A Conversation with Rapper-Songwriter Raja Kumari

(Photo by Sasha Samsonova; courtesy of Epic Records)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome rapper and songwriter Raja Kumari to Jake’s Take.

Based in Los Angeles, Raja Kumari has become one of the music industry’s rising stars. She co-wrote songs for a diverse group of recording artists including Fifth Harmony, Gwen Stefani, Iggy Azelea, Kalin and Myles, and Lindsey Stirling.  In addition, she also collaborated with on several songs for Bollywood films.  Raja also received a Grammy nomination and BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) honored her at the 2016 BMI Pop Awards for co-writing Fall Out Boy’s hit song: “Centuries.”

Besides being an excellent songwriter, Raja is also an amazing rapper. Thanks to her superb music videos and tracks such as “Meera,” “Believe in You,” & “SHOOK,” she has gained a massive social media following.  On Feb. 22, Raja Kumari released a five-track EP: Bloodline.  The record featured production work from Sean Garrett and Danja and one of my personal favorite songs, “Karma.”

In this edition of A Conversation, Raja opened up about the lessons that she learned from Fall Out Boy and Gwen Stefani, breaking in the international music market, and shared her advice to up-and-coming rappers.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in music? How did that passion evolve into the desire to pursue a career in the music industry?

Raja Kumari: I started learning classical dance and that led me into music. Music was always fun for me and I wanted to focus on ways that led into a career.

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your role models in the music industry? How did they inspire your artistry?

Raja Kumari: Lauryn Hall, Missy Elliott, and Beyonce. They always keep their music at such a high quality and put a lot of attention to their visuals and that’s inspired me as an artist.

Jacob Elyachar: You have had the opportunity to work with a plethora of musicians including Fall Out Boy, Fifth Harmony, Gwen Stefani, and Iggy Azalea. What were some of the lessons that you learned from them?

Raja Kumari: Never limit a song when it is written; you never know where it’s going. Be open to the process.

(Photo property of Sasha Samsonova; courtesy of Epic Records)

Jacob Elyachar: What are some of the challenge that you faced breaking into the international music market? How did you overcome these obstacles?

Raja Kumari: It was important for me to break stereotypes and re-work the ideas of a south Asian woman.

Jacob Elyachar: Recently, you released the Bloodline EP. What can my readers expect from this EP?

Raja Kumari: Aggressive, spiritual gangsta vibes.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with aspiring rappers who want to enter the recording industry, what advice would you share with them?

Raja Kumari: It takes 10,000 hours to be a master. Focus on your craft, believe in yourself and keep practicing. It is not going to happen overnight!

For more information about Raja, visit her website! You can also connect with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels.  

I do not own Raja Kumari’s music videos that are featured in this article. They belong to Raja and her record label, Epic Records.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar