Ajaxxx
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"AJAXXX: The Indian Kid who Raps Better Than You"

Ajaxxx. Abacus. That one Indian kid who raps. No matter what you want to call him, he is what he is: a devoted artist, a focused lyricist, and moreover, a fierce emcee. Dedicated to "abusing the microphone" ever since the young age of thirteen, Ajaxxx can always be found honing his skills. Whether it is penning a thought-provoking tale, composing a battle track to bump to in the car or simply freestyling with the boys, the kid can always be found rapping. "It's my passion," says Ajaxxx. "It's my love, it's my life, and sometimes I feel like it's all I got."

Tirusha: Not everyone knows the name Ajaxxx, so give us a quickie on who you are and what you do.
Ajaxxx: Well, let's see. As you mentioned, yeah my name is Ajaxxx, I'm an Indian emcee out of Orlando. I've been rapping for over ten years now. I've put out a couple of CDs, performed here and there, participated in emcee battles, and so on. I'm just all about the music.

Tirusha: How long have you been singing for?
Ajaxxx: Don't you mean "rapping!"

Tirusha: I'm glad you don't consider it singing, I was only trying to flatter you (laughs).
Ajaxxx: (laughing) I started rapping in middle school, and I've been doing it ever since.

Tirusha: What's the best experience you've had till date?
Ajaxxx: Musically, I'd have to say it was the release of my first CD. People would always ask me for music, and I was finally able to give them something. It was dope to have people bumpin' my songs, plus just puttin' it out was a real good learning experience in terms of how people reacted to what they heard. If you're talking in general, it's probably when we first met. LOL! Oh, I can't flirt with the interviewer? Damn! Ok ok, next question.

Tirusha: Since you've started performing, do you have people who recognize you sometimes and compliment you on the streets on your singing or performances?
Ajaxxx: Yeah, I do. Typically, you'll find the real hardcore fans at shows or events, but I've had random "encounters" at the movies and at the mall. I remember this one time I walked out of the bathroom at Universal and this guy ran up to me like "Yo, Jaxxx, I was just watching your battles on your site, you're too dope bro!" Imagine that.

Tirusha: So tell us a little about what you're working on?
Ajaxxx: Well, I just put out a new promo CD which I'm letting everyone download for free on both my website and MySpace. I'm also passing them out for free if you see me. I'm now focusing all my energies on my new mixtape "Something to Prove", which is the sequel to my first CD. It's really shown my growth, and it's some of my best stuff ever. I hate to brag about the music, because I'd rather like the music to speak for itself, but I can't help it - it's really dope stuff. I've got some crazy party songs, some break-your-neck type music, and there's even one song on there - it's real personal - which has gotten a few people to cry. It's gonna' be serious.

Tirusha: Do you think you'll ever be able to show off your lyrical style with a more "Desi twist"?
Ajaxxx: Absolutely! I think the thing that makes you a good "emcee" is the ability to make good music without sacrificing your lyrical integrity. I've already done a few "Indian-flavored" songs, and the single for my new CD should be on that vibe too. Don't get it twisted though, I'm still going to be me and I'm not compromising.

Tirusha: You've collaborated with Kerfew and June25th from the U.K., in addition to Raja Wilco and Ar-Sin in the U.S. If you had the chance to work with any other artists in the South Asian and American music scene who would you love to collaborate with?
Ajaxxx: Anybody who has a similar work ethic as myself, someone who's dedicated, and who takes this seriously. I'd like them to be fairly good too (laughs).

Tirusha: So you're releasing a mixtape. Give us a little bit of info about it.
Ajaxxx: Well as I mentioned above, I just put out a promo - "Something to Prove" Mix CD. It's got some tracks from the first CD that were fan-favorites, some unreleased freestyles, some collaborations I've done from here and overseas, and also some exclusives just for the promo. I pretty much wanted to give people an appetizer before the main course, if you know what I mean.

Tirusha: So what does the future hold for Ajaxxx? Any projects we should keep our ears and eyes open for?
Ajaxxx: Oh yes, there's lots. I'm going to be on June25th's new EP, which will be releasing soon. I'm also going to be on "The Desi Movement" by Xplicit Desi Vibes, which is also dropping soon. I've got cameos on some projects for artists here in Orlando, and I'm also planning on collaborating with several artists from Miami as well. And of course, there's the "Something to Prove" mixtape, which will be coming soon. It's definitely some of my best stuff.

Tirusha: Is there anything else you'd like to say to all your fans and the readers of DesiClub?
Ajaxxx: Yes! Make sure you check out my official website www.Ajaxxx.com, where you can download my brand new promo CD. Be sure to check out MySpace: www.myspace.com/Ajaxxx. Be on the lookout for the "Something to Prove" mixtape, I promise I won't disappoint you. And of course, I want to thank everyone who's been so supportive of me, and to Tirusha for being such an amazing interviewer. So I'm sayin', what you doing after this interview? (laughing) - Desi Club


"Sindhi March Honoree"

DJ in Sindhi means Dil Jawan.

