Poppy Ajudha: an interview

Poppy has recently been performing alongside the SumoChiefs and will be working on several songs with them, one of which will feature on her forthcoming EP. Poppy’s first band was at the age 16 and now at the ripe old-age of 19, she’s embarking on her solo material. “I dont have any singing skills, in terms of being trained” a surprising realisation for any of Poppy’s fans; her vocals are untarnished, mature and soulful and would lead anyone to believe that she’s had significant coaching. However, Poppy added that “Natty helped me to be more critical about my music and gave me a platform to perform”, it’s true that performance is a separate art-form to having an impressive vocal range but after seeing Poppy at Lewisham’s Fox and Firkin back in 2014, we were immediately convinced by her commanding stage presence.

[Published in Latitude Lookout magazine in 2016]

It’s refreshing when an artist comes along who’s all about the music and it’s easy to stray into cliches, but Poppy’s attitude towards the industry restores faith that there remain young musicians who still care about making real and great-sounding tracks. “I have quite a high standard for how I want my music to sound” and it’s clear to see that she means it, there’s no sense that Poppy will ever have the intention of ‘selling out’, like so many young performers, who consistently do nowadays. We’re not saying it’s wrong to be commercial, after all musicians must make a living but Poppy is clear on her musical ambitions and more importantly her musical taste, which is somewhat hard to categorise. In an increasingly diverse music scene, Poppy’s music slides into the fold with effortless grace as she combines elements of soul, grime and a touch of Amy Winehouse.

Speaking of genres Poppy believes that there is no such thing, stating that modern day genres “lead people to be not so segregated”, and we completely agree, especially with the London scene flourishing on its melting-pot culture. “My dad was a DJ and was really into the likes of motown and Jazz and stuff, and my mum was into rare grooves and funk and stuff”. Poppy’s influences prove to be decisive and I believe that much of her current sound is owed to her musical upbringing “I didn’t realise at the time how much of an influence he had on my style of music”, Poppy acknowledges her father's influence but much credit is deserved for bringing these genres under one roof and cutting them with a unique edge.

Poppy’s latest single, released last week, ‘David’s Song’ is a prime example of this. It draws you in with a sleek and sexy intro that utilises the soft sounds of classic jazz before you’re greeted by the pure soulfulness of Poppy’s vocal. We’re really excited about this track and it must be mentioned that the production quality is outstanding! “I had a friend who I wrote this song about, he passed away in November last year.” It’s a sombre track but full of hope and makes for a great listen.

You can find Poppy performing regularly on the South London circuit, singing regularly at ‘Steez’, an evening hosted by the Fox and Firkin. Poppy has also signed to the record label Indigo Soul, you can check out her latest single ‘David’s Song’ here, on Soundcloud.

https://soundcloud.com/poppyajudha