Since fronting our cover in March with his pal and fellow musician Fariz Jabba, Singaporean bilingual hip-hop rapper Yung Raja has been diligently working on new music and prepping to go forth internationally. Now, he is primed to go.
The Def Jam Southeast Asia artist released his latest single 'The Dance Song' globally and joins the Alamo Records roster—a joint venture label of Interscope Records/Geffen/A&M based in the United States. And this single reveal calls for a monumental announcement at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Singapore.
As the first Singaporean to be promoted globally by parent record label Universal Music Group (UMG), Yung Raja hit the MBS' Hybrid Broadcast Studio to captivate audiences through a fully immersive presentation that incorporated augmented reality (AR) effects and holographic capabilities across a 360-degree LED panelled studio space in real-time.
We caught up with the rising talent to know more about his ideal dance song and what rap means to him.
ESQ: What are your intentions for penning ‘The Dance Song’ and how did it come about?
Yung Raja: With the ‘The Dance Song’, I wanted to share an infectiously bright and uplifting vibe. The kind that would put a smile to your face. I am all for spreading good vibes and joy. So grateful to know people love this project!
ESQ: Describe the elements in an ideal dance song.
Yung Raja: Up-tempo, groovy bass lines…the kind that makes me visualise vibrant colours. Those are always the best!
ESQ: What prompted you to embrace new technologies with this release?
Yung Raja: My team and I always try to push the envelope when it comes to ideating and executing. It’s something we take a lot of pride in! Shoutouts to Marina Bay Sands for letting us hold our press conference at their All-new Hybrid Broadcast Studios.
ESQ: How did you adapt to the pandemic and keep yourself constantly motivated creatively music-wise?
Yung Raja: It was very tough at the beginning of the year. A lot of certainties. Too many in fact. It was truly challenging to maintain the spark for inspiration or creativity. It felt almost impossible at times. I learnt how to reflect, reassess and restructure my approach on a day to day basis. I had to figure out what works best for me and I’m happy to say I’m at a great place now!
ESQ: In what ways did rap change your life since discovering it?
Yung Raja: Rap gave me a life. Rap gave me a voice. Rap gave me strength. I’m so blessed to take on a path that demands authenticity in everything I do. As an artist, I feel that Self-expression and self-discovery work hand in hand. I’ve learnt so much about myself!
ESQ: Tell us how is the experience in expressing yourself on a huge platform like the Hybrid Broadcast Studio compared to a typical performance venue?
Yung Raja: I truly believe that there’s a whole world of opportunities for us to explore when it comes to performing. I felt super thrilled to be on such a special stage. Despite its differences with regular performing venues, I think there are some huge possibilities that we’ve yet to tap!
ESQ: What can we look forward from Yung Raja next?
Yung Raja: A lot more songs are on the way. Keep your eyes peeled! 2021’s gonna be an exciting year!
1. 'Too Blessed'—Rich the Kid, Quavo & Takeoff
"This song gets me moving every time! Super hypnotic."
2. 'Ring (feat. Young Thug)'—T.I
"I love this record so much. What an unimaginable collab."
3. 'Success (feat. Naz)'—Jay-Z
"I get so fired up every time I hear this record. Gets me CHARGED UP!"
1. 'Change The Game (feat. Beanie Sigel & Memphis Bleek)'—Jay-Z
"This track hits so hard. No matter what kind of day I’m having, this lifts my spirit!"
2. 'Black Skinhead'—Kanye West
"I love to listen to this when I’m working…This is my zone-in song."
3. 'The Blinding (feat. Travis Scott)'—Jay Electronica
"This song almost 'broke' my speakers…I love heavy 808s. Goosebumps!"
1. 'After Hours'—The Weeknd
"I'm a big fan of The Weeknd. This track sets my mood right for the evening. "
2. 'Chicago Freestyle (feat. Giveon)'—Drake
"I love to have a glass of wine to this record. A total vibe."
3. 'Dreamcatcher (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott)'—Metro Boomin
"This sound brings me to an amazing space. I listen to this when I journal about my day before I head to bed!"
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.