From Hyderabad to New York to Orlando. Three generations. The end result.

A Sindhi Rapper, hip-hop competitor winner, a guy who keeps his community, whether Indian or Sindhi, flying high. Meet Ajay Dani also known as AJAXXX. A quiet perseverant and dedicated youth, who is on the verge of setting the Music world on fire – which his own kind of music.

Art is his devotion, music his passion and love. Starting at a young age of 13 or 14, he has proven that any new comer can survive if he sets himself apart from others in the same field. His techniques, style and lyricist abilities has been an exceptional one always. He writes new songs, performs in clubs and yet finds time to move around with his friends. He is a UCF student and has been rapping and performing for more than six years now.

IN 2005, he launched his first CD entitled “It’s about time”. It had 24 tracks and the interesting part was that it featured the local talents of Orlando. Competitor and friends combined in this disc. This disc carried a variety of sounds, such as part and dance songs, and hard-core hip hop tracks. His personal selection “Let’s take a trip” was aired in London and Europe. He was one of the 10 winners over a radio contest sponsored by the Florida state attorney’s office and local radio station 102 Jamz and Bright house network.

Fast track to 2008-2011. Ajay’s Indian version CD will be out together with 3 more discs he has planned. Asia will catch on to him soon. Meanwhile he is getting popular in the USA. He is in demand as he has been part of some discs produced by other local Desi version Indians. His name appears on CDisc’s produced by “Xplicit Desi Vibes”, and “DJ Ohm and DJ Navi, two desi DJ’s from the east coast, USA. He is open to collaborating with other artistes but has a condition: they must be driven and motivated like him. No Kidding.

Ajay also has an online store. You could order CD’s at US$ 5 and t-shirts at US$ 10.

In the December issue of Rivaaj Magazine, Ajaxxx, was featured in a page-spread highlighting his momentous track, 'Walk With You,' - produced by TyPeNyCe - which was one of the ten-winning tracks in the 'Rap Against Violence" contest held in Florida. Look out for Ajaxxx's forthcoming release, 'The Set-Up' mix tape, which will have the 'Walk with You' song on it. Till then, be sure to log onto Ajaxxx's official website and download 'The Set-Up' sampler!

He was also featured on www.citymasala.com and www.beyondsindh.com

Check out his Music. Log on to www.ajaxxx.com or www.myspace.com/ajaxxx!

Wah Wah Ajay, YOU MAKE US SINDHIS PROUD. - Sindhi Tattler


"Ajaxxx - Fresh from Orlando"


The energy and atmosphere of Orlando is of its own identity, and the nightlife is certainly one of the best in Florida. When it comes to Hip-Hop music, Orlando is an undeniable melting pot. Taking the stairs to the second level in one of Orlando’s hottest clubs, a familiar tune starts to ease through my ears and a familiar voice starts to take control of the microphone. I turn and see Orlando based recording artist, Ajaxxx, gearing up for his performance.
After an exhilarating show, I sat down with Ajaxxx and learned one thing - in today's hip-hop scene, one does not often come across an artist who is trying to express a positive message through his lyrics, who is an innovator and represents his community – and that’s just scratching the surface. Ajaxxx has showcased his versatility while rapping over Bollywood-style tracks and party tracks to inspirational songs and even old-school break beats. He is young, vibrant and ready to take the music scene by storm!
Having ‘abused’ the microphone since the age of 13, Ajaxxx has developed into one of the best MCs in today’s South Asian scene. Balancing a full-time job and a music career, Ajaxxx’s schedule is extremely busy; that, however, doesn’t stop him from writing songs. As Ajaxxx leaned back into his chair, wearing his green Enyce jacket and matching hat, staring at his iPod, I thought, “does he think about anything aside from music?” Without a doubt, his songwriting style is very unique, and as he well knows, it cultivates many occasions for ‘magic’ in his studio.
CM - You are from Orlando and you are an Indian- rapper - these are the two basic facts that people know about you. What truly makes ‘Ajaxxx’ the artist that he is inside? How did ‘Ajaxxx’ become your stage name?
Ajaxxx - What’s up Tirusha? Well, I was originally going by different aliases when I first started off, but eventually decided I wanted a “name” to represent me versus a title. “Ajax” was a name given to me while I was growing up, so I thought I could use that and just add the triple x at the end to give it an edge. And with that, Ajaxxx was born.
TD - What is it about you that makes you stand apart from the other South Asian rappers today?
Ajaxxx -Well, with anything I do, not just music, I try to be super creative and as innovative as possible. I like to try different things and experiment, rather than doing what the next guy does. I think that in order to be truly successful with music, you have to be a leader and surprise people. Not too many other rappers, in my opinion, are trying to set standards and break boundaries like that. I feel that’s where I’m different.
CM - What is it about your songs that create the emotional depths they have and leave your listeners thinking? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the best example would be your song, “Walk With You” which you won a contest for, right? Tell us about the contest too.
Ajaxxx - I’ve had songs that have inspired me throughout my lifetime, so I try to create that feeling for others by drawing on personal experiences and meaningful stories. “Walk With You” was a song I wrote about the recent school shootings we’ve been seeing on the news, which was one of the winning songs in the Rap Against Violence contest sponsored by local radio station 102 Jamz, Brighthouse Networks, and the Florida State Attorney’s Office. I was saddened by the tragedies we kept witnessing and wrote a song to raise awareness and encourage people to step up and speak out against crime.
CM - For those who aren’t familiar with your music, you’ve released two CDs, “It’s About Time” and “Something to Prove: The Promo.” Give us some insight on the two releases and how you’ve seen yourself grow as an artist between releases?
Ajaxxx - “It’s About Time” was the first mixed CD I did. Everyone kept asking me if I had a CD out on campus, so I thought it was time to give something to the people. It was an eclectic mix with a lot of different styles and sounds, also featuring various local artists. The promotional CD you mentioned was my second release, but was more of a compilation CD until my next official mixed tape comes out. It included a lot of the music I’ve been releasing in the UK, some songs I’ve contributed to mix show DJs, and then some song favorites from the first CD.
CM - Besides personal projects, you are also being featured on other artists’ projects and mixed tapes. Tell us where else we can hear you!
Ajaxxx - There is a lot, but here goes nothing - outside of my own CDs, I’ve been featured on several mix CDs for Xplicit Desi Vibes, a national DJ crew. I have also been on mix CDs from DJ Ohm and DJ Navi, two Desi DJs from the east coast. I’m on several different CDs here in Orlando, and then I’m also on UK producer June25th’s mix CDs too. I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot, but as you can see I’m in a lot of places!

