Singapore rap sensation Yung Raja

Yung Raja sitting down and leaning against a wall

Singaporean breakthrough artiste Yung Raja has been dubbed as Southeast Asia’s next avant-garde bilingual hip hop artiste. He is known for his tasteful unification of Western and Tamil culture in his lyrics.

Yung Raja migrated from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu to Singapore in 1992 where he did his Diploma in Mass Communications. His father, Rajid Ahamed, is a recognised poet in the Tamil diaspora community in Singapore and also taught Maths and Science as a college professor for 17 years in Chennai.

Rajnikanth was a pivotal influence in Yung Raja’s formative years which made him pursue a career in acting and feature in advertisements, TV series and movies. But it was because of the insistence of his friend and fellow Singaporean rapper Fariz Jabba that he got into music.

Yung Raja’s debut single was a remix of Gucci Gang by Lil Pump titled Poori Gang. But it was only when he was featured in an episode of the Malaysian hip-hop web series 16 Baris in 2018 that his career took off following the release of his debut single Mustafa. His second single, Mad Blessings, received commendation from Lupe Fiasco and M.I.A. and was the first English-Tamil song to be played on Malaysia’s leading Malay radio station, Era.

With two tracks in hand the rapper had already amassed over 3 million streams on Spotify and more than 3 million views on YouTube. Yung Raja has been lauded for his formidable command of English-Tamil rap. He began singing when he was just 20 years and today has worked with many brands, from BVLGARI and Gucci to Louis Vuitton, among others.

Cover of the January 2023 issue of The Teenager Today featuring the International Kite Festival held at Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

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Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in. Reach him at E: verusf@gmail.com or verusferreira.com

Verus Ferreira

Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in. Reach him at E: verusf@gmail.com or verusferreira.com