Poppy Ajudha's touch is soft but utterly devastating.
The London newcomer is steeped in jazz improvisation, working with some of the best musicians in the capital.
Paired to this, however, is a songwriting ability that seems to blossom with each passing day, matching personal themes to a universal approach.
New EP 'FEMME' is out now, and it's a beautifully multi-faceted document, one that plays with racial and gender identity in a completely accessible way.
"I want women to feel empowered," she said recently, "I want people of colour to feel their voices are heard or experiences shared, I hope that my music will help people to accept themselves. Recording this EP was such a learning curve for me. It was super difficult at times and really pushed me to my best."
Opening track 'She Is The Sun' utilises the concept of "radical patience" while looking at "endurance as a key element in the feminist project".
"I wrote this at a point when I was feeling really fucking angry and tired," she explains/ "I was at uni doing a course on gender at the time and reading on feminism, womanism, queer studies etc. is sobering to say the least. It filled me with a weighted feeling that I needed to process."
"This time being in the studio was a lot easier because I knew exactly what I wanted and I then developed the track with Ben Hayes and INBLOOM. Getting the choruses perfect were particularly hard and INBLOOM and I spent days in the studio trying to find the perfect melodies, after many consecutive days and nights in 'The Death Room' (affectionate studio rename!) we finally got there. I trust him best with my vocals as this is who I have recorded the vocals of every track I’ve ever released with."
'Tepid Soul' is an attack on colourism, and manner in which women of colour are treated by western society. Poppy explains: "As people continually project their cultural fantasies of where I could be from onto me, the last line "am I the right shade for you" critiques colourism and the fetishism and exoticism that exists around mixed race women's bodies and how this in turns puts women of different shades against each other."
The magical 'Spilling Into You' features Kojey Radical and "came about through experience and realisation" while closer 'Where Did I Go?' dwells on the beauty music can offer.
She reveals: "The beauty of a song often reflects the reality of its meaning, and as a musician when it feels deep you often know when you’re in deep and sometimes writing a song makes me face that feeling."
We're hopelessly infatuated with this EP, and we're sure you will to - there's simply so manner layers to explore, delivered in such a soulful, emotive manner.
Tune in below.
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