CM - The south Asian scene has always been thriving for the media’s attention. Directors, producers, actors and models have all made their way mainstream, but sadly, it seems that musically, the doors to south Asian rappers and singers are always closed. Why do you think that is?
Ajaxxx - I don’t think that the doors are closed, I just think that we’re still on the rise and progressing. The directors or actors you mentioned didn’t get to where they’re at overnight, it took a lot of hard work. I’m starting to see a lot of south Asian rappers doing big things, ranging from mainstream collaborations, big-name magazine features, and even music videos. If we can keep building the momentum and not sacrifice our artistic integrity, then I think it’s only a matter of time.
CM - Where do you see the music scene to be in 2008? Who are some of the outstanding artists and producers right now? What do you feel needs to be done in orderfor this scene to survive?
Ajaxxx - 2008 looks to be very promising. I know an artist from New York, Nivla, who recently had his video featured on the Doritos’s Super Bowl commercial. Another artist named Kidd Skilly recently did a song with R&B singer Akon. These are just some examples, but it shows that we as a collective are pushing forward and breaking down walls. As long as everyone is working towards gaining more exposure and putting out good music, the scene will not only survive – it will prosper.
CM - Where do you see yourself musically in 2008?
Ajaxxx - (Laughing) Where do I begin? Well, I have four mix CDs I’m intending on putting out this year, one of which will be entirely Indian themed. I’m going to continue to collaborate with UK based artists and producers, as the UK desi music scene is very strong right now. I’m working with some South Asian R&B singers and I’m also starting to dip my hand in production. I have plans of doing a tour too, with dates here in Orlando and then several dates out of the state too. My motto is, success isn’t going to come to you - you have to go out and get it!
CM - Since we’re on the topic of you, let’s get inside Ajaxxx’s head for a bit! As a male-artist in the scene, the larger percentage of your fans, are of course, the ladies! I’m not going to beat around the bush and neither should you! Is there a lucky lady in your life? And I don’t want one of those ‘let’s try to get away with it’ answers like “of course … my mom!”
Ajaxxx - Ummm … let’s just say I’m “accepting applications.” (Laughing)
CM - Tell us a little bit about your family background. How supportive were your parents when you told them that you wanted to be a rapper? How did they handle the idea of you wanting to build your own studio?
Ajaxxx - To be honest with you, my parents have been nothing but supportive. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams and their support has been extremely helpful, if not inspirational. I won’t lie though, when I told them about the idea of building my own studio, I think they might have thought I was a little crazy but when the smoke cleared they were very proud of me.
CM - Most of the other artists out there are either Gujarati or Punjabi – but you’re neither! Tell us a little bit about your cultural background as well.
Ajaxxx - Well, for those who may not know, I’m Sindhi. Sindhis are not so different from other types of Indians – we’re very family-oriented and traditional. Just like any other Indian, we love our customs, our music, and especially our food! To me, we are all very similar.
CM - What was your childhood like? Did you confront a lot of the typical South Asian stereotypes while growing up?
Ajaxxx - I might have gotten a joke here or there, but nothing cruel or malicious. The people I surrounded myself with were very down-to-earth and friendly, similar to me. I think it’s important to keep people like that around you. High school had a majority of Hispanic students, so I have a lot of friends who are Dominican, Puerto Rican, etc. Anybody from Florida knows what I’m talking about! I have a variety of different friends from many different cultures.
CM - What about your life as a rapper? Did you receive a lot of heat from the public when you were on stage trying to battle a non-Indian rapper? How did the public react to you when you entered the scene?
Ajaxxx - The thing about hip-hop (which I love), nowadays is that people don’t really care what you are or where you’re from. Instead, they want to know whether or not you have skills. I think that at first I might have thrown some people off – I mean, an Indian rapper, c’mon, right? But I’ve placed an emphasis on showcasing my talents first and proving to everyone I can hang with the best of them. I have never strayed from that idea either, and it’s gotten me where I am today.
CM - Do you think the public’s perspective on a south Asian rapper will ever change? Do you think there will ever be a time when we’ll hear a south Asian artist on mainstream radio? You obviously broke that barrier in Orlando as “Walk with You” streamed the airways of 102 Jamz, but what about on a national level?
Ajaxxx - Absolutely! Like I said before, a lot of south Asian artists are making waves, so as long as we can continue to do this, it won’t be long before you see one of us on MTV or hear us on mainstream radio.
CM - Ajaxxx, being that you’re from Orlando, how important is it for you to reach out to your community? Are a major chunk of your performances Orlando-based?
Ajaxxx - I think it’s of the utmost important to reach out to your community. Believe me, nobody is going to give you the support that your hometown can give you. Think about sports – there’s a reason it’s called home-court advantage. As far as performances go, the majority up to this point have been Orlando-based but I have done several performances outside of the city too. I hope to continue to expand with 2008.
CM - Ajaxxx, it's been a pleasure spending time with you and seeing how involved you are in the community! It’s always great to see talented people from our community making moves and spreading a message at the same time. Any final words for the readers of City Masala magazine and your fans?
Ajaxxx - Yes! Thanks to CityMasala for allowing me this opportunity, and to all the readers and to all my fans for their constant support. If you’re interested in learning more about me or hearing some of the music I talked about, please log onto www.ajaxxx.com or www.myspace.com/ajaxxx.
- City Masala


"Ajay Dani: Ajaxxx"

“Ajaxxx is uncut, raw, and doesn’t hold back” ~ Ajay Dani


Ajay Dani is no newbie to the rapping world. From the tender age of 13, he began to write his own lyrics and sing, or rather rap to his own music. After rapping for over six years, the rapper has also won a radio contest, is a five-time open mic champion, as well as being a prominent performer and emcee at local clubs in the Florida area. While him and his music have gained much popularity in the USA, Asia will soon be treated to AJAXXX, what he is fondly known as, as he continues to record more Desi inspired music. The rapper has also recorded television commercial that was featured on national channels all across the U.S. Dani has also collaborated with well-known deejays in the U.S. who have realized that the artist is clearly one to watch out for. On a personal level, Ajay is definitely one friendly dedicated and talented musician who is headed for the skies with his innovative style and forte. The artist simply states on his website, “I’m not trying to get famous or anything…I’m just trying to make music that people can feel and enjoy…And while I’m at it, I’ll wipe out the competition.” Read on as the up and coming rapper speaks exclusively to Roshni Magazine about breaking into rap, being unique and keeping his daytime job.


Let’s start at the top. How did rapping begin? I read that there is a story behind your reason to rap.
Well, let’s see now. I was in middle school when it all started; I used to recite lyrics from other rappers, usually mimicking what I’d hear in some of my favorite songs. That eventually evolved into me freestyling my own material. Somewhere along the way though, and I wanna’ say it was towards the end of middle school or the beginning of high school, I started writing everything down. It was always me just messing around, but when I started writing, I really started to take it more seriously. I think one of the main reasons I got into it was not just because it was “fun”, but because I was so drawn to the feeling that music gave me. I’ve had songs inspire me, sadden me, and move me, and I wanted to be able to recreate that feeling for others. So, I studied the craft, tackled different topics, and even recorded some bad-quality stuff too! (Laughs) Let’s hope nobody ever hears those old tapes!

