"Who Dis?": Roya
Wow! Amazing! The Beat DXB was the first time I heard of Roya and I was definitely not ready for the music she dropped on us. She didn’t just sing like an RnB angel, but she rapped, and she snuck those bars in as if she’d been rapping the whole time. Her energy and passion was real. I can't imagine there was a soul in that room that didn't feel that.
Once again, this isn't about my comments on the creative, this is about the creative. So lets get into Roya.
If we’re gonna talk about my origins then its worth knowing that I grew up in a musical household, my dad is a musician and has always surrounded me with music; yes, those playlists were diverse as hell—were talking Om Kalthom, fayrooz and Talal Madah vs. Jackson five, Wham! And the entire Miami vice soundtrack—but they taught me so much about what it takes to make good music.
Music of course! Writing, a close second, and painting. I’m an artist by nature, so any form of creative outlet has always been my thing. One of my favs though is Mix Martial Arts (best thing I’ve ever learned to do).
Music Genres -
RnB and hip-hop for the most part but I like to listen to all types of music, it inspires me. Except heavy metal, I could never listen to that.
When did you become a creative? -
I’ve been artistic all my life in one-way or another. But music came to me when I was 12, and I’ve been there ever since with no intention of leaving.
What sparked that desire within you? -
My dad for the most part and also feeling at a very early age that music was the only place that felt like home. I can go on and on about this, but the absolute point is this. Music—singing and writing in particular— is the most fundamental part of who I am, it is my soul.
Upcoming projects -
I will be releasing my first single this month and I can’t wait, its been 2 years in the making. I’m also working on getting more live shows in DXB and in Jeddah.
Your ambitions -
I wanna sell out a stadium in my home town, it’s kind of a far away dream, but one I hope to make come true. Also to write and collaborate with artists I admire locally and internationally. For the most part I build my ambitions one step at a time.
What is your take on the creative industry in Dubai?
Well I’m Jeddah based so I’ll tell you about that; the last two years have been a whirlwind of progress in the music industry. We went from being underground and barley existing, to something that’s surprisingly diverse but kind of incomplete. We’re lacking in quality urban genres as well as unique, individual styles and voices. But we’re getting there.
Your past and current challenges in anything -
Well my biggest problem was the fact that my dad was totally against me making music, so for a good deal of time I was hiding it under an alias. Also the social view for musicians here was kind of negative, but things turned around. A thing I also faced was never feeling like I belonged here with my music or hobbies, I was always the odd person out, so cliché as it is I was bullied. But all those things really shaped the way I write.
What is your goto sundown/sunrise drive music? -
Anything by Shébani and H.E.R, 6lack or Khalid. But for the most part its all dependent on my mood.
Board game night or party night? -
Both, depends on the vibe and the mood I'm in.
Who would win in a fight? 6lack or Khalid? -
6lack, definitely 6lack.
Just as you read, Roya will be dropping her first single this month.
To stay tuned check out her Instagram: @royamusic_official
📸: Asad Siddque (Instagram: @ashestoasad)
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