Artist Name: Johnathan Royale
Being a child born in Hip-Hop's "Golden Era", one would think that Royale's lyricism is heavily influenced by the 90s. "Nope" the 22 year old emcee would say. "That's not it at all, I actually didn't care much for rap until after 2000." Johnathan was born on November 13th, 1990 in Boston, Massachusetts to an Ivorian couple ( from Ivory Coast - West Africa.) After Johnathan's father passed away due to a heart-attack in the year 2000, he was sent to France to spend time with his family overseas.
Being in a foreign country on the other side of the world weeks after his father died, Johnathan clung to the only familiar thing to him, the one thing that reminded him of home and his life before: American rap music. He snuck in his older cousin's room and would listen to Eminem's The Slim Shady LP and the Marshall Mathers LP. "I thought Em was black and that Dr. Dre was his real enemy." Johnathan would only listen to Eminem for years and move back to america before he even attempted rapping. "I felt like I could never do it. Em was too good. I felt like rap was supposed to be done Eminem's way, and if you couldn't rap like him, you were wasting yours and everyone else's time. I didn't want to make a fool of myself. So, I decided that I wasn't going to try."
Then in 2005, 50 Cent arose. Johnathan immediately accepted 50 Cent as a new favorite. "The Massacre was the first album I ever bought." He would spend hours in his room repeating the songs and even writing the lyrics down. "I don't know what it was for sure, but 50's lyricism was a lot more .. digestible. I could actually rap his lyrics without winding myself or messing up all the time. His lyrics taught me what rapping actually felt like. And I loved it." Less than a month later, Johnathan started freestyling with other kids in the neighborhood and formed a group. "I was pretending to be gangster then, because it was the only way I knew how to put my words together." But soon, Kanye West arose and influenced Johnathan's writing "I saw that I could just be me."
That same year, Johnathan and his family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. "It felt like Hip-Hop was completely different down south. Which is more or less true.. But really what happened was that I moved down south right when hip-hop itself started embracing the south. In an egocentric way of looking at it, it felt like Hip-Hop moved down south with me." Johnathan would then be heavily influenced by southern lyricists like T.I. and Lil Wayne. "I started calling myself J.Royale after rapping like T.I. on that 'My Love' joint."
Royale recently graduated from Kings College in Charlotte with an Associates Degree for Travel/Tourism & Hospitality but is still pursuing his passion for creating Hip-Hop music. "My music is something that evokes emotion. You don't just hear me, you feel it too. I just want to reach as many people as I can and inspire people to try and perfect their craft. Also,I just want to show everybody that there's a different way of approaching rap. There's a different way of presenting the same ideas and it can sound both fresh and authentic."
Today Royale continues to work on his writing and singing skills saying "my competition is Drake, J.Cole and Kendrick, so I have a lot of work to do." He can be found at various venues in Charlotte, getting his name out. "I want to do what I can to not only make myself known in the city but make this city known in the hip-hop community overall. There's a lot of authentic talent here."
I hear beats. I see colors. I summon feelings. I create flows. I write lyrics. And I Love it all. [+]