by Maruxa Lynd
We might be divided by our borders and our never–ending comparisons but hip-hop has always brought Malaysia and Singapore together . Hip-hop fans across these two nations have been supporting each other’s back since the rise of stars like Akeem Jahat and Sonaone, and now, Malaysia’s current craze , the Lion City’s Yung Raja! Yung Raja, or as his girl fans call him, the Indian Drake, first went viral with his remix of Lil Pump’s ‘Gucci Gang’, which he renamed as ‘Poori Gang’, and ‘More Better’, a parody remix of Rich The Kid’s ‘New Freezer’ which they released earlier this year on his social media accounts and has since garnered more than 100 thousand views on Youtube (some users even re-uploaded More Better, okay!). Since then, Malaysians have been swooned by the duo of remixes and Yung Raja’s skill in mixing and matching Tamil and English words together in his rhymes.
‘Mustafa’ was released on June 28th in collaboration with Joe Flizzow’s Sony afffliate Kartel Records and as of today, it sits on Malaysia and Singapore’s Viral 50 charts on Spotify and has 173,108 views on Youtube. With its sick addictive hook and baddie verses, it’s impossible not to get hooked! The song’s music video really did the song justice too as it straight up looks like it was an 88Rising video. The kind of camera work that Rich Brian or Joji would go for.
There’s so much of factors to why Yung Raja is trailblazing the Singaporean/ Malaysian scene and that includes the man’s finesse and positive vibes that transcended into his music (yes girls , he got the looks too) . We recently got to chat with Yung Raja and here’s what he has to say about his music, new single and even his hosting gig with MTV Raps!
What’s the meaning behind your song Mustafa?
The men who started Mustafa, Mustaq and his Father Mustafa are some of the most powerful and revered men in my community, but they have always remained humble and out of the lime light. I just found it so interesting how they built an empire with so much success without having to flaunt it. I look up to them and my version of ‘Mustafa’ is a twist of my alter-ego based on what Mustafa represents to me.
Lovin the MV a lot! Who came up with the concept for Mustafa’s music video?
M03 team wanted to make the video as big and as bold as we can – We wanted people, striking colours, high-end clothes and a Mustafa cart. A small comedic element, interesting cinematography topped off with unique execution. We spoke to this Singapore-based videography company, Vadbibes, they came on board and everything fell into place!
Talkin about MTV, how was your experience hosting MTV Raps with Jessi?
It was crazy!!! Jessi is such a strong woman with a bold personality. It was so much fun working with her closely, and we’ve been friends ever since!
You’ve performed quite a lot of times in KL now since you guys went viral. Of all the places that you have performed, which city’s your favorite?
Man, KL’s always my favorite! The energy there is intense! I love the culture and Malaysian people always show love !
Do you have a certain message that you want your listeners to get through your music ?
Yes, I want to represent fearlessness and boldness through my music. I want to let people know that you can say what you truly think represents you and what you stand for, without having to change or alter your cultural backing. I want to let people know that putting your culture before craft is the way to do things – it’s about being truthful to who you are.
What’s in store for Yung Raja in the coming months ?
More songs, bigger projects, more crazy content. Can’t wait to share with the world what M03 Records and Sony Kartel Records has in store! Stay tuned!