KhmerLife Exclusive: Interview with RJ Sin

RJ Sin hip hop Khmer Recording Artist/Producer/Song Writer from Oakland California. Ratha Jim Sin better known by his stage name RJ Sin, started writing poems at the age of 15 later venting them onto beats and turning them into songs. RJ always had a passion for music; his father is a musician and is part of “Angkor Wat Band” in the Bay Area. RJ hopes to inspire and uplift people regardless of their race and age by addressing the life struggles of Cambodian Americans, social problems, and problems within the community. With two albums under his belt RATHA and FAMILY INHERITANCE currently, he is working on his third album ” Sincerely”.

Tell us about the city you are from?

I am born and raised in the city of Oakland. There’s a lot of history out here. Home of the Black Panthers. 

What first got you into music?

I was never far from it…born into it I guess. I come from a line of artists and musicians. My grandmother was a dancer in Cambodia. My uncle was a singer. My father is a musician. He was part of a band for years. He plays like every musical instrument there is. I think that the first time I heard Sinn Sisamouth I started to sing a bit but I never took it seriously until now. I grew up in a choir and everything. singing was always my first love. It got me the girls lol. 

Who inspired you to make music?

My pops has always been my biggest inspiration. He is the real definition of self-taught. So I took that mentality on how to approach life. The countless weekends of Khmer music being played around the house really made me gravitate to making music. Then when I heard Prach for the first time. I started to really really work on my rhymes. Like big bro was foreal with his shit. Like Tupac. He really inspires my music abilities. 

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I write and produce from my heart. It’s truly the only time I can be free. And be who I believe I am… like when I meet someone I can’t go straight deep into shit without being looked at or judged. But when I make music.. the beats, the lyrics, the melody.. it’s doesn’t judge me. It makes me. Me. My material is a product of being a Khmer male and everything that comes with that. 

What is your creative process like?

It’s different every time. No energy can be duplicated. No feelings can be retained. Because each day is truly a blessing and it’s new. That’s how I look into my process. No tracks or lyrics can resemble each other aura.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I’ve had the most honor in working with artists that I grew up too. If I had to choose, I can’t. There’s too many I would love to get with. 

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

It’s gotta be J. Cole. Aside from Prach and Nipsey. Cole has always been my favorite rapper for a long time. 

Where have you performed? What is your favorite?

I’ve been blessed enough to have shared some amazing spaces… I’ve done shows on college campuses. I’ve performed at academic conferences. I’ve rapped at various Cambodian New Year events. I have been to Hollywood. I’ve been to Long Beach… so many truly amazing experiences.. but the best will always be. That I was able to rap and sing for the people of my hometown of Oakland. That love is 100. I feed off that. And I love seeing the support every time I step outside.

Do you have any upcoming shows?

There are so many things in the works. I promise to update y’all soon. 

How do you feel the Internet has impacted your music

The internet is undefeated lol. Naw but Forreal. The internet is such a platform for unsigned and artist such as myself. It can take you as far as you want. Without any handouts. And just doing it yourself. Self-exposure. It’s a way for people you’ve never even met to the plugin. To you. 

What is your favorite song to perform?

I love performing any material I have. If I had to choose a couple. It’s gotta be my cover of Sinn Sisamouth “Ae na thov thansour” I love watching young and old folks singing with me. Energy is crazy. Then my track “Sromai”. Because I got Prach on that one and it’s hella dope to have him on stage with me.

RJ SIN – “Ae na thov thansour” Music video

Which famous musicians do you admire?

I gotta say king Nipsey man. He did so much. Like more than anyone can do in a lifetime. For that. I forever respect it. 

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Fine my own sound and create my own lane. Words of big bro Prach. 

What’s next for you?

I am currently in full production on my third album titled “Sincerely” I cannot wait to share that one. 

What is the best Khmer restaurant in your city

I not trying a start a war man lol… there’s a few here in Oakland. I’ve had the pleasure to eat at them all. They’re all delicious. 

What is one message you would give to your fans?

I truly appreciate all the love and support that has been shown to me since day one. And I promise to not stop making music and this next album is for y’all. 

How can fans get in touch with you?

I’m on IG. I’m on Facebook. Reach out to me. I’m down to say what’s up to everyone. 


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