My name is Rajdulari , I’m a Jazz Vocalist and Bandleader and I ‘m from Kalamazoo, Michigan but now based in New York City.
When did you start making music and realize that you wanted to be a singer?
I’ve been singing since I was about 3 years old, I was raised in the church. But it wasn’t until I was offered my first Jazz gig at 17 that I realized that being a vocalist was something that I wanted to pursue as a career.
How would you describe the music that you make? I know it’s hard to compare yourself to other artists and styles, but what kind of vibe is your music on?
Listening to my album is like grabbing a glass of wine and sitting down with your favorite cousin. It’s down-home soul music combined with a little Jazz and R&B.
My songs are personal, they are the vehicle through which I express my emotions. I’d like to say overall the music has a fierce, funky but relaxed vibe all at the same time.
What do you enjoy the most about the whole process of recording and writing music? Is there something that you absolutely love and is there anything that maybe you don’t like doing as much?
I really and truly enjoy collaborating with different musicians. Every time I play with new folks, I get to challenge myself as a vocalist. Even when I perform my songs that I’ve had for years, they sound fresh and new with different musicians, so I really enjoy growing professionally in that way. There really isn’t anything that I don’t like when it comes to recording and writing music, I wish I could do it all the time, every day all day.
Rajdulari Autumn Equinox 2012 Live Full Concert Footage
It’s been really nice to be recognized for my work with the New England Urban Music awards and Black Celebration Award nominations and the various amazing venues I’ve had the opportunity to perform in, but I have to say that my most recent highlight was traveling to London and performing at the JazzFM studios. I have fallen in love with London and can’t wait to go back there as soon as possible!
How are you getting your project out there? Do you have a distributor involved or maybe some shops/websites stocking & supporting your music?
We’ve recently partnered with London-based Music Connex and my debut album “HoneyWine” is now being distributed on SoulBrother.com. You can also find my music on my website http://www.rajdulari.com and on Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, etc.
Rajdulari – Honeywine Official Music Video feat.Terrell Carter
What feedback from the media have you had?
I have to say, I’m really grateful for the media responses that we’ve received over the years. We’ve been fortunate to receive some really great Press about “HoneyWine” and about my new single “Natural”. Folks can check out all of our nice quotes here: http://rajdulari.com/press/
Thank you! I have an amazing new producer named Aaron Brooks-Roberts. He and I have been working on my new album “Journey of a Woman”. He’s an amazing keyboardist and composer and working with him is so very seamless. You can hear his work on my new single “Natural”.
This time around the sound will be more contemporary and less of a traditional Jazz sound; I think that my listeners will really enjoy the direction we’re going in! We are in the process of recording the album now, it should be done by January 2014.
Rajdulari – “Natural” Official Music Video
Do you think that radio is still important now in the digital age?
Yes, radio is EXTREMELY important. I think that good radio stations really help to spread the word about new Independent Artists. If it wasn’t for folks like JazzFM, Rhythm and Soul Radio, and others, a lot of listeners wouldn’t have heard my music.
I think the internet helps Independent Artists a great deal, especially when they’re just starting their careers.
You have access to an audience that is outside of your geographical area, and the internet provides you with opportunities to connect with a larger group of people than you’d be able to reach just on your own.
The only challenge with the internet is that there is SO MUCH new music out there that it’s hard for listeners to focus in on a particular artist. But the internet COMBINED with radio can be a powerful tool for an Independent Artist to gain traction in their career.
Rajdulari Performs “Live” on SistahTalk TV!
Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?
Aside from producing high quality music, your image, your artwork and brand are extremely important tools that can set you apart from other artists. At various times in my career, I’ve hired a Business Coach (Jo-Na’ Williams-Artist Empowerment Firm), a Stylist (Steffany Allen), a Publicist (Monique Pennie-Purple Reign PR), a US Media/Retail Manager (Kevin Goins), a UK Media/Retail Manager (JM Soul) and my Manager (Ryan Landell).
As an artist, you really need to surround yourself with a team of people who 1) know more about how to navigate the Music Industry than you do, and 2) Can take on some of the “Business” tasks surrounding your career so that you can focus on what’s most important: creating great music.
What’s Love Got To Do With It (Jazz Arrangement) Rajdulari
Do you enjoy playing live? Have you done many gigs and what kind of artists have you supported or played alongside?
I PREFER to play/record live. There’s nothing like the magic that happens when you are on stage with great musicians! You’re having fun on stage, the audience is having fun watching and listening, and together everyone is creating a magnificent vibe that can’t really be replicated in a studio! I’ve been performing since I was 17, so I’ve played with a lot of great musicians.
Some of my favorite gigs were with my friend David Zoffer (Berklee Faculty, Keyboardist/Composer), Axel Laugart (Keyboardist), Calvin Brown (Keyboardist/Composer), Avery Hartgrove (Drummer), Edwin Briscoe (Drummer), Alex DaSilva (Bass), Zane Stribling (Bass), Rogerst Charles (Sax), Travis Antoine (Trumpet), Patriq Moody (Trumpet), Monique Brooks-Roberts (Violin), Aaron Brooks-Roberts (Keyboardist/Composer). I could go on and on!
Rajdulari NEW MUSIC- “Real Love” (Live @Cafe939 in Boston)
The most recent albums I bought were Dwele’s “Greater Than One”, Omar Lye Fook’s “The Man”, and Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit”. All three albums are must-haves in my book! I also listen to a lot of Gospel, definitely Jazz (all kinds), Blues, and I love a good country song every now and then J.
Have you got any videos on You Tube and have any ever got played on TV Stations?
Yes! I have over 50 videos on my YouTube channel. You can check them out here: http://www.youtube.com/rajdulari1 Yes, both Natural and HoneyWine were played on various local Cable TV Stations, but I’m hoping to find someone to help me submit my videos to TVOne, BET, VH1Soul, and other TV networks, so if anyone has a resource they’d recommend, please let us know!
What plans have you got for the future?
My new album “Journey of a Woman” will be released January 2014, I’ll also be traveling back to Europe in February to promote the album and connect with more venues overseas.
You stay updated on my events by visitin my website at http://www.rajdulari.com/events .
My long term goals are: 1) To win several Grammys; 2) to travel the globe performing and using my music to support my musician friends and my family; 3) to perform my music with a live symphony orchestra; 4) to do more Plus Modeling….the list goes on and on….
London JazzFM Rehearsal of “HoneyWine”
I’d like to thank my publicist Monique Pennie for helping me get this interview, and I’d like to thank my listeners, my Loved Ones, for continuing to support me on this Journey 2 The Grammys!
Where can we find you on the Internet? Listeners can check out my music on http://www.rajdulari.com . I’m also on Facebook (facebook.com/rajdularimusic), on Twitter (@RajdulariMusic), on Instagram (@RajdulariMusic) and on Google+ (+Rajdulari).
Rajdulari Live In Session for Jazz FM
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Journey of A Woman by Rajdular
Journey of a Woman *Behind The Scenes* Studio Session