Let rising singer Poppy Ajudha soothe your soul

“You have to be a bit of an emotional wreck to be a songwriter...”

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Oversized knit by Talia-Lipkin Connor, skirt by J.j.C. Clothing, tights stylist's own

A sweet, somewhat nostalgic, but modern sound conquers our ears whenever a whiff of her voice comes near. It vibrates in the company of a jazzy beat that—hand in hand with a proper sense of style—is propelling soul artist Poppy Ajudha onto the music scene. Glamcult is proud to feature the 22-year-old songwriter, capturing her cool and spirited aura on the streets of London.

Let’s go back to where it all started: how did you first get in touch with music? 

Growing up in a nightclub, I’ve always been an avid music listener as well as often writing poems as a child. It wasn’t until I was around 13 that I began writing songs and teaching myself to play the guitar. This, then, developed further as music became a kind of catharsis for me, moving me through teen life.

For those who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

Strong-minded and emotional! I think you have to be a bit of an emotional wreck to be a songwriter, despite what people might want you to think. You have to feel intensely.

What does your song writing process look like—how do you work?

It’s a very natural processes; I write when it comes to me and then will spend an evening or two putting all of my thoughts together onto paper and writing chords to fit that. Once I have the basic structure, I can start thinking about the production of ideas and move on from there, developing the song.

Lottie bea Spencer x Poppy Adjudha

Shirt jacket by Faustine Steinmetz, top by Sample-CM

Your dad owned a nightclub when you were growing up. What was that like? Has it influenced your sound at all? 

Yeah, it definitely has; I think I just soaked it all up as a child and now it manifests itself in different ways throughout my life and music making.

Can you tell us more about Women Make Music?

Gaining support from PRS’s Women Making Music fund has been amazing and an incredible help. The music industry can be difficult for women to gain access to, and when they do, often having their ideas and creativity shaped and moulded [by men] is close to inevitable. Women Making Music enables me to have autonomy within my work and stay independent for as long as possible.

Lottie bea Spencer x Poppy Adjudha

Boilersuit by Talia-Lipkin Connor, top by J.j.C. Clothing

In terms of artists, who is your biggest inspiration?

A number of different artists, both contemporary and from the past, continually inspires me. At the moment I’m really into Kamasi Washington, Solange and Flying Lotus. I’m also in love with The Internet right now.

Outside of the music of others, the people I meet and experiences I have are what drive most of my composition. In recent years university has moulded a lot of my political thought and this has bled into my writing a lot. Growing up and understanding myself more has also had a profound effect on my writing.

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Top by Irene Sj Yu, trousers by Serena Bute

Follow Poppy on Soundcloud and Instagram

 

Photography: Lottie Bea Spencer

Styling: Caitlin Moriarty

Hair and make-up: Oonah Anderson

Words by Elisa van Barneveld and Alejandra Espinosa

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