Tell us about your band, including your history, where you are from and how you started?
My name is Sunday Ajak and I’m a spoken word artist! I have been publicly speaking for about 5 years now and creating content speeches for about 2! I was born in St. Johns Newfoundland, but I am originally from South Sudan. I started publicly speaking in high school, in front of my own school and schools across the city. Now I take my speeches to Western and produce content to post online.
Why did you decide to be a solo artist rather than form a band or group?
My band name is originally just my name, Sunday Ajak, but I’ve taken the online handle of @speaker.sunday because I am in fact a motivational speaker and it’s a play on words with my name! I always felt like writing spoken word in the way that I do requires me to be a solo artist, however that doesn’t mean that I could never collaborate with another artist.
Do you have any recorded work available for fans?
Yes! All my spoken word pieces are posted on IG (@speaker.sunday) and Facebook/YouTube (Sunday Ajak). I write, record, and produce all my pieces myself, however I can’t take full credit for my knowledge because I do take advice from a lot of other creative minds. These are people that I trust to give me critical advice, on my recording style, my writing style, and basically anything I would need to improve on.
How would you describe your work?
I wouldn’t describe my work with any other word other than unique. I don’t really create music, or poetry, I simply take my thoughts and turn them into a reality. I call them speeches but in reality, it’s just me venting about my thoughts. To me, music is a broad concept, as I suppose my content can fall under that category. However, I would describe my music as natural, unfiltered, raw thoughts that the listener is most likely also thinking.
What makes your work stand out from the others?
I don’t think there are many people in London that are creating spoken word pieces quite the same way I am. I know artists who write, and I know artists who speak, but not quite in the same way that I do. In my area of artistry, there aren’t that many individuals who are as brutally honest as I try to be in my speeches. Everything I write comes from my raw emotions in the situation, I try not to filter myself because it might not be socially acceptable. I say what I do because I know it’s something that people need to hear. I fully encourage people to create art based on their own perception, their own creativity, and to not let society set boundaries on what you can do.
What do you like to do outside of your creative works that contributes to your spoken word material?
I talk to people, all people. People who are leaders and regular people just living day by day, I find that inspiration can come from literally the most unexpected people and places. I use these conversations as integral sources of creativity, as I know I will never be able to know everything there is to know about the world. Another thing that I’ve taken a keen interest in is photography/videography.
Whenever there is an idea, I have in my head that it is too good for a simple audio, I pull out my camera and create a visual story just as compelling as the speech I wrote. I often use both my speeches and videography together to portray a completely different style of spoken word.
Name your two biggest influences and why?
I owe my speaking skills and creativity to my two biggest influences; Prince Ea and Les Brown. It was actually one of Prince Ea’s videos that started me down my path of writing and it was Les Brown who unknowingly taught me how to speak. These are two individuals who are complete powerhouses in the speaking scene. Prince Ea for his truth to social injustice and Les Brown for his abundant passion of personal success. These are two people that I dream of one day being on the same level with.
Who writes your content? What are the main themes or topics?
I write all my content. I take inspiration from things I go through, emotions I feel and people I talk to. My topics can literally be about anything, from mental health to climate change, from love to suicide, from myself to police brutality. There isn’t a topic that I won’t ever cover at some point. Because life is constantly teaching me new things, and giving me new pain to experience, I feel like the overarching theme of my speeches surrounds the trials and tribulations of life.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
My biggest challenge as an artist was getting started. All the way back in high school I had the idea of writing in my head, but never really acted on it until I was promptly motivated by another motivational speaker. I always held myself back from starting because I never thought that my writing and my thoughts were good enough. I’m glad that’s not the case all these years later.
What current projects are you working on at the moment?
I am always working on another thought to create; I have nothing planned because inspiration comes at the most random times! All I can tell you is that I am always posting another speech every Sunday. As I said, life doesn’t stop and because I draw inspiration from life itself, I am always working on another project.