Who would you say are some of your inspirations? International and Desi.
Well, when I think of the word inspiration, I think of what I want to do firstly and then who embodies those characteristics. Through my medium, I want to make someone believe something and feel it…and I have to evoke that emotion through words. Someone like Gandhi, therefore, is a huge inspiration to me. He was able to move people through his ethics. He preached a message of unity without violence, and that’s powerful to me. Not to say I’m a flag bearer of nonviolence or anything, although it’s a good thing, but I preach a positive message in a lot of my songs. I always think about how we’ll be remembered. I’m also inspired by women like Indira Gandhi, who persevered in a society where women aren’t always respected the same way that men are. She impacted India in such a huge way, and broke down many barriers for women. Benizir Bhutto is another woman who fought an uphill battle, yet accomplished so much. People that go against the grain like that to make a difference have always moved me, because I can identify with them. I’m inspired by Obama. Here’s someone who was doubted, written off, and laughed at time and time again during his run for presidency. Despite the adversities, however, he endured. Despite his unusual name, the opponents he faced, and the race barrier, he managed to continue. He’s inspirational because he remained focused and believed in something even when not too many shared his views. If you were talking within the entertainment industry, I’d say someone like Jay-Z or Russell Simmons. They’re such advocates of hip-hop and preserving the culture, yet they’re all about their business too. Deepak Chopra has also impressed me. And of course, anybody within the scene that’s making moves – they inspire me to keep on too.

Were you surprised when you first album was received so well? Especially since it is normally perceived as rather difficult to gain little if any recognition in the western music world.
I don’t think I was necessarily surprised at how it was received, only because I was confident that I was making good music. Not just that, but I was surrounded by a lot of talented musicians who helped me along the way with the recording process. It’s important to keep people like that around you. I was more surprised than anything at the feedback I received. A lot of people liked different songs for different reasons, and that really interested me. Like, some people enjoyed my “darker” songs, whereas others thought I really shined on the uptempo, party tracks. It was like everyone had a different favorite song. If anything, it was a learning experience that would end up helping me a great deal in the future. It’s definitely difficult at times to gain recognition in our world, but that’s one of the fun parts of it – the challenge. I wouldn’t be doing music if it didn’t present challenges to overcome. I mean, what’s the fun in that, right?

Absolutely! What do most of your fans say to you when they get the chance to meet with you?
“Oh Ajaxxx, will you sign my bra strap for me?” (Laughs) No, no! I’m just kidding! Oh damn, I hope I don’t get in trouble for that one. But yeah, a lot of times when people meet me they express how they like my music and they might single out a specific song. It’s an amazing experience when someone tells me about a song and how it might’ve touched him or her or inspired them in any way. That’s the kind of stuff that makes it all worth the while!

How easy or hard is it to break into the music scene and what would you say it takes to become a successful rap artist?
It’s ridiculously difficult and that’s putting it lightly. It’s hard for me to give advice on this since I’m still an up-and-comer myself, but I do realize that I’ve come pretty far. And, I realize that most of my successes have come from hard work…as cliché as that sounds. I’ve put in countless hours on music, whether it is writing or rewriting or recording or rerecording or designing or rehearsing or whatever else. I think those things help with the process, but it’s also important to network like crazy too. And of course, that goes for any industry. One thing I realized is that you can’t do everything by yourself. It’s impossible. You need to be collaborating with other artists, working with different producers, linking with DJs, and communicating with different press and media outlets. Those are people that have helped me to get as far as I’ve gotten, and who’ll continue to help too. And of course, make yourself seen!

Do you feel it would be easier to break into the music scene in India? It can’t be easy to find a niche in the western music…or is it?
What an interesting question. Hmm…(thinks) It’s hard to say. I think in India, you’re more likely to break into the music scene if you know how to act and dance too. Oh wait, am I getting this confused with Bollywood? (Laughing) Nah, but seriously, no matter where you go, I think you have to have a distinct and original sound to set you apart from everyone else. If you have that, it doesn’t matter where you are. I think that my kind of music may be more difficult to break through in India, especially since hip-hop is bigger in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. At the same time though, I’d be interested to see what kind of reception I’d get. So Roshni, does that mean you’re coming with me to India to find out? (Laughs) Okay, moving on….

(Laughs) Right Ajay, moving swiftly along! How do you incorporate your roots into your music and into the lyrics which you also pen right?
Well, I try to “represent” as much as I can. By that, I mean I try to remind the listener on every CD that I’m Indian and incorporate a few Indian-flavored songs too. I try to rhyme over Indian beats, collaborate with other fellow Desi artists, and I’ve even started to tackle some Indian topics. I think each of my CDs have a few songs like that. I’m currently working on a project that’s entirely Indian-themed, and that’s going to dig extremely deep in my roots. I’ve done a lot of research on my heritage and lineage, and I plan on incorporating all of that. Of course it’s still early, but I’m looking forward to teaching the rest of the world about Sindhism. And yes, I pen all my lyrics.

