe the depths of a complex issue such as loss or feminism” in a single song. Looking forward, 2017 is set to be an incredibly exciting year for the Londoner who aside from releasing a new single and video, is currently working on her new EP as well as some “special collaborations”.
For now, enjoy the spellbinding COLORS performance of Ajudha’s new single “Love Falls Down” here.
Styling: Sara Juric
Make-Up: Rocco Kowalski