Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is ROYAL. I am an independent pop artist with a cinematic flare. I recently released my second album Heart of Shadows, produced by Luca Fogale, and on April 9th, I released the music video for the album’s first single “Vessel” starring Tiera Skovbye and Jordan Connor of “Riverdale”.
I grew up in a small town in British Columbia and first fell in love with songwriting as a young, shy girl who sought solace in the comfort of her notebook and guitar. Since those early years, I steered my love of music into a career and have enjoyed film, television, and commercial placements, radio play, international tours and the opportunity to work with some of the finest artists and professionals in the music industry.
How would you describe your musical style?
My musical style has gradually evolved over the years. What began as indie folk-pop has transformed into a dynamic indie-pop infused with cinematic and electro-pop elements. I grew up surrounded by a wide range of musical influences including Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Madonna. Ultimately, these influences impacted my sound and style and challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone when it comes to production and melody. My music is an honest reflection of my life and it is emotionally-driven by many experiences that I have had.
You released your album Heart of Shadows this past winter. What can audiences expect from this album if they haven’t heard it yet?
Heart of Shadows is a musical odyssey of some of the most pivotal moments of my life. My goal with this album was to create a listening experience and incorporate both cinematic and electro-pop style qualities. The songs are dynamic and emotionally-charged and have a polished indie-pop sound. Each track has its own theme and derives from the shadows of my heart.
The lead track from the album is called “Vessel” which you have a deep, personal connection with. Talk to us about what you mean by that.
“Vessel” is the first single from the album and dives into the emotional turmoil of losing someone you love as well as certain parts of yourself. I wrote it while going through a really difficult breakup. I was in bad shape emotionally and one night, this song just came spilling out.
I’ve always feel deeply connected to “Vessel” and it provokes many emotions because of how vulnerable I was when I initially wrote it. Essentially, the creation of the song was about translating those emotions into a simple structure. Sometimes, that’s all a song needs.
What was it like working with artist and producer Luca Fogale on this album?
Luca Fogale is one of my favourite people. He is the most genuine, kind person you’ll ever meet, and one of the most talented artists out there. Working with him on the album was a very special experience because I was able to create music with someone I am comfortable with, which breaks down any creative blocks. To create music with someone is to make yourself completely vulnerable in order to tap into those deep emotions you want to instill in your music, so it is important to find the right partner for this. Luca was just that. Some days, we were very serious and others, we spent laughing, making coffee, and eating – we are both huge foodies and Luca is an incredible cook, so it was always a treat when he would just whip something up from whatever he had in his fridge. Recording the album with Luca was one of the best times of my life. I could go on forever with how much of a great experience it was to create something I’m quite proud of – all with a good friend.
Tiera Skovbye and Jordan Connor of “Riverdale” participated in the video for “Vessel”. What was it like seeing them bring your creation to life visually?
Tiera Skovbye and Jordan Connor really made this video real for me. By that, I mean that they truly developed the emotional translation of the heart of the song.
The first time I ever saw Tiera on screen was when our producer Aidan Kahn showed me a short film he had made that starred her. I was completely captivated. She has this incredible ability to make you feel what she is feeling. It’s a rare quality and talent that I also found in Jordan Connor. I met Jordan through a mutual friend and over the years have gone to some of his live theatre productions. He stood out to me as this incredibly genuine and – again – captivating individual.
As soon as Aidan and I had developed the music video’s storyline, I knew right away that I wanted them to star in it. Their on-screen chemistry is incredibly moving. I remember watching some of their scenes while we were filming and I felt like I had melted into the moment. They really brought the story and its emotional qualities to life on screen and it matches perfectly with the song. I’m beyond happy with this music video and I owe it all to my team.
What have you learned since your debut album Seasons in 2009?
I’ve learned more than I could hope to write! Seasons was my debut to the world as an independent artist. I was a shy teenager who loved to write songs in my private little notebook who suddenly had a professionally-made album. Most of all, I’ve had to learn to manage myself as an artist, build my brand, and develop myself as a business person. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep going in this industry when you are mostly doing everything yourself. However, I am lucky to have grown a small team of talented people who have my back and have helped me to develop my career.
What’s next for your career?
Having just released a full-length album, single and music video, I am ready to dip my toes in fresh waters. I’m currently working on a few different collaborations with artists around the globe, performing Heart of Shadows live and working on new music of my own. I’m always creating, it’s just a part of my daily routine, so there’s always something around the bend!
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
My advice for aspiring singers/songwriters is to not follow trends. Create music that is genuine and provides you with a sense of fulfillment. Music is meant to be something that indulges your creative hunger. Feed that hunger and do it for you and your love of music!
What’s your life like outside of music?
Music has pretty much consumed my life for the last year, and I love it! I wear many hats, which presents me with new challenges every day, and this girl loves her challenges. I’m a huge nerd, so I love reading and attending music and industry related seminars to sharpen my skills and knowledge of what I can be doing to grow my career. My favourite thing to do is hang out with my family and friends. We usually play games like Boggle, cards, and our own version of Scrabble that involves speed and creating your own word-flow – as I said, I’m a big nerd.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can find my music in all the usual places: Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, etc. Check out my social media channels for more info on my new music, show dates and what’s to come:
Official website: www.royalofficial.com