If you haven’t heard of the Royal Concept yet, you will soon. Their song, On Our Way, is dominating the charts and can be heard in the newest FIFA video game. The Royal Concept has one of the most unique, attention-grabbing sounds today and the staff of Backtrack strongly believes that they will become a dominant force in the music industry within the next few years. David Larson, the group’s lead singer, sat down with Backtrack to share his story about The Royal Concept’s inception and success.
How did you decide to become a professional musician?
I think I made a decision to try during high school when I studied music. After high school I went to jazz college and after that I made money by taking almost every job in music I could. I was an educated jazz pianist but I played everything from troubadour shows, cover bands, teaching music theory, arranging strings for pop songs and I played synths on tour with Robyn. I really discovered many sides of working as a musician and I started to feel that I wanted to have my own group and play my own music. That’s what got my heart beating extra hard.
How did The Royal Concept develop their sound?
We’re constantly developing. We’ve only released one record so far and the sound on this upcoming second record will definitely be different. But we have a few stuff that we stay very trustful too. The slap back delay on my voice, the semi distorted over dubbed guitar sound, Povels low pitch snare and Magnus little Phatty Moog Bass. Those sounds in combination with how we play our instruments is basically the sound. And we know that we sound way dirtier live than what we did on the first record, so we’re now trying to catch that on the second record.
How did you find the right label and manager?
We played our first show on a demo stages at a festival in Sweden called Peace and Love. After that show a couple of managers called and wanted to work with us and we took some meetings. Of course we asked around in music business about them all to make sure that we didn’t sign contracts with any idiot, but luckely all of them had good reputations. At the end of the day we just went with the person we liked the most and that we felt would be most joyful to work with.
When labels and publishers started to reach out we did kind of the same process with them. To me it’s always been very important that the people I work with are nice people with good hearts. There’s already so much lack of passion in music business and so many egos that I’m always very careful and trust my gut feeling when it comes to the business part of it.
Was the process of finding the right label and manager difficult?
Both yes and no. At the end of the day, a record deal is not gonna make you a good band. The only thing that matters is what you do creatively and if people dig your music. If you never give up, opportunities will come to you when you’re really onto something good artistically. So don’t rush into anything, chances will come. Make sure that you’re pretty secure about your vision and your music when you sign up your art to labels, no matter if they’re indie or commercial. I’m telling you, from the point you sign that contract, everyone’s gonna have opinions about everything and you’ll really have to know what you wanna do and who you are as an artist. Otherwise you’ll be eaten up and you’ll end up thinking about how many records you sell. That’s an artists nightmare.
Do you feel as though streaming services can be beneficial for artists that are starting out?
Absolutely. Get your music out there!
How did you market your music and book shows without a manager and label?
We played it for friends and send it to a couple of blogs. First we sent a bunch of songs that was not that good and nothing really happened. We went back in the studio and wrote better songs and worked more on the recordings. When we finally felt that we had something that sounded cool we sent it out to the same people and things started to take of here and there. But we focused most of our time on playing together and tried to put together a decent live show. I think that was what really gave us some attention later on.
Going back in time, before you were signed, would you have used a program that digitally connected you to labels and managers globally?
Maybe. All the labels are looking at blogs like hype machine, pitchfork and so on. So if you’re creating a buzz out there they will find you. So the more you can do on your own the better. Don’t go after record deals, let the deals come to you. Then you’re in a way better position.
What is the greatest tip you can give to aspiring musicians?
That hard work actually pays off. Be critical to yourself but never loose joy and passion. That’s all that matters. Trust your heart and make the journey itself worth it.
How important is organization and analytics for emerging artists?
It’s always good to have a focused mind and be aware of that you’re your own boss.
Where do you see The Royal Concept in five years?
Hopefully we’ll develop and get better and better. We’ll still be playing together we have probably just released our forth record by then.