Poppy Ajudha and SLTA Sing in Per­fect Har­mony!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - ---JSA

The year 2018 was, for Lon­don-based jazz singer Poppy Ajudha, 23, a very good year. And not only be­cause she re­ceived the shout-out of all shout-outs from for­mer United States pres­i­dent Barack Obama. By widely pub­li­cized ac­count, Mr. Obama had been par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by Ajudha’s con­tri­bu­tion to Tom Mich’s “Disco Yes”, to the ex­tent he had in­cluded it among his favourite songs of 2018. Ajudha also re­leased last year two EPs en­ti­tled “Femme” and “Pa­tience”.

Come March, Poppy Ajudha will em­bark on a United King­dom and Eu­ro­pean tour of over ten cities in­clud­ing Paris, Ber­lin, Am­s­ter­dam, Brussels and Manch­ester. The ris­ing star was re­cently in Saint Lu­cia to an­nounce a part­ner­ship with the Saint Lu­cia Tourism Au­thor­ity, which will see her per­form­ing here and col­lab­o­rat­ing with lo­cal artists.

At a con­fer­ence con­vened on Tues­day, the SLTA in­tro­duced Ajudha to re­porters. The young singer re­vealed that she had grown up in the UK around mu­sic, that she’d al­ways dreamed of be­com­ing a per­former. The holder of a de­gree in so­cial an­thro­pol­ogy, Ajudha said there’s a lot she wants lis­ten­ers to take from her mu­sic.

“I try and talk about is­sues that I feel are per­ti­nent to now, and es­pe­cially in Lon­don, with my ex­pe­ri­ences with young peo­ple and the is­sues they go through. A lot of my work is about race, gen­der, sex­u­al­ity, and so­cial eco­nomic is­sues.

A lot of my songs are about fem­i­nism, equal­ity for women and strength in women to pur­sue their goals.”

She thanked the SLTA for host­ing her and said she is ex­cited to so­lid­ify a work re­la­tion­ship on the is­land. She con­sid­ered it a priv­i­lege to do here what she is most pas­sion­ate about.

“I’m just ex­cited to meet peo­ple,” she said. “I’m just in­ter­ested in find­ing as many peo­ple as I can to just see how we work to­gether and whether we can make some­thing dif­fer­ent and unique.”

When some­one brought up the Den­nery Seg­ment, the UKborn singer said: “I’m in­ter­ested in what they do, even though it’s very dif­fer­ent from what I do. But I mean that’s what’s re­ally beau­ti­ful about mu­sic and that’s how col­lab­o­ra­tions be­come re­ally unique.”

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive said the SLTA con­sid­ered mu­sic a great mar­ket­ing tool and the au­thor­ity is look­ing for­ward to us­ing the mu­sic of lo­cal artists to ad­vance des­ti­na­tion Saint Lu­cia.

“When we sup­ported the Den­nery seg­ment tour last year,” he said, “we had in mind the fact that mu­sic can reach ar­eas that our reg­u­lar mar­ket­ing ef­forts can­not. We can show our Saint Lu­cian-ness via our mu­sic. We now hear the mu­sic of Den­nery Seg­ment in the most un­ex­pected places; places we’d not pen­e­trated ear­lier.”

Is there a pos­si­bil­ity that Poppy, whose fa­ther is Saint Lu­cian, will per­form at this year’s Jazz & Arts Fes­ti­val? She said that she’d at­tended the fes­ti­val many times as a child and would love the chance to per­form.

Said the SLTA’s Jackie Mathurin: “We would love to have her for our Jazz launch in Lon­don, and yes we would love to have her for our Jazz fes­ti­val. We’re go­ing to work on the specifics and see how we can work that out.”

(Left to right) SLTA PRO Geraine Ge­orges, songstress Poppy Ajudha, and Jackie Mathurin.

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