Hello and thank you! My days have been filled with excitement preparing for the release my new album, Heart of Shadows!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Vessel”?
“Vessel” is a story about shattering heartbreak, loss of identity, and raw self-reflection. I wanted to express the desperation and brokenness I felt after a failed relationship and loss of identity. I realized that I had become “that girl” in the movie “Runaway Bride” who didn’t know what kind of eggs I liked. To anyone who has not seen the classic romantic comedy, do yourself a favour; Go grab some popcorn and watch it. And if you don’t know what kind of eggs you like, it’s time to hit the road of self-discovery.
“Vessel” was recently added to the Indie Pop Chillout Spotify-curated playlist, so I’m very pleased with the overall response to it!
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
A broken heart and loss of identity instigated a downward spiral of events which led to the inspiration of “Vessel”. I escaped one relationship and fled in to the arms of another. He was wonderful and I fell madly in love with him – but nothing gold can stay gold. It was a few years later that I felt him pulling away, and so in an effort to save myself more misery, I ended the relationship. I hadn’t yet come to the realization that I was still a very broken person with no idea of who I was outside of that relationship. I was devastatingly heartbroken. Not only for losing him, but for realizing that I had lost myself over the years. I moved to a new city, and one night I was suddenly taken with a wave of emotion and the words poured out just as heavy as my tears.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I am beyond excited to be making a music video for “Vessel”! I am very fortunate to have assembled an incredibly passionate and talented team to bring my vision to life. The video will feature some familiar, very loved faces within the acting world – but shh… no spoilers.
The single comes off your new album Heart of Shadows – what’s the story behind the title?
“Heart of Shadows” is a lyric from my previous single, “Wild”. I sometimes read through old lyrics, and I felt this would be a good way to strike up some inspiration for the album title. I created a list of potential candidates and after careful deliberation with my team, it became clear which one rose above the rest. I felt this title to be a thematically accurate and clear representation of the album in its entirety. These songs are remnants of the darker periods and experiences in my life which will forever harbour in the depths of my soul.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing portion of the creative process is always my favourite! It is my happy place because it provides emotional release and comfort, and allows me unlimited creative expression.Bringing the bones of a song into the studio and piecing together the supportive elements is a challenging and fulfilling experience. Teaming up with my producer Luca Fogale was the right decision for the album’s sound because our talents really compliment each other. He and I have been friends for years now and have collaborated on other projects, so we are comfortable working together, and can challenge one another in a non-judgemental, supportive environment. Through our combined resources, we assembled a team of incredibly talented and passionate artists to lift the album to a whole other level. This album provided me the opportunity to explore uncharted territory with dramatic vocal layering, string orchestration, and experimental synth elements. I poured my whole heart and soul into this project and am excited to share it with the world.
What role does Canada play in your music?
Canada plays a large role in my career and music. I highly attribute the opportunity to create this album to FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recording) and the government of Canada. Their belief and support in my creative vision provided the necessary means to bring it to life. Canada also provides me with a life in which I have the freedom and support to pursue my passions, which I too often take for granted. I am very proudly Canadian.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?
Yes and no. I try to write every day to keep that muscle strong, but I rarely get an entire song this way if it’s just for that reason.
When I’m working on a collaboration, I approach it like a job. There is structure to the process – research on the genre and songwriting style, and from that, I create a formula.
Songwriting is such a personal thing for me that I have to work at shifting into a different mindset to fully engage the subject if I’m coming into it cold, or if it’s a bit of a foreign style. I prefer to write music when the inspiration hits and I’m whirling with emotion. That’s when the most raw and genuine emotion is captured, and it’s an incredible experience. I wouldn’t say it’s a magical feeling, but it’s something like that. It’s really special.
When I write my own music, I have the freedom to make it whatever I want, and it usually starts with nothing. In most of my collaborations, I am working with an instrumental track, and have guidelines and references to follow, which can at time restrict my natural creative process. It’s a great challenge to collaborate, and I enjoy any opportunity to write and tap into some magic!
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I have always found that my songwriting and music is at its strongest when I write what I know. Music has always been a language for me to express myself, and from that, I assembled the six tracks off of the album from my life’s experiences over the past ten years. I have no strict method for writing my own music. I’ve had melodies come to me in my dreams, or after I’ve gone through a highly emotional period in my life. I am a very sensitive person who feels very deeply. I have a tendency to store emotion until it builds to a breaking point, and then all of those feelings usually spill into a song.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! I love performing and touring, and am planning to tour in the spring around Canada and possibly beyond. Plans are in motion and dates will be announced in the near future. You can find keep up with my tour plans on my website at RoyalOfficial.com or on my social media at @IAmRoyalMusic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
What else is happening next in ROYAL’s world?
Following the single and album releases, I excitedly await to announce the official music video and tour plans. I am teaming up with a number of talented artists for these projects, and aim to continue to deliver emotionally-charged and beautiful creative content in conjunction with the album. There will be a few more announcements of future collaborations involving music placements and international artist collaborations within the next coming months, and I look forward to any and all other opportunities that arise in the near and far future.