Individually your songs all have a distinguished message. Is this intentional and which song do you feel has had the greatest impact on you and your fans?
With every song I write, I like to have a topic and concept. Not to say I don’t have my party songs or anything, but I have a lot of music that takes on different messages. I think it’s stupid to do music if you don’t have anything to say. That’s the sad reality of the industry though – too many people try to do music, yet have nothing to bring to the table. I feel that I have a story to tell and the world should hear it. So, when it’s my notebook and me, I try to channel that as much as I can. I think the song that’s had the great impact on my fans is “Walk With You.” The song was about the school shootings that we’ve witnessed over the last few years and the need to do something about it. I wrote the song to the friends and families of the victims, because in my mind the real victims are the friends and families – they’re the ones left behind. After the song was released, I started receiving e-mails from different people about how much the song meant to them. A few people told me that the song made them cry, while others informed me that the song lifted their spirits. And whenever I performed that song live, people would come up to me and express their sentiment towards it. Anytime I can share that emotional connection with someone, I’m reminded why I’m doing this in the first place.

What are some common running themes through are present in your music?
There’s a lot – love, struggle, friendship, loneliness, fear, focus…and so on, and so on. I’ve probably written a million rhymes about love though. Whether it’s the strength in it or the complexities in it, it’s a topic I always come back to for some reason. I’ve got a song on the new CD about heartbreak. It’s one of my most personal songs yet. I also have a lot of tracks about going through obstacles and overcoming them. Songs like “Field of Dreams”, “Yes We Can (And We Did)”, and “As I Stand” all talk about being doubted or enduring pain, only to get through it. I think I constantly return to that theme because I want to remind my fans to be optimistic, but also because it’s something that I’ve constantly gone through in my own life. All I can do is tell people what I’ve experienced.

Any intentions to rap in Hindi or Sindhi even?
(Laughs) Well let’s just say if I did, you’d wish I hadn’t (Laughs) Okay, okay. I don’t have any intentions of rapping in Hindi, simply because I’m not the best speaker in the world. As far as Sindhi goes, I’ve thrown the idea around many times. I’ve had many relatives ask me to, but at the same time I don’t want to segregate my larger fan base which knows me for my English rapping. So, I think for now I’m gonna’ stick to English. But who knows, I may visit it in the future. I just have to do it in a creative way where I can have everyone onboard.

You’re a successful rapper now. Why have you chosen to keep your day job at the same time instead of fully indulging yourself in music?
I hate to say that I’m successful, because I still have so much I wanna’ do and accomplish. Even though I’ve been doing this for a while, I feel like I’m just getting started! I’m a naturally creative person. I love the arts, and I love to express myself through them. Graphic design, web design, animation, drawing, you name it. I love to create. So, I don’t think I’d feel complete if I restricted myself to only music. I hate to use the word “restrict”, but that’s how I’d feel if I weren’t able to do everything. So, I kept the day job as a designer to allow me the opportunity to be creative. Plus it pays the bills! (Laughs)

What is coming up for you next?
Well right now I’m working on two CDs simultaneously. I’ve got “Something to Prove” coming up next, which is the album I’ve been working on for the last couple years. I’ve got a pretty crazy range on there, from party songs to hardcore songs to lots more. I’m really excited to let people hear it. It’s a reflection of my evolution with some of my most introspective songs. I’m also working on the Indian-themed CD that I mentioned to you earlier, which is also coming along well. That one’s definitely down the line, but it’s shaping up to be very eclectic and innovative. It tackles some pretty serious topics, but still has the typical fun catchy stuff you might expect to hear from me too. And outside of the CDs, I’ve been redesigning my website Ajaxxx.com which I hope to launch soon too! And of course, you and I are still taking that trip. Right? (Laughs)

(Laughs) You are one persistent rapper! What would you advise aspiring artists?
Well, again, I’m reluctant to give advice to someone in the same boat as me. That’s like me teaching the fisherman how to fish. But, I will say, I’ve gotten this far by prioritizing and committing myself. Initially, I don’t think anybody believed in me. But, after dropping three CDs, pressing up my own t-shirts, launching my own website, filming and editing my own videos, hopping on different mixtapes, and building my own recording booth, among other things, people realized that I’m for real about this. The game isn’t what it used to be. There are so many new outlets for artists to explore, and many more ways to connect to fans too. The internet is such a valuable resource. I’d exploit everything.

And before we let you go, explain the Ajaxxx factor. What does your stage name mean?
I like the way you say that – “the Ajaxxx factor” – sounds like the name of a TV show! (Laughs) Well, “Ajax” was a name given to me when I was growing up. A lot of family called me that, and kids actually used to call me that to tease me. Can you believe that? Yeah, neither can I! Anyway, I was going by a couple of different “rap names” initially, but eventually decided on the name because it had been my nickname for a while. The only thing I did was add the three x’s to it to give it an edge. “Ajaxxx” is uncut, raw, and doesn’t hold back. And so, that’s what he decided to call himself. And, I have no idea why I’m talking in third person (Laughs). Thanks for your time and for sitting down with me, Roshni! So, can I interest you in some chai while we discuss our trip?

