Since his breakthrough appearance on Joe Flizzow’s 16 Baris in 2018, Yung Raja has gone on to put the pedal to the metal towards superstardom. Fast forward to 2019 and he’s not hitting the brakes just yet. The rapper arrives at the biggest stage (so far) in his career – straight to TV on the debut season of Yo! MTV Raps. Just what’s going on in Yung Raja’s head from all this success? Read on to find out – he might even let us in on an early scoop about the upcoming season of his show too.
You’re fresh from a stellar year of growth in 2018. What’s changed for you, your life, and your career last year?
I’d say the biggest change has to be the fact that rap pays the bills now! My family understands my work better too, I guess that’s a big change!
Any favorite moments?
16 Baris Live concert in KL and Ignite 2018 were the craziest so far!
What people don’t know is that you’ve been on your grind since way back when you were a child actor. How have those experiences molded you as an artist?
I always had a good understanding of my passion for acting and I knew that quite early. At the time, I tried to get as many gigs as possible so I went for countless auditions. I loved being on set. My whole life is a series of events well-guided by my love for acting. For example, I met my best friend, Fariz (Jabba) on a movie set and then realized through him that hip hop’s where the party’s at! Now I’m applying everything I learned in those 10 years in this new life. Pretty cool how life works.
How many times have you changed your hair color since 2018?
2018 was pink. This year’s green! Not sure what the future holds…
We’re four months into 2019, what have you been up to?
I’ve been busy preparing for my release this year. I’ve also been traveling a lot! We shot MTV Asia’s Yo! MTV Raps in March. That was a super dope experience.
Congratulations on being part of the upcoming Yo! MTV Raps season! Did you dream about being in this position as a kid who grew up watching MTV?
Thank you! I have always loved hosting and did two years of emceeing at the Music and Drama Company for my National Service. I was in clubs hyping too! Being able to put what I’ve learned to professional use feels super fulfilling. And yes, hosting Yo! MTV Raps is 100% something from my dreams…
On Yo! MTV Raps, you take the mic as a host instead of a performer. What’s that experience like for you?
It’s something I’m really comfortable with! I did Mass Communication for my diploma and some of my favorite modules were the ones that required me to host or present. I remember enjoying them so much. Being a host on this show is such a tremendous blessing for me.
Name the best thing about being on Yo! MTV Raps.
The fact that there are so many Asian hip hop artists on the show! The world’s not ready!
You’ve met some of Asia’s rising stars in the rap game on this show. What do you think of the hip hop scene in Asia?
It’s packed with insane talent and flavor! This show showcases the hottest of them all and people will get to witness the rise of Asian hip hop!
Let us in on some early scoop. What can we expect from the show?
A whole lot of talent, fun, hip hop and culture! Stay tuned!
Well, you heard him. You’ll have to catch Yung Raja and some of Asia’s top rappers on Yo! MTV Raps yourselves to find out more. But here’s a little scoop: the opening episode will feature two Korean rappers – rapper-producer Gray and breakout rapper Woo. More details below.
Yo! MTV Raps season 1
Season premiere: April 15
Time: 7pm (Western Indonesian time), 8pm (Singapore and Philippines) and 9pm (Malaysia)
Encore: 10.20pm (Western Indonesian time), 11.20pm (Singapore and Philippines) and 12.20am (16 April – Malaysia)
Subsequent episodes will air every two weeks on Tuesday from April 23 (timing as above). Follow MTV Asia on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram for more updates and additional content relating to Yo! MTV Raps.
Who’s excited to see Yung Raja and co. running Asia’s hottest hip-hop show on TV? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
This interview has been edited and condensed.