2020 is all about inclusion and creating ample opportunities for people of all races, genders, sizes, backgrounds, and lifestyles. One singer who believes so strongly in this message is Royse, who decided to use her platform to take a stand for one particular cause that she feels the media often overlooks - body positivity.
Having worked with producers all over the world - from France, New Zealand, Los Angeles and more - Royse’s fondest memory is traveling to South Africa early in her career, and working with local musicians who inspired her artistically and challenged her as an artist.
Uplifted by their stories, Royse continued to make music with a strong message and produce meaningful entertainment that would hopefully leave the industry a better place than where she found it.
“My biggest dream is for my music to bring multiple walks of life together! I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life, and music has been a constant healing anecdote for me and my struggles. It speaks and guides me in ways that no other drug, or human could do and I am constantly grateful that this Earth has been given the gift of music,” Royse exclusively tells GLAMOUR South Africa.
“In life, you can feel like no one understands you, but when you hear a song, and it explains how you’re feeling, it makes you feel not alone! And I think the feeling of loneliness is the worst feeling that I think music helps with.”
Wellness is a priority for Royse, as she is candid about her mental health struggles and constantly seeking holistic avenues to improve her state of mind. She’s found great solace in music, but she still feels like the business has a long way to go in order to expand inclusion efforts.
“I grew up admiring so many artists that were perfectly cookie cutter and looked beautiful because of their bodies, and I grew up thinking that my talent and craft wasn’t enough because I have always been a bigger girl,” Royse reveals.
“But as I grew more confident in my body and my craft as an artist, I realised that I was not less than because of my body size, and I am not going to let my body size hold me back! I have too much to share with the world, and I want to encourage anyone that is following a dream that feels a hurdle on their shoulders to find a way to dig deep inside and realize that you can find a way to get over that hurdle.”
Speaking exclusively to GLAMOUR South Africa, Royse opens up about her new single, “Ride the Bull,” a female empowerment anthem for all of those who have ever struggled with body positivity to know that they are just as worthy and beautiful.
Tell us about your music career and how you got to where you are today?
I feel like music was always something that had a huge importance in my life. It wasn’t until I was 16 and started writing songs and was entered into a contest that I really felt like this was something I could do and had to pursue. I then went to school for music production. I pursued it with no backup plan. It was the most Important thing to me.
I interned with writers, worked with different producers and went to every music conference I could. And I went down many different musical journeys finding what my sound is...and I finally feel like I found my voice..and this first single, “Ride The Bull,” is a first glance into this sound!
Your new single ‘Ride the Bull’ and forthcoming E.P The Dame are highly anticipated! What can fans expect?
Fans can expect a new sound from me that incorporates my southern roots with my love for urban and pop music. Expect to hear more than just my voice on this upcoming EP! I am so excited.
How has music been a source of inspiration and empowerment in your life?
Oooooh! It has helped me in every way possible. I know that sounds dramatic but it is 100% true. When I feel ugly, music lifts me up. When I am sad, music lifts me up. When I’m alone, music is my friend. When I’m drunk, music turns me up!
Your music has strong messages of body positivity and inclusion. What does this mean to you and how important is it for you to address these issues in your songs?
My dream is to have anyone and everyone having a good time to my music. I really hope my music can bring people together while encouraging them to love themselves.
How have you been personally and professionally affected by COVID-19?
Where do I begin? I feel like we’re all in the same boat on this. COVID-19 definitely put a pause in a lot of exciting things I had coming up as well as really took a toll on my mental health. But I try to keep striving day by day and keep learning how to navigate these changes! But I do feel like I have learned a lot through Covid-19 that I will cherish forever.
How are you taking care of yourself - through wellness and fitness - during these times?
I love to go hiking. Anytime that I get to be outdoors, I feel like I can be one with myself and God. Another thing that’s been helping me is getting ready for my days. It helps me be more motivated to get things done.
How has music been a healing tool for you?
It helps me not to feel alone and express how I am truly feeling. Music has so much power to unite people and encourage people, and I just feel grateful that I get to do it and pursue it.
How did you learn to overcome fears about body size and how others might perceive you?
I still have fears every once in a while, but at the end of the day, I truly stopped caring and learned not to live for the approval others. And I know who I am and I know that God created me with no flaws.
Just be healthy and happy and that’s all you can do. It did take me awhile to get to this mental spot where I am now about it though. I had to look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I love myself, and It was really hard at first, but it got easier and easier and I encourage everyone to take the time to do this. I know it sounds silly, but if you can look at yourself and tell yourself you love yourself..it’s a powerful thing.
What makes you feel the most beautiful on the inside and outside?
When I feel my most beautiful on the inside, I feel like it radiates on the outside. So making my mind healthy makes me feel the most beautiful. A few ways that I keep my mind healthy is by being outdoors with my sister and my friends, talking to a therapist and spending time with God.