In this interview feature, we chop it up with Cha$e Royale about his newest project, influences, navigating the digital music era and more.
Q&A plus links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
Both of my parents are of Cameroonian descent and I lived there a few years early on, but I’m from the DMV area, Takoma Park, MD to be specific. I like to call my music a revolution. A few of my favorite artists were/are all revolutionary artists in their own right, like Tupac, Nas, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix. I’d like to take some of the concepts and ideals they touched on and expand with adept lyricism and funky beats. Although I like adding different layers to my music and will continue to expand on that front, at the end of the day though, I’m hip-hop through and through.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
Honestly being inspired by great hip-hop kept me down a path of music. I grew up on BET and MTV, reading lyrics online, just studying the craft. Eventually that turned into me wanting to pursue the same thing. I get inspired by great song-writing and after going through my own life course, I felt the best gift to offer the world are my songs. What motivates me to stay the course is to leave a lasting impact in music, hopefully take care of my family and to be the best: I’m from the school of trying to be the top dog.
Who or what are your biggest influences when it comes to your creativity?
Like I said previously, Tupac Shakur, Nas, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix. Then I’ve got guys such as Styles P, Jay-Z, Method Man, Curren$y, guys I’m real big fans of that inspire me to be even better. I have a pretty eclectic taste though, I was big into rock in high school, Metallica, The Who, Nirvana. Being creative comes natural though, I was initially an art major when I went to school. I like to think challenging myself inspires my creativity. Like the production I rapped over on this new project, some of the most challenging stuff I’ve had to write to and that makes me want to be even more creative.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
This new release is just a continuation of my first release. I believe every release I get better and my first mixtape “Royale Reigns” was a good starting point, but I like to level up and do things bigger and better every time. I set out to be even better and to reach people I know would appreciate it. I want this new project, which is titled “The Gemcutter’s Prism”, to reach a larger audience that could potentially result in a tour. I really can’t wait to start playing this music for people and going crazy on stage, that’s the best part. Also, my competitive side wants this project to be mentioned as amongst the best of the year, because I feel like it warrants it.
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
The toughest part I think is my music having to be ciphered out from the rest of the music that lives on the web, which is a astronomical amount. I think being indie allows me to keep my creativity and gives me the hunger to reach a larger audience and get better at my craft, but I don’t think that would change if my circumstance were to change. Technology has helped though in terms of the ease of accessibility to having the music. I can post my music on the numerous streaming or musical outlet site and fans have instant access. So it definitely has its ups and downs but I believe the cream rises to the crop with anything, so hopefully my music can be a testament to that.
How do you feel about streaming services? Any romantic attachments to the physical formats: vinyl, 8-track, cassettes, CDs?
I feel streaming services have been great in terms of giving fans accessibility to all music, although it’s a vast amount, streaming has made music direct to the consumer as opposed to getting CD’s. Hopefully they can improve the royalty rate for artists, but other than that it’s been a change that probably been imminent. CD’s were cool to get when you were really looking forward to hearing something, but things change so I don’t hold on to them.
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
You can follow my Twitter at @Chase_Royale and my Instagram at @ChaseRoyale . I also have a facebook music page as Cha$e Royale. Primarily I use soundcloud, which is https://soundcloud.com/chaseroyale .
Anything else before we sign off?
Yeah, my follow up Gemcutter’s Prism will be here before the end of the year, I promise it’ll be a treat to you guys. The first single “Be Great” is coming soon too, with visuals. All that stuff will be on my social media. Thank you guys for the interview, its been fun. I’m looking forward to seeing the reception behind the music, we worked hard on it!