Royala: Debut Solo Album Review
15 Nov 2009 // A review by Miss_Jukebox
‘Don’t Mind Me’ by Royala is a debut solo album that needed to be made. Through this album it is evident that this stunning songstress has been aching to create this ten-track portfolio of the works she, Daniel Harawira and Carl Newman have created together. Though the album has been finely tuned at York Street studios, it is Royala’s lyrics that steal the show. She is what every singer strives to be; a poet that can create paintings with words. And ‘Words’ is in fact where the album begins.
‘Words’ is a songwriter’s song. Made with all the essence of building a masterful piece of art, this is a song every artist can relate to. This is the beginning of this albums strongest point; the lyrical beauty with which Royala delivers with sheer passion. ‘Home’ adds a funk-beat to the clean melody. The title track takes the album to the classic reggae rhythms, as does ‘Surprise’ further on. ‘What Goes Round’ maintains the more upbeat feeling in the album.
‘This Thing Called Life’ is Royala’s statement song about the state of this world right now. Carl Newman, also known as EQ, adds a fantastic rap element that only adds more power to the politics of this track. ‘Soul Time’ brings this album to a laid-back, but grooving atmosphere. It is light and maintains the charm of the album.
‘Motherness’ is a beautiful and layered track, which has Royala’s vocals supported by the instrumental elements, all on a foundation of a fantastic lazy beat by Daniel Harawira on the drum. ‘Rockin Rollin Reggae’ is exactly what the title suggests and carries on the reggae theme that was set earlier. A brilliant and bluesy love song, ‘Me & You’ is filled with absolute passion. Royala and her lyrics take centre stage in this final track, and this is the song that really captures the splendour of Royala as an artist.
Though this album is not going to change the scene of the New Zealand music industry, it is an album to be admired because a beautiful and mature singer has taken her time to make a thoughtful album. It is full of a wisdom that is seldom heard in much of the music these days and it displays a real and lifelong passion for music that Royala thankfully never let go of. ‘Don’t Mind Me’ is a weightless album that is easy to just play and relax to, and frankly audiences certainly will not mind it at all.
From the word 'Go' Soulstress Royala has taken to music leading her to her first debut Album 'Don't Mind Me'.
Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Royala
Settled in Okahu Bay Auckland, the 28 year old mother of Maori and Fijian descent grew up fond of music always knowing she wanted to sing. Royala and long time love Audio Engineer/Musician Carl Newman aka EQ built up their Recording Studio Mint Recordings in 2003 venturing into their careers as musicians. Over the years, studying at MAINZ was a big green light towards her chosen career deciding then that she was ready to go on stage, having the pleasure to sing as backing vocalist for bands The Kingites, Nat Rose, Lei-D Lee, Dam Native and Unity Pacific.
"Going Solo is achievable one step at a time" and with the tools necessary at home (or not far) and the experience consumed, she has done so with the talents of Daniel Harawira, Music Producer and Drummer to all tracks (drummer also for Che Fu & The Krates, Unity Pacific etc) and Carl Newman aka EQ, Producer, Engineer and Male Vocals (former MC for The Kingites).