~ Roshni M.
(November 2009) - Roshni Magazine


"Giving Rap a Good Name – Ajaxxx"

“I was in India recently, traveling from Chennai to Mumbai by train when a little girl came up to me begging for food,” says the rapper named Ajaxxx. “She told me her story, how she had been singing on the trains to earn something. It really shook me and inspired me to write a song about not taking what we have in this country for granted.”

Ajaxxx, or Ajay Dani, is an Indian American of Sindhi origin. He is also a seasoned rapper, well known in Orlando, Florida, with several CDs to his name.

“I’ve been rapping with my friends since I was 12 or 13,” says Ajaxxx. “But it was in high school that I decided to take it seriously.” He entered a radio contest called “Open Mic” where phone-in callers were given a beat and asked to come up with rap lyrics on the spot. He won the contest 5 times and decided to pursue the genre as a possible career. Many rappers consider themselves poets and with good reason. Rapping, which occupies a gray area between speech and song, is one of the few musical genres that developed as a way of expressing cultural angst and is much more lyric driven than other genres.

The beat provides the base for the message and the composition of the song begins with producing the beat. Here’s how Ajaxxx puts it- “Usually I have a concept in mind. I take it to the producer and ask them to give me a beat to match the feeling. We work out several iterations of the beat till it mirrors the feeling or concept I have in mind. The beat then gives me the inspiration for the lyrics.” The song is then recorded then ‘mixed down’ which is to get the vocals cleaned up by a sound engineer who might also add some effects to give the number some pop.

Ajaxxx raps about a variety of subjects. Sometimes it is the stuff of mainstream music, of heartbreak and recovery, but the medium can also be a powerful way to convey a message to youngsters tuned out from parental haranguing. “And sometimes I just like to have fun,” he says with a laugh. “Rap music is an outlet to express myself,” he adds. “I want my songs to make people think.”

One such meaningful number is “Walk with you” a song about the aftermath of violence. In 2006, Ajaxxx decided to enter a contest called “Rap Against Violence.” Recent school shootings had shaken the country. “I kept thinking about how the real victims were the friends and the family who were left behind,” he says, “and I wrote my lyrics to reflect that feeling.” His friend and music producer TyPeNyCe provided the beat. "Walk With You" was picked as one of the ten winners of the contest.

Despite becoming fairly well known in his corner of the hip-hop scene, Ajaxxx continues to keep his day job as a graphic designer and web designer. As an independent artist, financial success is slow to come by. But he is super confident. “I know I have a voice and I want people to hear my story.” In the meantime, the internet is his best friend. He sends out email blasts for promos, posts on various forums and distributes a couple of CDs worth of downloads free on his site.

Ajaxxx has an ambitious plan of releasing 4 new CDs this year with one of theme featuring Indian beats and instrumentation. Meanwhile his brand of rap with "Dirty South" influences (music from southern US states like Florida, Tennessee and Georgia) and the Indian flavor from his heritage is as he says, “dominating.”

Here’s a link to the award winning song “Walk with you” and part of the lyrics.

Walk With You

VERSE I
It came to me, when my brother started to cry
I seen him sitting in the corner like he wanted to die
He told me of the pain that he saw in his eyes
And that if you pull the trigger, you take more than a life
If one person dies, it affects a whole family
A parent loses a child, to a senseless tragedy
A brother or sister, has to witness a calamity
And what was once love, now has turned into the saddest scene
And yo, it saddens me…and I don’t get it
Someone died, and this could have been prevented?
A life is gone, and although you’re in heaven
I can’t seem to breathe and it’s hard to accept it
My friend is long gone, and my soul’s grieving
My friend is long gone, and all for no reason
It’s so heated, so if you’re hearing this
Please put yours guns down…it ain’t worth it…I’m serious - Water, No Ice


Discography

Ajaxxx – It’s About Time (Mixtape)
1.It's About Time (Intro)
2.Yo It's Me
3.Clubbin' Freestyle
4.Daydreamin' f/ Awkwordz
5.Let's Take a Trip
6.Rep the Crew f/ the Connection
7.Backdown Freestyle
8.Look @ Time Freestyle
9.Females f/ K-Culo (skit)
10.I Was Wonderin f/ TyPeNyCe
11.Back Atchu Freestyle
12.Micaholic Remix f/ Critical, Madness, Madd Illz, and TyPeNyCe
13.Dead Presidentz
14.The Badness f/ Awkwordz
15.FoReVeR
16.React Freestyle
17.Pass the Mic Freestyle
18.Fake Thugs (skit)
19.It's Too Easy f/ Madness
20.Silus
21.We Must Let Go f/ Critical
22.Dyin' to Live
23.Where's Skillz At? (Outro)
24.Inevitable Album Snippets

