New Music: The New Royales, DJ Khalil, Jay Electronica
by Winston "Stone" Ford
The New Royales feat. Jay Electronica – Posers
The New Royales – London Fog
The Canadian indie group The New Royales bring a lot to the table, mixing rock, with trip-hop and soul. Not much is known about them, but I’m diggin’ the tracks on their MySpace right now. A lot of new acts who try and mix different genres ususaly end up sounding forced and unnatural, but The New Royales seem to pull it off. The sound reminds me a lot of Broken Social Scene and some early Feist (check Let It Die) for some reason.
The most surprising fact about this group, though, is that DJ Khalil is a member. Khalil is one of the top hip-hop producers, working with 50 Cent, Nas, and Jay Z, and New Royales’ sound have no traces of his work at all. Further, I wasn’t expecting this track with Jay Electronica either, but I’m not surprised.
Hip-hop producers moving into indie rock is nothing new. Pharrell chilled with Spymob, and now Timbo is tight with New Republic. And of course lets not forget The Roots and Dice Raw’s side project Nouveau Riche, which played our Banned In DC show a few years ago. The game is definitely changing.
Khalil on the group:
It is a group that I’ve started with my production partner Chin from Vancouver and the other two members are from Canada as well, they are from Toronto. There are two lead singers: one female vocalist named Lisa Rodrigues and a male vocalist named Erik Alcock. There are all incredible songwriters and musicians. We hooked up a year ago because I was in Toronto to work with Chin and I met everybody in the studio. We were not a group at the time we were just working on music. The stuff we were making was so refreshing to me that later on we decided to put some records together. They started recording in Vancouver and then send it to me and I just lost it. We have more than 30 songs now. We are mixing all the stuff right now but the music is like the most fun I have recorded ever. Everybody in the group is so on top of their game that you can put us in a room and we gonna come up with something that I think is incredible. We took all kind of influences from Portishead to Stereolabs, White Stripes to Bjork and the Beatles. We took all that mixed it up and came with a sound. That’s something that I have just fun with but everybody who have listened to it was just blown away by the quality of the music. It is kind of the direction I want to go in terms of my production so it is like the perfect introduction to a whole other style of music. I barely listen to hip hop in my spare time and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.