Poppy Ajudha’s star is on the rise. After graduating from SOAS University of London in July 2017, her summer has consisted of performing at a multitude of music venues, including Brighton’s Great Escape, Canary Wharf’s Jazz Festival (the capital’s largest!) and Love Supreme Festival. It’s no wonder she has her first headline gig to look forward to (not as much as us) in November 2017!
SOAS Blog sits down with her to find out what makes her tick and her music so emotionally resonant.
Tell us about your music – how would you define it?
The music video for Love Falls Down is very intimate and personal – did you film it in your actual flat and local area? Where is that?
Like most musicians I have never enjoyed being boxed and I hope to be always changing
Did you get introduced to any artists or types of music whilst studying at SOAS you were previously unaware of?
Studying music from all over Africa was really beautiful and insightful, especially East and West African styles and genres. Those music lessons lead me to visit Gambia and Senegal during my degree, which really made an impact on my understanding of making and learning music.
Who are your influences?
Growing up around a diversity of musics and cultures, the list of my influences are endless. Soul music of all sorts has always been at the centre of how I perceive music, and I guess I emulate that in my own way from my melody lines to the chords I write.
What did you study at SOAS and how did your time here affect you – as a person, or in your career?
I studied a BA in Social Anthropology and Music (got a 1st oooh yeah) and it completely changed my life. My degree completely changed the way I think about the world and therefore the way I write music and what I write about has been politicised in new ways. Anthropology was central in this and every year I felt newly inspired by the lecturers we were assigned. Notably Caroline Osella, on my gender course in 3rd year was amazing at enabling you to rethink yourself, challenge yourself and accept things about yourself you may have buried.
Any London gigs coming up? And when are we going to be blessed with that first album?
Yes you can come see me play at a number of places!
I’m supporting Jose James at Islington Assembly Hall on 29 October, doing my first headline show on 23 November and then supporting Roy Ayers at The Jazz Cafe on 27 November – follow my socials for up to date info on these shows and others.
You are going to be blessed with the first EP very soon! My single is coming out on Friday and the EP should follow shortly afterward!