Ajaxxx – It’s About Time
1.It's About Time (Intro)
2.Yo It's Me
3.Clubbin' Freestyle
4.Daydreamin' f/ Awkwordz
5.Let's Take a Trip
6.Rep the Crew f/ the Connection
7.Backdown Freestyle
8.Look @ Time Freestyle
9.Females f/ K-Culo (skit)
10.I Was Wonderin f/ TyPeNyCe
11.Back Atchu Freestyle
12.Micaholic Remix f/ Critical, Madness, Madd Illz, and TyPeNyCe
13.Dead Presidentz
14.The Badness f/ Awkwordz
15.FoReVeR
16.React Freestyle
17.Pass the Mic Freestyle
18.Fake Thugs (skit)
19.It's Too Easy f/ Madness
20.Silus
21.We Must Let Go f/ Critical
22.Dyin' to Live
23.Where's Skillz At? (Outro)
24.Inevitable Album Snippets

Ajaxxx – Something to Prove Promo
1. Intro
2. Hit ‘Em in the Head
3. Let’s Take a Trip
4. Daydreamin’ f/ Oddeo
5. DJ Caesar 102 Jamz Freestyle
6. DJ Navi Big Bang Bhangra Freestyle
7. My Game Goes
8. Star Wars Freestyle
9. We Must Let Go f/ Critical
10. Field of Dreams
11. DJ Navi Fort Minor Freestyle
12. DJ Ohm Desert Experience Freestyle
13. Mi Soniyah f/ Raja Wilco and Ar-sin
14. The Season f/ Kerfew & Minus P
15. In the Flesh f/ Minus P
16. Micaholic Remix f/ the Secret Sircle
17. My Passion (Promo Exclusive)
18. Something to Prove Preview

Photos

Bio

Ajaxxx. Triple X. That one Indian kid who raps. No matter what you want to call him, he is what he is: a devoted artist, a focused lyricist, and moreover, a fierce emcee. Dedicated to "abusing the microphone" ever since the young age of thirteen, Ajaxxx can always be found honing his skills. Whether it is penning a thought-provoking tale, composing a battle track to bump to in the car or simply freestyling with the boys, the kid can always be found rapping. "It's my passion," says Ajaxxx. "It's my love, it's my life, and sometimes I feel like it's all I got."

Born in Long Island, New York, Ajaxxx lived in Queens till he was nine. He then relocated to Florida, where the whole "rap thing" began. 'Jaxxx developed his rap skills by battling at school, writing songs with friends, and jumping in cyphers. He linked up with Orlando's DJ Gravity and put together a demo, which didn't produce many results. Falling out with his partner, Ajaxxx took a short hiatus before returning to writing. He hasn't stopped since.

A 5-time open mic champion on local radio station 102 Jamz, Ajaxxx continued rhyming throughout high school and college. It was here that he began recording with longtime friend Madness and his partner Santiago Skillz (the duo better known as 5th of Skillz). "Forever", his first single, got heavy airplay on a nationwide level. "It's the best feeling to walk by a car that you don't know and hear your song being played. It lets you know that your people are feeling you."

In 2005, Ajaxxx dropped "It's About Time! The Mixtape", the 24-track long-awaited CD. Featuring Ozone's own Critical Madness, Madd Illz, TyPeNyCe, Awkwordz/Oddeo, and Santiago Skillz, the Secret Sircle was in full effect on this one. Tracks like "Daydreamin'", "Let's Take a Trip", and "Micaholic Remix" made it all over the states as well as overseas. It was just the beginning for the kid though.

Following the release of his first mixtape, Ajaxxx dropped the “Something to Prove Promo”, a collection of songs ranging from freestyles, remixes, and fan favorites from the first CD. He continued to record, and in 2008 released “The Set-Up”, another compilation album of 24 tracks. In addition to his own solo efforts, he has been featured on countless mixtapes and albums, both nationally and internationally.

In between releases, Ajaxxx won the Rap Against Violence contest, a competition that called on artists in the state of Florida to pen a song about standing up and speaking out against gun violence. After winning the contest for his song “Walk With You”, Ajaxxx recorded a TV commercial that was played on MTV, BET, VH1, TNT, and ESPN, among other stations.

‘Jaxxx has also graced the cover of City Masala magazine, a publication circulated widely throughout Orlando and Tampa. He has also been featured on the cover of Beyond Sindh Magazine, a publication based out of Hong Kong that features stories for and by Sindhis, and in the pages of The Sindhian magazine, another Sindhi magazine based out of India. In addition, he has appeared in other print and online magazines including Rivaaj, The Indian, and Bravura Artist, among others.

Ajaxxx continues to rhyme today, as he has won battle after battle, performed up and down the east coast, and collaborated with artists globally.

When asked what his name means, Ajaxxx simply smiles. "It's a spin-off of my real name, and a title of what I came to do: clean up the game." Simply put, the 'Jaxxx man knows where he wants to go. "I'm not trying to get crazy famous, take over the world, or anything like that. I'm just trying to make music that people feel, that people enjoy, that people can relate to. And while I'm at it, I'll 'wipe out' the competition. Haha." It is what it is. Ajaxxx in full effect.