Poppy Ajudha: London’s Burning

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“London’s burning
Burning itself to the ground
Looks like we got nothing left to take

Little island thinks that it’s a globe
Shuts its doors
It implodes
Youth uprising
We don’t want to go
If you shut your doors you implode”

SOAS grad Poppy Ajudha’s new single London’s Burning is released today, the first from her upcoming album The Power In Us. Poppy spoke to Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC 6 Music about how her music calls for social change and represents the issues that young people are fighting for. 

“London’s Burning is a song that I wrote based around Brexit and the colonial legacy that we have in the UK. The idea that we’ve colonised many parts of the world and we’ve ruined many communities and then when it comes to opening our doors to people in need, we’re so quick to turn our backs.”

Poppy’s music, in genre, style and lyricism, celebrates diversity. She spoke to SOAS back in 2017: “I have never enjoyed being boxed in and I hope to be always changing”. This is not just a stylistic choice but embodies a deeper meaning:

“I think this song asks us or demands us to recognise the impact that immigrants have had on building this country and appreciating how influential and important all the different types of people that exist in the UK today are on our society, on our culture, on the way that we view the world. And they make it a better place.”

As her musical career thrived, Poppy Ajudha studied BA in Social Anthropology and Music at SOAS, graduating in 2017. She attributes her degree to changing the way she thinks about the world and how she writes music as partly an expression of social issues.

“I studied a BA in Social Anthropology and Music (got a 1st oooh yeah) and it completely changed my life. My degree completely changed the way I think about the world and therefore the way I write music and what I write about has been politicised in new ways.”

Poppy Ajudha’s new album The Power In Us is released in March 2022. Listen to Poppy Ajudha on BBC 6 Music from 1:05:25 to hear her interview and new single. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

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