One of my favorite parts of UPstar. Music is being able to sit down and hear about artists’ and songwriters' journeys. I get an opportunity to hear their stories and where their passion for Country Music came from. Every individual comes from a different place, has a different mindset and different goals, so sometimes it’s cool to just sit back, take in others’ experiences and all the blood, sweat and tears that has been put into something they are so passionate about. This time around I sat down with one of UPstar. Music's "Artists to Watch in 2020", Royale Lynn. I have been a big fan of everything she puts on the table. A hell of a voice, witty songwriting and a work ethic that is unmatched. I'm excited to see what the future holds for Royale Lynn. I know she is not going to let anyone stop her from living her dream.
Inspiration Behind "Rocket Man"
Written By: Josh Wolfe & Royale Lynn, Produced By: Matt Carrey
"I feel that this "talking" stage is something people can relate to so much. This idea that someone needs space and I was like "oh, it's kind of like you're a rocket man". That's where the story came from. I wrote it with Josh Wolfe. When we sat down I pitched my idea about "Rocket Man". It’s about a guy who needs space and is out in the world and I hope he finds what he's looking for in this big galaxy. He thought it was a cool idea, and was like "what are you thinking vibe wise?" I really wanted to go more Rock with it. When we started writing, I told him right away I wanted this song. I made him come back two days later to fix some things and really make it perfect. Over time, the concept really came together."
Royale Lynn Talks About Her Journey In Country Music
Q: What are some influential moments that have shaped your music career thus far?
A: "I would say 2019-2020 was kind of when I got this fire that lit up under me. I wanted to be full speed ahead, release music and write. I was never able to write full-time because I had to pay the bills, try to make sure I was networking enough and for a few years was playing downtown. I never wanted to play downtown forever.I knew that, but it did pay the bills so it was all about finding the right balance. So 2019-2020 was when I really figured out my schedule and started writing with co-writers or by myself five days a week. 2020, as weird as it was, really gave me the inspiration to step back. I told myself "you will be okay, everything happens for a reason. Take yourself out of working so much and dive head first into songwriting and putting in the hours". I would say one of the biggest influences in my life so far is just being able to solely focus on music. Now, I play twice a week downtown and it's perfect, I really put my energy into writing songs and creating music.
Another thing that has shaped my music career is getting songs cut by other artists. I can't say who or when, but I have three cuts coming out. I'm so excited about that! Up to this point I've only cut my own songs. I have found that writing was so important in my life and I want to continue putting all my effort into it. Getting 100,000 Spotify streams on "Alcatraz", I never expected it. Didn’t think it wasn't going to hit. I knew I believed in it, but didn't know if other people would. The response was insane! Such a big moment for me.
Opening for other artists has had a big influence on me. Right before COVID-19 hit, I got to open up for Jon Wolfe in Texas. I am the first female to open for him, and I'm the first Canadian to open for him. It was great. One of the best moments of my life - getting to play and then be backstage watching him perform. I'm excited for when I can get back to playing shows and hopefully opening up for other amazing acts."
Q: What have been some of the low points in your career so far?
A: "I've gotten a whole lot of no's. There have been so many no's. Some people tell me I need to ditch the cowboy hat, and other things. But if I did those things, it wouldn't be authentic to who I am. I am 100% going in a different direction with "Rocket Man", but do I think it's off brand? No, it's something I wrote. I created this and brought it to life. I have realized that I want to put out music because I create it and I love it. That's where this year started. I've released songs I really love and hope others love them too. Being an independent artist, you are really a business owner. You have your own merch, do shows and that’s how we make a living. For me, I wanted to figure out how to do everything so that I won't have to pay someone else to do something I can do on my own."
Q: What does the process of songwriting look like?
A: "So I do a lot of co-writing. I write Monday to Friday, sometimes more than just one in a day. I like to spend as much time as I can in the room - to get to know who I'm writing with or catch up with people I haven't seen. I'm always trying to get better and learn and take away something from each write. Essentially learn how to write the "perfect song" I guess. I've had so much fun figuring out who I am as an artist. What I want to say and how I want to say that. Songwriting has really helped me and developed who I am. The songwriting process is always different. Walking into a room, sometimes there's a hook or an idea, sometimes there's just one line and other people just want to sit down and vent. Also, each person is different, so you feel what the vibe is in the room and go off of that. There have been a few ideas that just hit me like a freight train, "Texas Hold 'Em" hit me like an absolute freight train. I was driving with one of the co-writers and I was like "oh my goodness, what if Texas had to hold him, because I couldn't anymore?”. We jumped on it. Sometimes I will know something is good just leaving the write. I also go off of crowd reactions. I do play a lot of new stuff downtown to see how it goes with the crowd. I have a song called "Camel Blues". It got a standing ovation... like that doesn't really happen. It has been so hard to pick songs now because I'm in such a groove with songwriting. I feel like sometimes I will really love a song and someone else will too. If my co-writers really want to cut something we’ve written, as long as it's out in the world, that's what truly matters to me."
Q: What has your experience been like so far in Nashville?
A: "Moved here September of 2015. I quit my job, dropped out of school and packed up my car. One of my best girlfriends got in the car with me and we drove to Nashville. I said I would give it a week and if nothing happens I'll go home, get a real job and go back to school. Not necessarily giving up on my dream, but being in a different country, I didn't know everything I really had to do to make the dream happen. Then I got here. I was put into writing rooms in my first week and went to meetings. My friend ended up flying home. I stayed. I figured out how to get a VISA and how to be legal and move here. It took a long time. Definitely isn't something that happens over night. It took about a year to find a sponsor and make sure that my paperwork was good. It wasn't easy. Still isn't easy, but I know how to do it now. I kept giving myself these 3 month increments. I had no idea how to co-write when I first got here. It was such a learning curve to be vulnerable in a room with people you don't know. It's crazy to look back 5 and a half years and see how far I've come. I knew that I wanted to move here when I saw the Batman building downtown. It was home for me. I did everything I needed to to get here and never took no for an answer. My friends will tell you I still don't. This has been an amazing journey through all the ups and downs. I'm so excited to see what the future holds."