Singaporean rapper and songwriter Yung Raja has officially launched The Maha Co, an Indian-Mexican fusion cafe located at Fusionopolis. The cafe had soft-launched late last year. Yung Raja also kicked off his new venture with "the world's first" thosai tacos. In addition to thosai tacos, The Maha Co also serves up croissants and bar bites.
Yung Raja told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that his venture into F&B with his partner Quan came from his love for food and how it brings people together. "It’s always been a dream of mine to have a space to catch a vibe at. A place to chill with family and friends- a place that’s an extension of me," he said. Meanwhile, the story of thosai tacos started when Yung Raja and Quan were thinking of "cool, healthy recipes to R&D". "I was raving to him about my mom’s dosas and Quan fell in love with how delicious and healthy thosais are – they can even be gluten free," Yung Raja said. The thosai recipe used at The Maha Co follows one that has been tried and perfected in Yung Raja's family for over 80 years.
Yung Raja and Quan then decided to go for a concept cafe as they realised they aren't many concept cafes in the Fusionopolis area. True to its cuisine, The Maha Co takes on a Mexican taco truck vibe, with a custom-made container which houses an open-view kitchen. The interior features a wall plastered with Bollywood and Kollywood film posters on one end, while the wall on the other end of the store is plastered with Mexican film posters. According to Yung Raja, the rest of the interior was built and designed to embody and represent their personalities.
Currently, the cafe is marketed mainly via social media and word of mouth. However, Yung Raja said he hopes to organise an opening event once COVID-19 regulations permit.
Tapping on the NFT hype, Yung Raja told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that he plans to launch a collection of The Maha Co NFTs this year. However, these NFTs will also double as exclusivity passes for cafe patrons, where the first 100 to 150 people to claim the NFT passes will be entitled to benefits such as access to exclusive merchandise, special invites, tasting sessions, as well as meet-and-greet sessions. "We are planning to organise small gigs as well, with hopes of creating a space for musicians and rappers in Singapore to come together when regulations allow," he added.
Separately, Yung Raja was in the spotlight last July when he received a shoutout from Jimmy Fallon on the "Do Not Play" segment on The Tonight Show, during which Fallon pulled out a cover of Mami and roasted the song. The song was picked up organically by Fallon, resulting in Yung Raja's stream numbers jump nearly 4,000 overnight to more than 583k. His MV views also jumped over 11.7k to 170k overnight. Yung Raja made his entry into the US market in October 2020 when he signed with US-based label Alamo Records, according to multiple media reports including Esquire Singapore, joining other rappers such as Lil Durk and Smokepurpp. "Mami" is his first song with the label. Yung Raja is also signed to Def Jam Southeast Asia which is under Universal Music Group. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Alamo Records for comment.
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