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CURVY Chat: Songstress on a Journey – Rajdulari Barnes

It was an absolute pleasure to chat with a woman on a “Journey”.  Not just one journey but two!  Rajdulari is a songstress on a mission.  That mission is what she is calling her “Journey to the Grammys”.  That’s right – her voice, her talent and her skill are going to get her there.  And I love her drive to not only hold that golden Grammy in her hand but also her “Journey To Better Health”.  That is one of the reasons I knew she’d be the perfect songstress to highlight on Curvy Magazine.

How did Rajdulari get started on her Grammy Journey, you ask?  Well, with one album under her belt, “Honeywine“, she is gearing up to release her 2ndalbum early next year.  Rajdulari’s musical style is a mix of neo-soul and jazz.  Her goal for making Honeywine (Listen to a track by clicking here) was to “make us feel like we were in our kitchen sipping on a glass of wine, taking a seat and talking for a lil while.”  Scrumptious is what the CD is, absolutely soul filling.  “Honeywine” is a solo project.  With exception of her Jazz covers, the entire album was written and distributed all by Rajdulari at Soundworks Studio in Astoria, NY.  It was also arranged with some help from keyboardist/composer, Enrico de Trizio.  Together, they were an exceptional team! 

Since moving from Boston to NYC, she has stepped out into a solo career and says that she still gets nervous before a performance.  Every single time!  It’s not her performance she’s worried about but because she “wants the moment to be right for her audience” lots of other things come into play. 

With every concert, she is conscious of the venue, the environment in the room, and the chemistry between the musicians.  These are all the elements she works hard to get right for each audience!  This combination of hard work, extra care and talent is what earned Rajdulari the “Best Jazz Band Urban Music Award” for 2011, the same year “HoneyWine” was released.

But watch out, when the music starts and her fingers touch the mic her curves start to sway and the DIVA steps in.  Just listen to track 7 on “Honeywine”, Blackbird, Rajdulari describes her take on saying a final sassy goodbye to a difficult relationship.  

But “JourneytotheGrammys” isn’t the only mantra going through this singer’s mind these days.  She also is on a mission to get in better shape and wants other awesome Curvy women to do the same.  Rajdulari’s own “JourneytoBetterHealth” started a few years ago when she made a decision that she wanted to have LapBand surgery. 

Rajdulari remembers always being curvy but at the time she decided on weight loss surgery, she was curvier than she wanted to be.  Enduring a break up was hard enough but she felt that being near 300 pounds was, “making it difficult to be comfortable on stage.”  She found herself getting more and more winded at concerts, and couldn’t see herself continuing to thrive in her career without addressing her physical limitations. 

Prior to surgery, she’d lost 30 pounds.  However, immediately following the LapBand surgery, Rajdulari began experiencing severe painful side effects.  Side effects that weren’t explained to her by her surgeons before her procedure.  “It was horrible, Rajdulari recalled, I remember having severe gastritis and a burning pain in my stomach whenever it was empty.  To this day, the doctor’s can’t fully explain why I have these symptoms“. 

Despite the frequent abdominal pain, Rajdulari continued to lose weight.  She’s maintained a loss of 60 pounds.  But because the side effects still plague her, she has made a decision to have her LapBand removed and plans to undergo revision surgery this spring.  

Rajdulari’s “JourneytoBetterHelath”  determination is leading her to newness in her life.  To help get in shape, she started taking “Chicago Style Steppin” dance classes (she’s a Midwesterner) and removing the “un” healthy eating habits from her diet.  For a few months this past summer she completely removed bread and meat from her meal plan and replaced them with more veggies.

And even through she’s started a new romance and has pinched a few more inches on her waistline then she’d like, Rajdulari reminds herself she’s far from perfect.  “The surgery was a way for me to get a kick-start“ she said “I learned the hard way that by simply eating less, loving myself and exercising more I can do it on my own.  I only hope that by telling others my story about my surgery, I can encourage them to try it on their own first before taking on more drastic measures.  I hope I can save other Curvy women from going through the pain that I experience every day.”

Her next step in her “JourneytoBetterHealth” is to try some different work out classes like Cross Fit and (since she has the new beau) getting more in touch with her sensuality.  Not that she hasn’t tapped into it but she’s recognizing it more and more as her journey continues.

When I asked how she knew she was on a “JourneytotheGrammys” Rajdulari quickly said, “If you want something you have to declare it.”  Remembering a quote from her mom, “Small thing to a Giant.”,  is how she reminds herself everyday that she is going to get there. She doesn’t care if she’s 85, blind and in a wheelchair she is getting that Grammy Gold.  Fly high songbird, fly high!

Follow Rajdulari at @rajdularimusic on Twitter, Rajdulari Music on Facebook and Rajdulari Music.

Honeywine music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxtP2GwznAU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

Things you might not know if I didn’t ask…..

1.      She’s an occasional Plus Model and loves wearing Igigi

2.      Guilty pleasure is reading mystery novels by Dean Koontz and Stephen King

3.      Favorite song to “Step” to: Arigato Goizamasu by Annekei

4.      Favorite musical instrument:  The upright bass because it “is the heartbeat of every song“.

5.      Dianne Reeves, Anita Baker and Chaka Kahn are some musical inspirations of hers.

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Comments (2)

  1. Thanks for the feedback Royal. They ALL work now! Appreciate you reading the article.

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