Posted On 06 Jun 2019
The lead single from ROYAL’s winter album release, Heart of Shadows, “Vessel” has earned well over 100,000 plays on Spotify and is a haunting journey of heartbreak and emotional isolation.
In keeping with those themes, the music video follows an astronaut (Tiera Skovbye) – suddenly detached from her ship – who recalls the heartbreaking memories of a lost love (Jordan Connor) as she floats in space.
ROYAL says, “I have a very deep and personal connection with ‘Vessel’, so I felt inspired to create a visual journey that would emulate the emotional depth of the song and channel the sadness and isolation of losing someone you love.”
Skovbye and Connor – best known for their roles as Polly and Sweet Pea on The CW series “Riverdale” – found the chance to re-team for “Vessel” to be creatively and personally fulfilling.
In sharing her thoughts about the project, Skovbye says, “The song alone provokes such powerful feelings and imagery that – when brought to life by Jordan and me – was made even more powerful. Losing someone you love almost feels like losing a part of yourself and I think you get a real sense of that in this video. It’s heart breaking to see love fall apart.”
Connor adds, “Working with ROYAL, Tiera and the team for ‘Vessel’ was an experience full of love. Everyone was deeply invested in the project and you can see the heart in the final product.”
For ROYAL, the music video release of “Vessel” is another pinnacle moment in her musical journey, which has taken her to Toronto, Australia, and Vancouver among other stops, and seen her sound evolve from folk to dream pop.
Her debut album (2009’s Seasons) led to multiple film and TV placements, including recent inclusions for the Hallmark Channel. She later won first prize in the 2010 We Are Listening Singer/Songwriter Competition, was a Top 12 finalist in 2014’s Peak Performance Project, and in 2016 released her “City Lights” collaboration with Conro which has gained over 5 million streams on Spotify. The positive response to Heart of Shadows and the release of the “Vessel” music video have only reinforced the depth of her talent and the promise of what lies ahead.
ROYAL’s “Vessel” music video was directed by Riun Garner and produced by Aidan Kahn, ROYAL, Garner, and Hannah Pederson.
Check out the music video here-
For more about ROYAL, please visit ROYALOfficial.com or visit her social media channels:
Facebook: @IAmRoyalMusic | Instagram: @IAmRoyalMusic | Twitter: @IAmRoyalMusic | Spotify | YouTube
Learn more about ROYAL in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Hi and thank you for taking the time to chat! I am sitting on my balcony enjoying the sunshine.
Now that we are into the 5th month of the new year, how has 2019 been treating you so far? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How are those New Year’s Resolutions going?
2019 has been a whirlwind. With the album (Heart of Shadows) and music video for the latest single (“Vessel”) out, as well as performing the new tracks, it’s been a busy, fun and challenging year thus far. I’m completely overwhelmed with the amount of love and support I’ve received and am so grateful to everyone who has joined me on my musical journey. I’ve already reached a few goals this year with recording an album with my talented friend Luca Fogale, creating a music video starring Riverdale‘s Tiera Skovbye and Jordan Connor, and putting together a new live show with a killer band and dramatic visual concept, but I’m always motivated to do more. Next, I plan to record and release new music, as well as create more visual concepts, and tour. Oh, and not to mention adopt more health-oriented goals – like implementing a more consistent schedule of meditation!
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music has been one of the most important things in my life for as long as I can remember. It has been my voice when I felt I couldn’t find my own, it’s been a source of comfort and joy and has been something where I’ve always felt most comfortable and able to let go. This is how I got into songwriting when I was younger – it was like therapy for me to write what I was feeling and what I was going through. Then when I was sixteen, I was invited to record my first album with Jack Lenz in Toronto, BC, Canada. I remember the first moment I held one of those CDs in my hand and realized this is what I wanted to do. At that time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m so grateful I had that moment to put me in the direction that has led to today.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
I have always felt a strong passion to help people. Whether it be from a medical standpoint or more of a daily life assistance level of involvement – and I love working with kids. However, I found those career choices to be too hard on my heart. I am a very sensitive person and to see people in pain and struggling really affects me, especially when it comes to children. So I’ve made music my indirect source of help to those who seek it in the same way I always have. Something to connect to in times of struggle, and to find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Maybe one day I will find something more hands-on to make a difference in people’s lives, and I’ll keep searching for that, but for now I feel very fulfilled creating and expressing myself through music.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
There have been more surprises than I can count. Some good, some unfavourable, but from them I have learned and grown so much. One of my biggest challenges has been balancing my career with my life outside of that. As an independent musician, I am in charge of every aspect of my career. As you can imagine, some of those can be quite time-consuming and constant. So there are times when I find myself running around like a chicken without a head, but luckily I have family and friends who are able to re-attach my head and calm me down.
Why did you decide to go by something other then your own name? Where did ROYAL come from?
For a long time I went by my own name, but always wanted to find something more creative and reflective of my sound and style to become my stage name. When I came up with ROYAL, I thought it was very fitting for the aesthetic I had created. I wanted something unique, bold, simple, timeless and classy, and to me, that name sums it up. I thought of the name while sitting on a bus one day and added it to my list of ideas. I like to take my time with these kinds of decisions, so I slept on it and when I awoke the next day, I knew it was my new stage name.
