That Kid Raja

  • Genres
  • Hip-Hop
  • Rap
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Hip-Hop/Rap ★
  • Musicians
    • Raja Seivwright — producer, songwriter, vocals
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Q & A

All-time favorite song?


This is tough. I do love "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins, "Mass Appeal" by Gang Starr and "No Ordinary Love" by Sade, to name a few.

How do you describe your music to people?


It's smoothed-out electronic music with a hip-hop rock undertone.

Tell us about how you first started gigging.


I really just started doing live shows about four or five years ago. I was the rapper for a local hip-hop cover band called Sureshot. By studying the greats, it allowed me to hone into my own little style. My live shows are still a work in progress.

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


I performed a show with my cover band, Sureshot, at a place called the Sacrameto Bicycle Kitchen a few years back. There's just a feeling you get when you're in a zone as a performer. Everything seemed to go right that night. I remember we did a cover of Linkin Park's "In The End," and that was just an amazing performance. There were only 30 to 40 people in attendance, but it was an intimate setting. The band and crowd were really locked in with each other. Everything just clicked.

Tell us about your worst gig.


Most gigs I've done have been decent. However, sometimes the sound isn't good and that just throws everything off. My band and I try to practice at least once a week, so even under the worst circumstances, we can usually pull off a decent set.

What artist or band are you a little embarrassed to love, and why?


Britney Spears. I just think she makes really well produced music and songs.

What was the first song you learned to play?


I don't actually play any instruments per se. I produce my music by feel, by working with producers and musicians. In actuality, the first song I learned to play was my own by recording my own original song. I believe the first cover song I ever learned was "If I Ruled the World(Imagine That)" by Nas and Lauryn Hill.

What's next for you?


I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a That Kid Raja & Graffiti Bleu EP. Also this year, I'll be working on an EP with my band, Charm The Riot. That'll be our first time recording original material together, so I'm excited about that. I dropped a few albums and EPs last year, so I just plan to continue to drop plenty of solo material throughout this year as well. I need to do a much better job of marketing my music and being more in the scene meeting people.

What's the story behind your stage name?


I never met my biological father, but I understand he's either Pakistani or Indian. He pretty much disowned me from the time my mom told him she was pregnant with me. Oddly enough, she decided to name me after him. My birth name, Raja, means "king" and "optimism" in Arabic. I just added the "That Kid" to my name to represent eternal youth as long as I'm doing music.

What's your favorite local artist/group?


Deftones, Blackalicious and DLRN.

Who are your biggest influences?


I would just say my sound and style is most influenced by artists such as Mike Shinoda, Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams.

Who first inspired you to play music?


I believe the experience of hearing my mom play vinyl records at the parties she threw at our house as a kid inspired me to first love music. That love of music fostered my desire to make my own music. I was introduced to an eclectic mixture at an early age—everything from Kiss to Stevie Wonder to Dolly Parton to Jimi Hendrix. As a teen, I started liking heavy metal, new wave and hip-hop.

Words to live by?


Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.—Andy Warhol.

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