Special Interview: Royal Drue

THEAUSSIEWORD.COM’S special interview with Royal Drue.

How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?

I was a loud child. I loved pu1ng on a show and being the centre of attention lol. I used to get up early on the weekend to watch the latest hits on MTV and Rage every week. The way I was convinced ‘Wherever, Whenever’ by Shakira was my song. When that film clip came on… I was belly dancing at the edge of a dusty mountain and no one could touch me haha! I was the star of my own show at 4. My parents knew I needed to channel all of that obnoxious energy somewhere, so they put me in singing lessons and I’ve been in love ever since.

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?

The evolution of some of my favourite artists inspires me to keep growing and exploring. So I’d say other artists that came before me motivate me to keep pushing the boundaries of music and performance constantly. I also find that I’m very self motivated with my writing. I’m always walking into a session with the mind set of wanting to try something different and topping the work I’ve done before.

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?

Aaaaahh so many! Haha. I’d love to play the Forum here in Melbourne for this project. I’ve played there before but in other groups. Would love to play the Forum as ‘Royal Drue’. That’s probably one of my bigger short term goals but in the long term, I want to be on worldwide tours playing stadium shows. That’s the dream. I also want to write a song with Charlie Puth. The man’s a genius.

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?

I’ve got a few songs lined up ready to go, so you can expect a follow up single very soon! I’m planning my first headline show as we speak too. So it’s all happening. Keep an eye on my socials for updates!

Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?

The song is called ‘Cinderella’ and it’s based on role-play. It’s a bit cheeky, it’s fun and I would say it’s just very ‘Drue’. It’s written around that idea of pleasing your partner but also making sure your pleasing yourself at the same time. The metaphor behind the song is that you can be whoever you want to be, however you want to be, whenever you want to be. You can choose your own version of Cinderella. I really wanted to redefine what it means to be a princess with this song.. so the lyrics play with ideas taken from the original Disney story but completely flipped on its head.

I make pop/rock music but there’s a lot of folk influence in the way I write lyrics. Everything I write always has a story. For me, I love being able to transport my audience into the same space and time the story was set in. So with all of that in mind, If I had to narrow it down, I’d say my music is fun but honest.

Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?

There’s actually no formula to starting a song for me personally. It’s different all the time. I do have this super random list in my notes app of song ideas though. I add to these notes when I get inspired at the most inconvenient times haha. When I’m ready to sit down and write, I’ll pull out that list and continue writing. But I definitely go in and out of phases in terms of what inspires me the most when writing. At the moment I’m obsessed with the idea of writing spin off tracks to existing songs by my favourite artists. For example, Charlie Puth has a song called ‘BOY’ and on my note of song ideas I’ve written down that I want to write a song based on that one but coming from the girls perspective. I haven’t started it yet but who knows, if it ends up being straight fire.. maybe you’ll hear it one day. You got the inside scoop here first haha!

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

There’s plenty of hidden meanings behind my music. There’s always a message and even if a story is fun and fairytale like, the emotion and intention always comes from an honest place.

Success, what is the secret to it?

Success is subjective. Everyone has a different idea of what success looks and feels like. I don’t know if there’s any secret to it either. Love what you do, be passionate and keep pushing fiercely. If you love what you do and commit 110%, there’s no reason why you can’t be successful?

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

Probably headlining St Kilda Festival with Baker Boy earlier this year. That was unreal.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

Far out. So many. All my girl queen boss ladies take the cake for me though. P!nk, Taylor Swib, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Rina Sawayama… the list goes on. I’m inspired by strength, fearlessness and vulnerability. All of the above are top 9er for me.

Are there any new projects in the pipeline?

No new projects. I’m really trying to focus on the existing projects I have on the go. I’ve got a bit of a track record for taking on too many projects and puttng my solo music on the back burner. I’m really focused and dedicated to ‘Royal Drue’ so I’d be doing myself a disservice if I added anything else on my plate right now. Eventually when I’m in a better position with my music, I’d love to write for other artists. That’s definitely on the bucket list! For now, I’ve got my eyes on the prize and the second single is on it’s way.

The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?

Hopefully I’m not working a day job anymore haha! I’d love to be on tour with a great team behind me. The industry is constantly changing and its hard to keep up sometimes but I like to think as long as I’m active, progress is inevitable.

What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?

My least favourite part is definitely the business side of things. Its so important and I have a deep respect for the people who take care of all the nitty gritty background work, but it’s just not for me. I learned that about myself quite early on and I think that’s why I’ve forced myself to get better at it too? My mentality is that if I do these first few releases really well on my own, it’ll help me find the right people to take over so I can focus purely on the music. My favourite part of it all is performing. There’s nothing like getting up on stage in front of a sea of people who love your music as much as you do. So I’d say performing is 1st and writing is a very very veeeeerrryyy close 2nd!

Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.

I love what Troye Sivan is doing always. Everything Gretta Ray touches turns to gold. Charley, CXLOE and Peach PRC are probably my latest faves. Then of course a classic… Forever Kylie Minogue.

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?

There’s been an obvious shift in the way we use social media to market ourselves as artists. I think the pressures of having to be so present on social media has its pros and cons. Pros – interacting online (especially though the covid lockdowns) and being able to reach audiences across the globe. Cons – It can be so mentally taxing. We’re all aware of the negative affects of what being stuck online can do to our mental health, and as artists there’s an immense amount of pressure to be active every day and stay consistent with it. I have a love hate relationship wth social media, I love what it can do when used at the right times, but I hate how much power it has over our careers in this industry. Social media can be fickle and nothing stays the same forever, so I’m keen to see what’s next to come!

How will you continue appealing to the international market?

By being my authentic self and committing to my craft. I have a story to tell and I do that through my songs. When there’s a deeper rooted calling and passion in what you do, I think that’s what attracts other people to come along for the ride.

Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?

I do! I’m a lead singer and vocal arranger for Sunshine and the Disco Faith Choir. I’ve been apart of that group for 5 years now. In future I’d love to collaborate with Charlie Puth as I mentioned earlier! A few others would be, Taylor Swift (of course), Chris Martin, P!nk and Rina Sawayama.

What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Work your butt off. It’s not going to be easy and there’s going to be plenty of speed bumps along the way… but the ones who make it are the ones who find a way to make any inconvenience work in their favour. If this is what you want… fight for it! There’s no reason why you can’t. Dream big.

A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?

I love seeing and hearing about all the different ways my followers are consuming my music! Connect with me on instagram, tag/dm me! I’m definitely and insta girl out of all the platforms.

But the ultimate way I love connecting with my audience is live shows. Call me old school, but I want to see and speak with you in the flesh! I’m working on my live set as we speak… so I look forward to seeing you all very soon 😉

Any last words?

Never give up on your dreams, fight for what you love and stream Cinderella on repeat babbbbyyy!

Website: royaldrue.com

Facebook: facebook.com/royaldrue/ 

Instagram: instagram.com/royaldrue/