Where: Rich Mix, 35-47 BETHNAL GREEN ROAD, LONDON E1 6LA, When: 21 February 2020 at 8.00pm.
AJO is a singer-songwriter based in London.
A Kosovan born artist, a well known former TV presenter and journalist her roots are deeply embedded in her music and performances. She takes inspiration from her Albanian heritage, elevating the craft and emotion of traditional folk music into an innovative, jazz-infused territory.
In 2002, AJO first came to prominence in Kosova and Albania when she released a hugely successful single under her real name, Vjollca Robelli. The song – also called ‘AJO’ – was dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDs pandemic, and won many accolades. It topped the charts on many TV and radio stations, came second in the regional ‘BBC Top of the Pops’, won ‘Best Rock Video’ at Videofest and Vjollca was nominated as a Youth Music Ambassador that same year, becoming an inspiration for many young girls and empowering women through her music. Seventeen years on, the song retains its popularity, which led Vjollca to adopt the stage name AJO, meaning ‘SHE’.
Well known TV presenter, she hosted many successful live shows during the period 2002-2004, in 2003 her Live Show “Crossword” was voted one of the most watched TV shows in Kosova according to IREX.
AJO moved to London in 2004 to study vocal, music and media management, and eventually settled here to raise four children with her husband, Urim Mripa.
With a collective of renowned musicians drawn from across Europe, AJO has crafted her first work for 17 years, with the first song from her EP – Besa – released in July 2019. AJO’s emotive and evocative music shares its inspiration with the musical legacy of her culture.
Her songs tell true tales of honour and betrayal, joy and pain, politics of being a female, empowering and celebration of womanhood and the uniquely Albanian concept of ‘Besa’ – an oath of trust passed down the centuries.
For her new EP, AJO has collaborated with professional musicians including Aram Zarikian, Danny Rico, William Collier,Emma Smith, Alessio Marsio, and Xhemil Gjini.
Andrew Phillips, the Emmy awarded musician for Outstanding Achievement in Music, and Oscar-nominated composer, has mixed the tracks. The EP is mastered by Max Gilkes from 1 Sonic Productions, the Grammy and Mercury-nominated mastering studio.