Autumn has arrived and festival season is a distant memory... Or is it? First Fifty is here to save us from the doom and gloom.
Here’s a crazy-talented singer-songwriter penning blissful melodies and meaningful lyrics, embedding important messages relating to feminism, class, race, gender and beyond throughout her gorgeous discography.
23-year-old Poppy Ajudha.
The first thing you notice when listening to a Poppy Ajudha track is her uniquely intoxicating vocal. She sounds so smooth on a range of genre-spanning instrumentals, the soulful singer would be equally at home performing solo in a smokey jazz bar or fronting a fast-paced funky blues band. This point is proven when you see Poppy play live. She combines stripped back and raw solo numbers with bigger groovy tunes backed by a slick 6-piece band.
The South London music scene is just so F’n cool right now, there’s no denying it. Poppy Ajudha is a big part of this, over the past couple of years she’s been channelling her old-school jazz, funk and Motown influences into refreshing and relevant releases, some are enthralling and anthemic other are emotive, dance-able bangers, but all are high-quality.
Check out the visuals for The Man You Aim To Be which dropped just two weeks ago. It’s an upbeat track from her latest EP Patience which tackles the topic of toxic masculinity:
Poppy Ajudha’s parents shaped her musical taste from a young age. Between her Saint Lucian-born British father’s Motown and roots reggae and the funky grooves her mother played on long car journeys Poppy had an interesting soulful base to begin from. She was writing poetry as a teenager and through youth workshops and South London jam nights she met creative musicians who she would eventually collaborate and perform with.
A couple of impressive singles saw Poppy arrive on the scene before her official debut EP release FEMME in 2018. This critically acclaimed collection of songs was closely followed by another five-track EP Patience. One more excellent piece of work which Poppy co-produced with her frequent collaborator InBloom.
So 2018 was a busy year for the young songstress; on top of two stellar EP releases she played a sold-out headline show at London’s Jazz Café and received acclaim from everyone from Women Make Music and BBC Introducing to former POTUS Barack Obama! (Her collab with Tom Misch made his Best Of 2018 List) The future is definitely bright for Poppy Ajudha.
Here’s a prime example of the enchanting effect Poppy can have – simply with a stripped back instrumental letting her voice take centre stage. When You Watch Me is another highlight on the latest EP:
Disco Yes the collaboration with Tom Misch has been streamed over 10 million times on Spotify and shows how Poppy’s vocal can float atop a groovy instrumental:
The Colours performance of Poppy’s first big single Love Falls Down is a must watch .. Shoutout Oscar Jerome on the guitar:
Where can I see her live?
Poppy Ajudha is embarking on her biggest UK tour to date in March. Get your tickets at ticketweb.uk