Rapper Yung Raja on his new self-empowerment anthem, The Dance Song and the inspirations behind it
We speak to him about his music, the lockdown and what he's working on next
Singapore-based rapper Yung Raja made waves with his song Mad Blessings a year ago. Now the rapper is back with a power-packed number that addresses the topic of self-empowerment in his new single titled The Dance Song. The light-hearted anthem is driven by themes of self-affirmation. The artiste is known for bringing a unique blend of Tamil and Western elements in his music. We speak to him about his music, the lockdown and what he's working on next:
How was the lockdown for you and how did it affect you creatively?
There was a big limbo stage with so many uncertainties at the beginning of this year.. but praise God, things have definitely smoothened out a bit now. It was truly a trying time when it came to staying creative. A lot of my friends in the industry went through similar bumps on the road. But what’s great is that, I was able to reflect and restructure myself in a way I couldn’t previously. The pandemic was a pause button I didn’t know I needed! It helped me a lot - especially in understanding my workflow and my direction. Super grateful! I’m at a much better place now, creatively speaking!
Mad Blessings was a huge success, did you anticipate it?
I never once anticipated or expected anything that I have been blessed with in the past three years. It was all part of God’s plan and his timings. It’s so unreal to look back at the sequence of events that took place that led to Mustafa, and now to The Dance Song. My team and I have always been genuine with our intentions to wanting to share the joy feel in creating, and we’re so happy to see that people resonate with it!
How did you get the idea for The Dance Song?
Flightsch (Singapore-based producer) and I were trying to find a unique sound sometime around the beginning of this year. When we finished writing the song we couldn’t stop listening to it! It was a vibe we both enjoyed so much. It was a slightly different process than our usual approach. Usually we’d know where the session is headed in terms of vibe. The making of this track caught us by surprise! There were many kinds of inspirations behind this song, ranging from Tamil songs for the writing, to Gangnam Style by Psy... we kept an open mind for this one!
How was it shooting the video?
It was the best time! Really! One of our closest collaborators, Jasper (VadBibes) is a good friend of ours and he’s been on board with us since Mustafa, helping us create insane visuals to accompany the sound. We’re super fortunate to strike a synergy like that among us friends, which is precisely the reason why we have so much fun when we come together
What are the themes in the song?
Culturally, some south Indian references were explored in the lyrics - terms and phrases popularised by AR Rahman’s discography (chikkubukku all week) I explored different styles and cadences as well! Success, family, team work, culture are some of my go-to themes that I always talk about in my songs!
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Is there an album in the works?
There are definitely more vibes in the works right now. No more one song a year... that I can promise you. Whether there will be an EP or an album... there’s only one way to find out. (laughs)
Watch the video for The Dance Song here: