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“Purpose”, you are a mighty force.

The Farm
THE FARM

When I was a child music flowed through me. Art sprang forth whether I asked for it or not. Sadness seemed to drip from my finger tips and find a page to exhale onto – always leaving me joyful. As if the exorcism had removed the demons. Sadly though, during the writing and creation of We Were Born To Glory, I somehow got caught up in the “business” of the music business. I temporarily forgot the joy that came from creation for creation’s sake. As a result I created an album, though successful, that left me empty with ultimately no joy to fill the space. At the same time too my marriage was dissolving in front of me and suddenly the two main bedrocks of my foundation washed away. I was adrift. Thankfully though I was able to move to a small cottage in rural Ireland, remove the noise, quiet my surroundings and finally hear my inner voice again. The all knowing compass spoke and soon the veil lifted. I made art again. Music flowed. Answers were found and puzzles solved. Sarah and I decided to separate, but remain loving friends and in each other’s corner.

Purpose is the ultimate driver. It is indeed what now gets me out of bed in the morning. I want to make art. I want to create. I want to perform music. I want to learn. I want to love. I want to be healthy. I want to leave a legacy for upcoming generations that gives them a brighter future and not impede their chance of survival. I want to be the change. I want…

How will I accomplish all of these “wants” though? The ancient proverb “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is the answer. The key is not to ask how, but simple to ask for what you want and to move. Take action and attempt to get there. Somewhere along the way I will look back and realize not only did I reach the island, but I swam a great distance and grew in the process.

To that end, I thought I would let you know what I am doing these days. I am living in TO, but I have also taken over my parents farmland and moved to the countryside near Peterborough as well. In honour of “being the change” I am most excited to tell you that I also partnered with an organic collective called Castanea. They will begin planting organic crops and running their collective on the land this spring. I am in the early stages of building my recording studio now called “The Farm” on the property. It should be up and running by the end of the year. I am also in the progress of attempting to move the property to off grid. It’s a long term dream, but I am moving steadily ahead.

The new album “The Burning Bright” is obviously out and taking on a life of it’s own. I’ll be shooting another video soon. I’ll be touring Canada and Europe this year, with plans of US shows as well to be announced soon. I am also producing a young Canadian artist named Peter Katz this April with my production pal Bill Lefler.

Of course I also continue to study wine, compose and arrange music, create art in various forms both visual and the written word that will someday find their way out into the world, spend time with my loved ones and ever growing family, and most importantly, dream big.

“Purpose”, you are a mighty force.

Xo
Royal

THE BURNING BRIGHT

Royal Speaks Post

Friends

The time has finally arrived. THE BURNING BRIGHT is mixed, mastered and ready to be released on March 18th 2014.

In honour of this I will be touring Western Canada and Ontario over January and February with many more dates to be announced soon (see tour dates here). I am bringing world class musicians, sound and lights with me on this tour. Basically it is my mission is to take you on a musical and artistic journey of emotion and melody you won’t soon forget. I am so excited for you to hear half a dozen of the new songs each night, as well as ones spanning my whole career.

For those of you coming to the show I have a special something waiting for you at the merch table. What is it you ask? If you purchase the Pre-Sale of THE BURNING BRIGHT you will receive a digital download card with not only the new single “Forever and Ever” on it, but 2 exclusive songs not included on the album. As well, you will receive an autographed copy of THE BURNING BRIGHT one week before the official release date.

Looking forward to seeing you out there and performing night after night!

Xo
Royal

Flying through the air…

Toronto Airport

Friends,

I’m flying through the air, moving forward in perpetual motion in time and space, pondering what lies ahead. Bound for Los Angeles again, I am on my way to accomplish many tasks. All of them artistic in nature, surrounded by supportive and talented individuals I am proud to work with and call my friends.

To begin with I am doing another photo shoot with the very calm and loving natured Vanessa Heins. Out of all the photographers I have ever worked with, she has such a gift for putting the subject at ease and for capturing the individual honestly and creatively. She truly understands natural light and how it plays into such a visual art form. I’m looking forward to seeing her again and getting down to work shooting in the gritty yet welcoming streets of LA.

Then I begin writing and producing with BIll Lefler for my new musical pal Peter Katz. Our goal is to come up with a new batch of material Peter can use on his upcoming release in 2014. Regardless we will laugh, jest with pointed sarcasm, and create, create, create.

After that is completed in a few days, I will shoot the first video for the new album THE BURNING BRIGHT. This time it is to celebrate the single “Forever and Ever”. I am truly excited to finally work with Christopher Mills on this project. I have long since loved his style and ability to conjure up stunning, engaging and powerful imagery that truly reflects the music and message of the lyric – and yet stands alone as it’s own tale to be told all on it’s own.

While all of this is going on, I will begin listening to the mixes for THE BURNING BRIGHT and sending my revision notes. The songs are in the hands of Tim Abraham out of Toronto. I must say, he is making some of the most exciting mixes I have had in my career. We seem to be having a meeting of minds artistically for what this record should sound like. I can’t believe it will be mixed and mastered by late December.

I must admit though that I am looking forward to taking time off this holiday season to spend with family and loved ones around the wood fire drinking wine, eating too much food and talking a little treason.

Once the new year rolls around I will rehearse the band for the upcoming January tour. This will mark the unveiling of several new songs, so there is lot’s to learn and capture with the band. These musicians are some of my best and dearest friends in the world, so I can’t wait for this tour to get underway.

Well, I am being told to shut down my computer and stow my baggage, so I shall say farewell for now.

Xo
Royal

I may sleep a while…

Friends,

I’ll be an artist until the day I die. Deviations of medium and message may occur, but sweet Buddha do I ever love what I do.

I have 10 days under my belt of this European tour with my new pal Peter Katz, and may I say that we are getting along like gangbusters. Always quick with a joke, and humbly Canadian, Pete knows how to command the stage. So far we have had several packed houses in The Netherlands and now throughout Switzerland.

Today we are traveling back to the Netherlands for a show in Dordrecht and then Utrecht before we head back to my ancestral home of Ireland for a series of shows. I can already smell her shores, and taste her dark bitter sweet pints. I have promised Peter and my other new friend and backing musician Karen Kosowski that we will spend one of our days off in Ireland in the village of Slane. I aim to take them to the Abbey ruins on the hill, as well as the castle to meet the local Royal Irish family.

From there we will head to the UK for another week of touring before I head back to Canada for rehearsals and a performance in Victoria at the MacPherson Playhouse. After that I head to Los Angeles for a show at the Hotel Cafe.

Then it is back to work wrapping up my new album. I ended up recording 26 songs, so now I am left having to distill everything down into a musical journey that tells the story I felt in their writing. Then mixing and mastering. Then putting it all together into one artistic package.

Whew. I may sleep a while this Christmas.

Xo
Royal

Where does time go?

Giants Causeway

(Photo of Royal and his Irish host Ditte Cassidy)

July 14th, 2013

Where does time go? Though infinite and eternal, my own life and it’s timeline seems to be rushing by bringing so many changes and experiences.

I spent the month of May living in a cottage in rural Ireland outside of the village of Slane. Each morning I would awake, light the fire and make a pot of black tea or coffee. I would listen to the rain on the windows most days and get to work writing. Many nights I would walk the 4 km into the village and have a pint with the locals. My paints, a few books, a handful of clothes, a piano and my guitar were the only possessions I brought with me. Having no internet, TV or phone forced me to look inward, be introspective and truly connect in a way I haven’t in years. As a man who grew up on a farm, being surrounded by rolling green fields, allowed me to re-tap into the ancient part of me. The aspect that knows and is the spark of life. One of the most meaningful adventures while living there was tracing my Irish heritage and visiting where many of my ancestors came from. I felt like they were all around me in every corner, giving me energy and a voice to write from. I honestly feel like I left Ireland weeks later a changed human being. I stretched outward and allowed growth mentally, artistically and even spiritually – a much needed respite from being a cog in the music industry machine. Not to mention the Guinness rep special delivered a bottle of brew with my name on it. Now I know I have arrived in life!

Once I returned to Canada though, I was recharged and ready to hit the road. I have spent the good portion of the summer already touring festivals across Canada and a handful of dates in the US. Most of the festivals have been Jazz this year – a new experience to say the least, as they brought a new crowd and new fans. Of course touring is always an adventure and as an artist we never know what might happen on the road. Take for instance this past June in Saskatoon. Take one part severe storm warning, throw in a canceled 5000 capacity outdoor stage as a result of the imminent storm, add a dash of social media tweets from fans offering their condo as a place to hold the show and instruments and amps to be used, and what do you get? You get a night I will never forget. You can read about it here online. As well as listen to an interview on CBC with Heather Morrison (the woman who threw the house concert) here.

It is now well into July and I have found myself spending more and more time in Los Angeles taking in the energy and sunshine. I’m feeling like the amount of material I have written in the last months in Ireland and elsewhere, and the differing energies of the songs, will require 2 albums to be recorded. How I will release them, if at the same time, as a double album, or spaced out over 2014 is yet to be known. Though the subject matter and themes are well aligned, the albums will be opposing sounds and energies. Exciting and challenging times to say the least, but I want to continue to break boundaries and grow as an artist and a man on this green earth.

Wanting nothing more than to learn from the life I am making…

Royal