Monarchy

Tell us about yourself. 

RB: I’m the singer and a writer in Monarchy.

AA: I guess I’m kind of the keyboard/ producer guy, and writer with Ra.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist. 

RB: It’s only recently I’ve become comfortable with that word “artist”. I studied as a musician at university, so dissecting my heroes every day reduced them to their technical abilities. As my memory of that part of my life has faded I’ve rekindled my vision of the magic of music and now comfortably write “artist” on airport security forms.

AA: I always think of artists as people who sit around cafes and discussing the philosophy of French novels with other artist friends. I’ve been doing quite a bit of that lately, so I guess I’ve become an artist.

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Tell us about the genre of your music. 

RB: I’ve never been a fan of categorizing by genre. I’m happy for other people to do it; I just find it limits my mind if I start thinking about music in terms of genres.

AA: For me I guess our genre is loosely electro pop, with some synth pop and indie disco influences. Really it’s just a mix of everything we are listening to.

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Tell us about the story behind your song. 

RB: The song’s lyrics were written as an escape from reality. I created a fantasy about someone coming in to my life that would hypnotize me with the oscillation of their Hula Hoop.

AA: For me I wanted the music to really go with the vocal ideas, so I made a huge difference between the verses and choruses, with loads of percussion in the chorus. It reminded me of kids playing skipping rope at a playground.

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Tell us about the challenges you are facing as a musician. 

RB: Wow, so many to choose from! I’d say the one I deal with every day is motivation. I can create motivation by setting goals and having discipline but when I do this, it can lead to cold clinical songs. I can wait for ideas to drift through the either, but then I might not write for months. Finding the balance is the challenge.

AA: I would say I’m the opposite. I have to force myself to slow down sometimes, and I get a feeling of panic if I am not making music all the time.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song. 

RB: Andrew and I are often in different parts of the world, so we do a lot of ping pong between my studio and his.

AA: What Ra said. 🙂

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Tell us the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far. 

RB: The ones that spring to mind are Los 40, Radio 3, Europa FM, The Guardian, Popjustice, DIY Mag.

AA: Spotify have been really supportive too!

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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goals. 

RB: It feels like a journey of pealing layers of skin. The more exposed and honest, the better. I’ve given up on goals, I think they’re unproductive. I’ve shifted to creating habits instead e.g. free association as soon as I wake up, spending an hour alone and away from technology each day.

AA: It’s been a long journey but everyday I can wake up, make music, and have people interested in that is a great day. I’m so grateful we can tour and release music.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 

RB: Listening to other people’s music gets me excited, and I use that energy to dig up my thoughts about my relationship.

AA: I think it’s the panic of knowing you’re going to die eventually, so you have to create today.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song. 

RB: B#

AA: For me it’s more C flat.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

RB: Don’t listen to general advice and find a selfless mentor with emotional intelligence

AA: Just write loads, and collaborate loads.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 

RB: We recently won a Los 40 Award in front of a stadium of 10 thousand people. It was unexpected and emotional.

AA: Yeah that was a crazy night. Definitely didn’t expect that!

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 

RB: I often play games; lyrics first, music first, melody first, drums first, limit instrument, banned words, free association.

AA: Even just how mumbled words sound can be an inspiration.
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Name the artists you are willing to collaborate with. 

RB: Whenever I talk or play with another artist I always learn something, so I really should try break my natural state of isolation and do more of that. Some artists I’d love to work with are; Janelle Monae, Roisin Murphy, Kimbra.

AA: Kaytranada, Todd Terje, Pharrell Williams.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for purchase of your songs. 

iTunes

Spotify

Deezer

Google Play

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Youtube

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

RB: I don’t think I can categorize moments in the best and worst. However, I can tell you that I’m the happiest when I just finish a song demo. That I’m the most depressed the day after gigs.

AA: Yeah after gigs I am definitely down. I have to eat my way to happiness the next day… but only the good stuff. A massive steak usually does it.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars. 

RB: I’m not sure I could spend a million dollars in a life changing way. I’d probably put it in the bank so I had more freedom in the present to do what I want to do without compromise.

AA: I will keep being a musician until the money runs out.

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Tell us about your song. 

RB: I remember looping the chords over and over for a long time so I got bored and had to come up with melody and lyric ideas that kept interested.

AA: I think it flowed pretty easily this one… some songs we work on forever and keep restructuring them, or trying different things. This one popped out.

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.

RB: We are lucky enough to have a manager and a record label. So, I try and do as little other music activities as possible. I figure my job is to be a singer and a songwriter. I try to focus my energy on doing those things as best as I can.

AA: I think I’m quite organised, so I don’t have a problem with it.

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Tell us five artists you can regard as legends. 

RB: Prince, Stevie Wonder, Jeff Buckley, Daft Punk, James Brown.

AA: James Murphy, Daft Punk, The KLF, Nile Rogers, so many…it’s hard to limit.

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Tell us your future plans pertaining music. 

RB: Write songs, play them live.

AA: ha ha. Yeah 100% with Ra there.

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Tell us what you think about creativity and originality in music.  

RB: Originality is an emotive subject. People get upset when, for example, they realise Nirvana borrowed the “Come As You Are” riff from Killing Joke. But I figure, as long as you add something, then you’re continuing the long conversation that is music.

AA: I think from the outside of any art, it can look quite original, but when you get inside it, and see the context of it, then you can see the influences. We look at Dali and think he’s hugely original, but at the time there were other surrealists working together with him, influencing him.

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Tell us the reason you are into music. 

RB: I’m good at it and it can be emotionally rewarding.

AA: I don’t think I have a choice. If I stop making music I feel without purpose.

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Tell us your view on old school music and new school music in terms of preference.

RB: I can’t think of music like that. There is TIME which is (arguably) constant and MUSIC, which gets created along that time line. Who decides what length of time is old and new school? Seems arbitrary and vapid to me.

AA: There are so many “old schools” now. I remember one of my older friends saying that they used to call jazz and dancehall “old school”, but now there’s old school house, hip hop, dance. I guess there’ll be old school trap and eventually reggaeton.

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Tell us your most memorable day as an artist. 

RB: My memory is patchy. So the most recent Los 40 Award is still pretty memorable.

AA: My memory of that night is a bit patchy too. Ha ha. No food and lots of champagne.

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Tell us what you would do for the people if you found yourself in a position of power.

RB: Enforce Net Neutrality, give every countries people unrestricted access to the internet, implement a universal basic income, and stop testing in schools.

AA: Education on parenting and nutrition. Make tabloid press accountable for their journalism and fake news.

 

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