What was it like making your newest music video for “Vessel”? How creatively involved were you with the process? How did you go about choosing Tiera Skovbye and Jordan Connor of Riverdale to be in this video?
The making of the music video for “Vessel” was an incredible experience. It challenged me creatively and as a business person and I learned so much from the experience.
I like to be very involved in aspect of my career, so I always do my best to be very hands-on. Once we had developed the story for the video, I knew right away I wanted to cast one of the strong and talented kick ass women in my life and Tiera was the obvious choice. I saw her in a short my producer had done with her a few years ago and my immediate creation was “I want her in my music video one day”. I am so grateful that she was so excited to be a part of this project. She really brought the video to life with her ability to draw the audience in through her emotional delivery and captivating essence. Jordan Connor was another obvious choice. He is such a genuine person and like Tiera, has an incredible ability to draw you in. Maybe it’s their beautiful smiles and sparkling eyes, ha-ha! They are both so talented and I am so grateful that they are a part of this project. I am also so grateful to my team as – without their talent and efforts – I would not have been able to make this video what it is.
How would you say that the song compares to the rest of your newest album, “Heart of Shadows”?
Heart of Shadows has a very eclectic collection of songs and styles. Some are more string-heavy and dramatic with a cinematic flare, while others like “Vessel” have a more electro-pop vibe. I like having an album with some range to keep the listener on their toes wondering what’s next. Each song has a really deep story and is more of a listening experience as opposed to something you want to throw on at a party – well, except for “Vessel” and “Black Beauty” – I can see those getting people dancing.
Where can people see you perform live next? What has been an ideal show of yours in the past?
Having recently had my Vancouver release show here in Canada for Heart of Shadows , I’m working on something a little bit different. I’m currently preparing a set for an upcoming charity event in support of Wilma’s Transition House at the end of June. Their mission is to aid and improve the lives of victims of family violence, which is something I feel is in great need of support and awareness.
One of the shows I’ve always enjoyed performing at is the annual Canada Day celebration in my hometown of Vernon, BC. I love performing at events where the community is so involved and supportive – it really creates such a beautiful atmosphere. The added plus is that I get to perform on a large stage where I can run around and perform under the sun, and the amazing sound team makes all the technical parts of the show run smoothly and I don’t ever worry about it.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started singing and writing songs?
I’ve been creating music for a while now and it’s been a long journey of discovery and growth. I entered the industry a young, inexperienced girl, and have grown into a more knowledgeable and well-rounded woman who has faced many challenges and learned a lot from them. I began as a folk-pop artist and evolved into a more explorative artist with cinematic flare and electro-pop elements, inspired by life and other artists along the way.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
It is difficult. I do my best to only post good quality content and that’s something that I’m still working at to acquire on a daily basis. Some days – like today – I’m in my pj’s all day long in front of a computer, and it’s not that cute or entertaining!
I would have to say that I love Instagram and YouTube the most. I’m more of a visual person myself, so I appreciate that there are platforms out there to provide that visual experience and create a different style of engagement. Music videos are the artist’s way of sharing the story behind the song, as well as presenting their brand in a way that really enlightens the senses and paints an all-around picture. It’s such a great way to express ourselves and to connect with our supporters.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I am inspired by so many artists of a variety of genres. Bob Dylan taught me how to become a storyteller, while Billie Holiday took hold of my heart with her expressive vocal ability and through singing along with her, I learned how to express my emotions through singing. Florence and the Machine showed me that there is beauty in imperfections, and Madonna showed me how to be a strong, confident woman. There are so many influences that have shaped me as a person as well as my musical style.
I would love to work with Lorde. I just think she is so unique and true to herself and passionate about creating expressive art, and that has really inspired me with my own art.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I love this question! I would love to create a cinematic musical-style music video with all of my friends, where there would be sections in the video that would break off into an acting scene, then the characters would dive into a song. I have many talented friends who are actors who I would love work with on a project. It would be such a fun experience. I would hire a top-notch crew to take care of the more business and technical side of things so that I could focus strictly on the creative side of things. It would be very expensive to pull off, so I don’t see this happening anytime soon, but it’s nice to dream!
What has been a favorite place that you have heard your music played? Can you remember the first time you ever heard a song of yours on the radio, on TV or elsewhere?
I always love the shock of hearing my songs on the radio, or through a video someone sent me of them blasting it at a party or while driving, really, any sort of surprise like that makes me so happy. The first time I ever heard a song of mine played on the radio was in the parking lot of the music shop in my hometown at night. The store had just closed and someone turned on the car while a few friends were walking towards it and the song was playing. We all screamed and jumped up and down. It was almost like that scene in the movie, That Thing You Do!
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that people enjoy the songs and that they mean something to them. I hope that my music can provide a sense of comfort and connection with anyone relating to the experiences in my songs, and that it can inspire them to be strong and overcome their struggles. I want my music to mean something and to have an impact on the heart of each listener.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
Keep up to date with my new music and adventures by following me on my socials and heading over to my website. I have a blog that I write called “The Starving Artist” in which I post simple and heavy recipes for artists out there, as well as my music-related updates.