2inspire Network blog is one of the mediums the Network uses to empower and inspire individuals. It is used to share knowledge and messages that will make a positive impact in people's lives and is also used as a platform to promote the products, services and events of the Network and external organisations.
Friday, 1 November 2013
2Inspire Profile Interview: Rajdulari
"Take Ella Fitzgerald’s clear vocal tone, Jill Scott’s spunk and Chaka’s Funk and you have New Jazz Vocalist Rajdulari.
York-based Jazz vocalist Rajdulari inspires an engaging listening
experience for music lovers. Her buoyant voice vibrates with a clear and
honest joyfulness; no doubt the result of her choral upbringing in the
church. Although her family relocated often, she has always found a home
in music. Jazz opened up an entirely new world to an adolescent
Rajdulari, when she heard Sarah Vaughan’s “Shullie A Bop” and Ella
Fitzgerald’s “Lemon Drop” for the first time. She became fascinated, and
wanted to know every nuance of each solo, scat, and harmony. At
seventeen she was offered her first gig at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge
and found performing to be a sensation she couldn’t abandon or ignore.
While attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Rajdulari shared a
stage with the renowned Bobby McFerrin. In 2010 she moved to New York
City and started her own solo project. Her ensemble was nominated for,
and won, Best Jazz Band at the New England Urban Music Awards in 2011,
and their debut release – Honeywine – remains among Amazon.com’s
Top 100 Most Downloaded Mp3s. In 2012, Rajdulari was selected by
Visions Beauty Distributors to write and perform the theme song for
their first annual Natural Hair and Health Expo. The single – entitled
“Natural” – is featured on her upcoming sophomore album, Journey Of A
Woman. As a member of the Boston-based, all female World Music Band,
Zili Misik, Rajdulari won Boston Music Awards 2007 & 2008 for
“Outstanding International Music”, Boston Phoenix Award and WFNX’s “Best
World Music Band”-two years in a row; and was 2007 Winner of ROCKRGRL’s
and Berklee College of Music’s “Battle of the All-Female Bands”. For
Rajdulari singing is a healing and soothing activity. Her ability to
share uplifting messages of confidence, empowerment, love, and hope –
through song – is the most gratifying gift she can exchange."
Please tell us what is a typical day for you?
addition to running my business, I also currently work a full-time day
job, so I wear many hats. A typical day for me is starting my morning
off at my job, then leaving for meetings or rehearsals for upcoming
shows. If I don’t have a show, then I’m usually at home conducting
interviews, scheduling my social media marketing for the week, or
speaking with promoters and venues to schedule upcoming gigs, etc. As an
Independent Artist and Band Leader, there’s always something that needs
to be taken care of, so I’m multi-tasking all of the time.
How did you get started in singing/ performing?
was raised in the Baptist Church. My grandfather was a pastor, my
mother a choir director. So, I’ve been singing since I was three. My mom
used to stand me up on a milk crate and I would sing the lead. So music
has always been an integral part of my life. However, I started singing
professionally when I was 17.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
far, my greatest accomplishment has been winning the “Best Jazz Band”
at the New England Urban Music Awards for my debut album “HoneyWine”.
I’ve also been nominated this year as a musician for a “Black
Celebration Award” here in New York City. For just coming on to the
music scene just three years ago, I’m excited to be making progress and
getting my music out there. I’ll be attending the ceremony on Saturday,
What has been your biggest challenge in your career so far?
an Independent Artist, you spend a lot of your own capital investing in
marketing, materials, recording costs, etc. Basically everything that a
record label would pay for, you have to invest on your own. So, my
biggest challenge is always generating enough money to help support my
art and to help grow my business and my fanbase. Being a musician is
easy, performing and being on stage feels so wonderful, I don’t consider
that challenging at all! But, generating the revenue to do everything I
want, and to really grow my business? That’s always my focus as a
What are your future plans ?
number 1 ultimate goal is to win a Grammy! To be recognized for my art,
and for all of the hard work I’ve put into my career over the years. I
WILL win a Grammy. I call my career my “Journey 2 The Grammys” for that
specific reason! I’d also like to travel the world and share my music
and my desire to uplift and empower women all over the globe. As a Jazz
Vocalist, I would love to perform with a Symphony Orchestra (one of my
biggest dreams!). How much time have you got? My wishlist goes on and
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
would start my career much earlier. I would never have a day job, and I
would just sing and travel the world and build my career from the
bottom up. I’m in my 30s now, and while I still have plenty of time, I
would have liked to have started my career a little earlier in life.
Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing, I’m truly happy for all that
we’ve been able to accomplish so far.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Our society spends a great deal of time and money in advertising to shape what we THINK we NEED and who we THINK we ARE.
are a lot of messages out there for young girls, telling them what size
they should be, how they should think, how they should feel, what type
of women they SHOULD want to be. So many of our young women simply don’t
have the support and encouragement that they need to really find out
who THEY are and love themselves and their individuality, despite
whatever society may think.
I was younger (based on the images I saw in the media and on TV), I
thought you had to grow up, be a certain size, get a stable job, maybe
get married, have some kids, etc. But I had this burning desire to roam
the globe and be a musician! I wanted the freedom to really branch out
and explore the world and figure out what makes me unique.
I made the choice to pursue my dreams and to not take “no” for an
answer when it came to my music. But, I truly believe that more young
girls need to be encouraged and supported to find their own path. They
alone can decide what career they choose, how to celebrate and embrace
their curvy bodies, how they decide to express themselves, everything.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start out in your industry?
EVER take “no” for an answer. If being a musician is what you want to
do, and you believe in the bottom of your heart that this is where you
belong? Don’t take “no” for an answer and NEVER EVER EVER GIVE UP!
What or who inspires you in business/life/creatively and why?
really admire amazing Female Entrepreneurs like Oprah, Queen Latifah,
Ellen Degeneres, etc. In my opinion, these women personify the ideal
vision of a “Successful Businesswoman”. I love how they are very diverse
in their talents, and how their careers started in one direction, but
then grew exponentially over time. For example, I love being a musician,
but that’s not all of who I am. I want to be a spokesperson for
positive organizations, or be the face of a fashion or cosmetic line.
I’d also like to work in Film & Television, etc, so these women
inspire me a great deal. I would love to follow in their footsteps
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
afraid, but do it anyway”….that quote reminds me that it’s ok to be
afraid of your dreams. They are awesome and grand and scary, absolutely!
But don’t let the fear stop you from moving forward, use it as your
FUEL to keep going.
that’s my motto. Anytime I get nervous about taking another risk in my
career, I just stand at the edge of that imaginary cliff, harness my
fear, and jump! It’s a mindset that serves me well and keeps me headed
in the right direction J.
For more information on Rajdulari: www.rajdulari.com