Interview With Rajdulari
How did you get to Denver?
I truly love my new Denver Colorado Community! I’m originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. And while I’m a Midwest girl, my husband and I actually moved here from New York in 2016. I had no idea what it was would be like to live in Denver as a working musician. We just wanted a fresh start, and it has been such a beautiful experience getting to know the community here and to have met and played with all of my new musician friends. I am truly grateful for that.
What type of music do you make?
My music is all about women’s empowerment, it’s about Black Folk empowerment, self love, family love. It’s high-quality Jazz, Soul and R&B. Just a feel good kind of vibe.
What’s the story behind the music?
I started performing when I was three. My grandfather was a pastor and my mother was a choir director, and I used to stand on a milk carton and sing in front of the choir.
I love gospel music, but I grew up listening to all genres: gospel, jazz, soul, all of it. My favorites were Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, The Clark Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Sarah Vaughan.
When I would be alone by myself, I would listen to music. I was an only child, and music quickly became my best friend growing up. I never really thought it was something that I could perform professionally until I was about 17 in a youth play, and I was approached by a female faculty member at Berklee College of Music. She heard me sing and asked me to sub for her band. Soon after that I had my first Jazz gig that same year. I’ve been performing ever since.
What what are some values you express in your music?
Y’know, we as black people, we have a really powerful and beautiful Community. However, as we look at the media, there seems to be a downscaling of humanity, compassion, self love, power and things like that.
You see the violence in politics, the division between communities, and we as artists are constantly fighting mainstream media for more positive images of people of color, etc.
It’s always been important to me to create music that empowers, especially young women, to see themselves as beautiful, fierce human beings. My songs are generally about love: love of self, love in relationships, and external love to our family, community and the world around us. We need more love in this world to continue to combat the messages of negativity, that’s for sure…
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to believe in yourself- no matter what- and to always sing YOUR song, whatever that is. When you’re a young artist and you’re trying to get signed at a label, people always want to pigeonhole you into one category or the other. I don’t sound like anyone else. My music is 100% original. Rajdulari. I celebrate my individuality and my original self. I would also tell my younger self to ‘be afraid, but do it anyway’, and to never let fear get in the way of her pursuing her dreams.
A well-known singer and she told me that I should always make music that makes me happy. When you make music that brings you joy, you’ll always find happiness in everything you do. That’s a lesson I’ve taken to heart, and it makes me grateful to be an independent artist, and to have people who support my music and my journey.