Hi Rajdulari tell our readers a bit about
Hello everyone! My name is Rajdulari, I’m a CurvyGirl, Jazz Vocalist & Bandleader. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember! I started singing when I was 3 years old in my family church, then had my first professional Jazz gig at 17.
How did Curvy to the Grammys start?
Curvy2TheGrammys not just a slogan, it’s my personal promise and declaration to myself about the future of my career! For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this dream of winning a Grammy as a vocalist.
I’ve always considered what I’m doing as my own personal “JourneytotheGrammys”. But when we started the fundraising campaign for my latest album, my Business Coach Jo-Na’ A. Williams & I started thinking about two main factors that I know to be true about myself: 1) I’m a CurvyGirl, and 2) I’m on a mission to win a Grammy for my achievements someday. So after that, Curvy2TheGrammys became my campaign slogan!
What has been the public’s reaction to Curvy to the Grammys?
People have really responded to it and I’m so glad they have! I think CurvyGirls deserve more representation and more visibility in the music industry and in mainstream media, so I’m grateful to see that everyone, not just women but men too, are being really supportive of the slogan and the fundraising campaign J.
How you find out about indiegogo.com and how much have you raised how much more do you need?
So far, we’ve raised almost $3,000, but our goal is $30,000. I plan on making a high quality album that I can submit to the Grammys this year, so I’m asking all of my awesome listeners to contribute and help me make my dream of being a “CurvyGirl Grammy Winner” a reality!
I found out about IndieGoGo.com online. I think it’s an awesome tool to help Independent Artists reach out to a wider audience for help with their projects. A lot of times, we bear the financial responsibility of our careers all on our own, y’know?
We pay for the studio time, the musicians, the mixing and mastering. Basically, everything that a major label would do, we have to do as an Independent Artist to have our voices heard, and to compete with the major labels. So, having the financial support of our fans and listeners really goes a long way and helps us to reach our goals a lot faster.
In a world where we seem only to accept women who looks a certain way. Why did you not conform to society version of beauty?
Because I truly believe that I have to present my OWN version of beauty. We all do! Why should I choose to look like what society and the mainstream media say when I can be my own individual and shine in my own light? That exactly the reason why I wrote “Natural”.
As women, we see so many messages in society telling us that we aren’t “good enough” or “small enough” or “fair enough” or whatever the model-type is. We have to really embrace being our “Natural Selves” right here and right now. We have to defy society’s definition of what a “Real Woman” is, and celebration our real, natural selves.
I know for a fact that the more that we do that, the more that we promote healthy images of OURSELVES in the media, the more that society’s “version of beauty” will change and become more positive and inclusive of ALL women.
You recently were featured in Plus Model Mag how did it feel being featured in the magazine?
Being featured in Plus Model Magazine is always a true honor and a treat because I’m not a big-time “Plus Model”. I’m more of a musician who happens to take a good pic every now and then, lol! So, I’m always truly honoured when Plus Model Magazine features me in their publication or mentions me on Facebook and Twitter. I have a HUGE amount of respect for PMM’s Editor-in-Chief, Madeline Figueroa-Jones. I’ve known her for several years and I truly admire her. She’s an awesome Business Woman with an amazing work ethic, a real integrity. I also love the fact that she always works very hard to represent CurvyGirls in the most positive light possible. Maddy is definitely one of my sheroes!
Your hair is beautiful, how do you maintain it?
Aw thank you so much! I have Sisterlocs and I typically maintain and re-tighten them myself using the Nappyloc tool. I don’t put a lot of products in my hair. Lots of creams and products can gunk up your hair and cause build up in your locs!
I’ve found that the more I leave my hair alone, the healthier and longer it grows!
What 3 natural hair products could you not live without?
I use Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo for my cleanser, and I have a friend of mine (MoLocs of Philadelphia) who makes this awesome Rosemary Mint Olive Oil that I use to keep my hair moisturized. For a show, I’ll use a bit of loc gel and pipe cleaners (and sit under a hair dryer) to create a curly look, but for the most part, I keep my hair clean and Leave-It-Alone, lol.
