Interview: UK artist Royal talks new video ‘Power’, UK vs US approaches & more!
For our latest interview we speak to Royal – a talented and diverse London based vocalist, who is also a talented drummer and all round good vibe bringer! In case any Blurred Culture feel like they’ve seen his name before, you’re right, as as his last video Bring Me Down was out on our YouTube channel 2 years back. The emerging star has recently dropped the uplifting track ‘Power’ which shows a deep and contemplative character who’s using adverse experiences to make him a better man. We spoke to him recently to discuss a range of topics including persona progression, mental health in music and his thoughts on how the US scene compares to the UK’s scene.
It’s been two years since we ran with your last single ‘Bring Me Down’ – what areas have you been building on since then to drop this new video?
As I’ve progressed my content has become different. I think as I’ve got older what I speak about in my music has changed. I’ve been building up my confidence to try new things, I’m singing a lot more on my tunes now, so it just feels like i’m coming out of my shell a bit more.
What made you incorporate the idea of power into the song?
To be honest, I heard the beat for the song and its just how it made me feel. It brought something out of me, it made me feel Powerful. I wrote the song at a time where things were progressive, I had cut off a lot of people that where holding me back. I had a tough time at one stage due to certain things and people I was surrounding myself with, so when I wrote this tune I just had a chance to vent, and let people understand the journey that I’ve been through.
At what point in your life did you realise you needed to make change and turn the negatives into positives?
I felt low a lot of the time, nothing was going good for me, I had to make a drastic change before I ended up doing something crazy. Luckily I had some good people around me at the time that gave me the inspiration I needed to keep things moving.
With the recent passing of Lil Peep whose passing was partially influenced by mental health issues, how important do you think it is that mental health is being discussed so openly within music?
Mental health issues should always be discussed, no matter who you are or what industry you are involved in, you should feel comfortable talking about these issues because they are so real, and can be so detrimental to someone. It’s a shame as people sometimes we have to wait until someone dies for us to see just how damaging this stuff can be.
Changing the world for the better is a common theme on the track, if you could change one thing within London and one thing within yourself, what would it be?
If I could change one thing within London, it would have to be the trash that’s being fed to the younger generation. A lot of the so called role models are doing more damage than good to these kids and its having a visibly negative effect right now. And within myself, there isn’t one thing that I could say I specifically want to change, because I am always learning and changing so there’s always different aspects within me that are changing. I’m a work in progress.
What are the major differences between the UK’s approach to hip hop that the US could learn something from?
I cant speak on that, I don’t know what the UK/US approach to hip hop is, I don’t even know what my approach to hip hop is, because that’s not all that I’m making right now. This tune we have been speaking about ‘Power’ is really a garage/electronic tune with grime lyrics. But what I do know is the UK has it’s authenticity now. People are taking note of grime, and the UK vibes that are popping off, which includes the Afro-Swing, Afro-Beats sounds that are bubbling at the moment. I don’t want to suggest anything that the US could learn from us, I don’t want to upset anyone and speak on something that might be misconstrued . Big up the US, over the years the UK has been in it’s shadow, but now we really do have our own thing that’s working, and we love it. But saying that, no one has ownership over a style, or certain genre because music is universal and for everyone to enjoy, you feel me?
What can we expect in 2018?
I’m going to be working on some new music with my team over at Lonesome Dog, so just look out for that, its going to be something different. We are just looking to experiment and try new things, I don’t feel like there is any rush, great music will come, trust me.