By Sophie Minello

ROYAL released their new collection of songs called Heart of Shadows.

We were lucky enough to chat about the personal collection of experiences and songs that exist within the album.

Read our interview below!

By Liz Rosa

By Liz Rosa


What does it feel like to release such a personal collection of songs?

To be perfectly honest, I anticipated being completely terrified upon releasing this album. Instead, I feel a powerful sensation of freedom. I have kept these songs close to my heart for so many years now that it feels good to unlock that chest and give them air to breathe. It’s a beautiful feeling. 


Why do you think it was important to share these experiences specifically?

I felt that it was important to share my personal stories and experiences through these songs because when I was in the midst of their chaos and beauty, I only wished that there had been something that I could connect to and find comfort in. It’s important to know that you are not alone in your struggles, and that eventually everything will be okay. I feel that music provides a sense of comfort and peace that nothing else can come close to. Music is universal. It possesses a power that can transport you to the most beautiful places. 


Why do you think the album cover represents the album well?

I believe the album cover resembles both vulnerability and strength, which accurately depict the album’s aesthetic. Liz Rosa is a true artist. Her photography captures so much purity and emotion, which is what drew me to her. Harry Olson (HAO Creative) has been my friend and graphic designer for years. He works directly with me to ensure that my vision is carefully and precisely implemented into the design. Together, this team perfectly captured all of the elements to lead listeners into the album. 


During the creation of this album, what were your biggest inspirations?

Musically, my biggest inspirations were Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Peggy Lee, Etta James, and The Beatles to name a few. I was in a bit of a dark place at the time, having suffered a back injury that left me bedridden for a while. Being in immense pain and stuck in a dark room day after day can really take a toll on your mental state, however it really put me in the right mood to deliver the raw emotions of these songs in the studio. 


What is your songwriting process?

I mostly try to let the inspiration come naturally for a song, rather than sit down and force the creative process to unfold. Sometimes, songs come to me in my sleep – in a dream – or on a long drive, but they mostly arise when I’m experiencing something traumatic or highly emotional. Happy songs have never been my strength. Most of the time, I find them to be inauthentic, too forced, and too predictable. With something dark and emotional, I feel as if it just pours out of me. I will however keep working on more upbeat and happy songs. I’m looking into some collaborations to work on this, and I have also been teaming up with electronica artists around the world to continue to challenge my writing skills. 


Your music started as folk-pop evolved into electro-pop. What inspired this change of sound?

I took a lot of time to allow the sound to develop naturally. I’m constantly aspiring to find new music from different styles that might inspire and grow my own style in different ways. When I began performing, I only had an acoustic guitar, so it made sense that my folk-pop sensibilities took hold. As I continued to grow as an artist, write more music, gain more life experiences and continue exposing myself to different genres, I felt a natural transformation that ultimately led to my current sound. 


What songs from Heart of Shadows are you most excited to play during live shows and why?

I love performing “The Hunter”. Unlike the album recording, I let it all out in the live performance, particularly in the bridge, singing as hard and high as my voice will take me.

I also enjoy performing “Vessel” as it’s a powerful thing having an audience sing along or dance with you for a song. It allows me the opportunity to move a bit more on stage and let some of my stage fright go. 


What can fans expect for the aftermath of this release?

There are many exciting elements coming into play following the release of the album. This includes a spring tour, music videos and more fun and expressive visual content. My team and I are working hard to deliver more exciting content to continue the celebration of this release. To keep up to date on all upcoming events and information, please visit or follow my social media @IAmRoyalMusic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Sunlight Magazine