What you think about the rise in women going back to natural hair?
I think it’s fantastic! Just as we should celebrate who we are in our “Natural State” we can also celebrate our hair as it grows out naturally. Now, that doesn’t mean that ALL women have to be natural. By all means, you should wear your hair however you see fit. But it is truly beautiful to see all these sistahs walking around wearing their hair natural and loving it. It’s so inspiring to me!
Tell us about your single
‘natural’ and how was filming of the video, what did it mean to you ?
“Natural” was initially written as a theme for a Natural Hair show that I’d been asked to perform in. At first, I wasn’t really sure that I could write an anthem; I’d never been asked to do that before. But, as I started to think about my own Journey (about being a CurvyGirl; about my natural hair journey; my thoughts about myself as a vocalist, etc) the words just began to flow out of me.
I wanted every woman who heard this song to look in the mirror and sing to themselves “Hey, I’m fly, I love the way I walk and the look in my eye” and to love themselves for who they truly are, right now!
Filming the video was simply amazing. I sent out a “Dear Diva” letter to all of my followers. In the letter, I asked all the CurvyGirls to participate in the video shoot that happened this past April. I was truly surprised by the responses we received. We actually ended up having to limit the amount of women in the video because we just couldn’t accommodate everyone! It was truly an awesome experience.
The Divas that we finally chose for the music video were simply gorgeous! Each Diva is a powerful woman in her own right. We had business owners, plus models, female executives, teachers, moms, writers, musicians, vocalists, the list goes on and on. And the awesome thing about it is they all were CurvyWomen with their own definition of beauty! In the video, you really got to see their own individuality come out in their scenes, it’s amazing to watch. I’m truly proud of the song, of the video, and of the Divas themselves
In your campaign video you spoke about your age, what was your response to the people who told you can’t achieve your goals because of your age?
My response is: “You may have your doubts, but I know my destiny and my purpose for my life!”
Do you have any advice for women who have low self-esteem and are struggling being their natural self?
Everyone has a purpose for their life. Every single one of us was born for a reason. And yes, you may be feeling low right now, or feeling like you can’t possibly see how your dreams could EVER come true. But you have to remember, you were given your own special dream for a reason!
And if you have a dream that you really want to see come true, you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old, or too big, or too poor, or any negative thing that might block you. You have to believe in your dream 150%!
Once you believe in your dream and know without a shadow of a doubt that it will come true then nothing -absolutely nothing- can stop you from making it a reality.
Do you have any advice for any other budding musicians struggling to break into the music industry?
Yes, study your craft and know your strengths. Not everyone has a voice like Beyonce or Mariah Carey. Be the best YOU you can be! Perfect being the best YOU, and your art will be successful as a result.
Never, ever, ever give up. If one door doesn’t open, try a window. If one potential gig doesn’t happen, try another one. Someone, somewhere will say yes. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but it WILL happen.
Being a musician is a long hard road, but it pays off in a major way if you keep grinding and you never give up. I’ve been in this industry for 14 years now and things are just starting to pay off for me. And you know what? It had to take 14 years because I had some really hard lessons that I needed to learn in order to be ready for this career.
So, that’s my advice: study your craft, know your strengths, and never ever ever give up.
Have you ever been to London if not when you coming? We welcome strong inspirational women like you
Thank you so much! Actually, I’ve never been to London except for an airport stopover but guess what: I’m coming in October! I’ll be there from October 3rd-7th of this year and I’m so excited, I can’t wait! I’m coming to check out the London scene and to meet with some radio contacts and try to get my music heard overseas. I’ll be traveling to London, Paris and Amsterdam and I would love to meet you and meet your followers!
Finally what’s next for you?
Once our IndieGogo fundraiser is successful I’ll be recording my next album, “JourneyofAWoman”. We’ll be recording all of July and releasing it in late August/early September. Just in time to submit it for the 2014 Grammys! I also have some concerts coming up the rest of June, July and in September to promote the album. For my performance dates, visit www.reverbnation.com/rajdulari.
How can our readers connect with you?
Watch my new music video “Natural” here: http://youtu.be/9RF5usYZB2o