The Singapore rapper's latest single 'Mami' has just been released in the US

Yung Raja’s latest song “Mami” marks his foray into the US music scene under Alamo Records—and he makes sure he’s having fun while doing it.

The music video says it all, a playful romp in bright psychedelic colours and decadent surrounds. Flashing dollar bills and climbing stacks of saris and jewellery, the 26-year-old rapper extends a cheeky nod to his Singaporean Indian heritage and rising stardom.
 


 

Along with his signature goofiness and humour, this new track is perhaps a song we all need in these bleak times. 

It's a club banger not far from his previous releases like “Mustafa” and “The Dance Song”, which garnered praise for their unique Tamil-infused lyrics.

With “Mami”, he brings his brand of English-Tamil fusion hip hop to the global stage, as well as a multicultural aspect that hopefully speaks of our tiny island. 

Already on NME’s 100 list as an “artist to watch”, he recently won Artist of the Year (Rap) and Single of the Year (Rap) at the *SCAPE Youth Music Awards, organised by *SCAPE and Bandwagon. 

SG Magazine speaks to Yung Raja and finds out more about his “Mami” inspiration and the road ahead.
 


 

How do you feel making your debut in the US? Was it always in your music career plans to release your music there?
My team and I are super blessed and grateful for an opportunity like that. To know that what started out as an experiment—tanglish rapping—that’s now reaching places as far as the US is so insane to me! It wasn’t initially a part of the plan because we didn’t think it’d be possible, but you know, God works in mysterious ways.

“Mami” is a damn catchy song. Of course fans don’t need to know every single lyric to love a song, but can you explain some of the Tamil and cultural references?
Thaali is a nuptial string; kilemeh is date; manenneh means kerosene oil. It’s super fun to explore different expressions especially when combining both Tamil and English. I have the most fun writing!

Was there a certain “mami” who inspired you to write the song? What’s your ideal “mami” like?
I dedicate and wrote this song for mamis all around the world! I want to give all women a song that they can enjoy and get down to!

The video’s fun, goofy, frenetic, like your previous videos. And you look like you’re living the life! What was it like filming the video? Who came up with the concept?
We had the privilege of working with Jasper, one of our closest collaborators for the fourth time with Mami. We also worked with BLESS7UP who shot and conceptualised the video with us. Shooting the music video is usually the most tiring and most fun part because you really get to experience the song in a whole new way. Since day one, we’ve been taking great pride in team work and I’m so happy people love this video!  

If you could work with any artist right now, who would it be, and why?
One of my biggest inspirations is Drake. I am a big fan of artistes who consistently reinvent their sounds and push the creative envelope with their teams. If I could choose anyone, it’d be Drake. I’m a fanboy!
 


 

So it’s Singapore, the US….and then the world? What else is in store after this? Can we expect a full album?
I’m currently working on some exciting things to share with the world. All I can say is that there’s definitely gonna be more songs dropping this year!  

What’s your definition of success, in particular, a successful rapper?
To be a strong pillar of support and a dedicated servant for your family, friends and community. To be an inspiration to all people regardless of age, race or language. Adding that to a life of passion that allows me to do fulfilling and meaningful work daily. That’s my definition of success!