Indie-soul duo (among a variety of genres they experiment with) Fly Moon Royalty performed to a packed house on the KEXP Stage on the first day of Bumbershoot. As Adra Boo herself describes it, “Our set was FULLY CHARGED! Backup singers, guitar and drums, movement… We came to grab people all the way to the heart!”
That’s exactly what they did. With a myriad of powerful voices, down-to-earth lyrics, hard-hitting beats, and coordinated dance moves, Fly Moon Royalty had the entire crowd on their feet with their hands up, praising the beauty of funk and soul that they brought to the room. The duo, made up of Adra and Mike “Action J” Illvester, sat down with KXSU’s Priscilla to talk about the festival, their music, and what moment made them realize they had to make music together.
PG: To start, you two seem to be having quite the busy summer! It seems like everywhere I turn, Fly Moon Royalty is playing a show, which is incredible! Where do you find the time to enjoy this blazing hot summer Seattle has been having and how do you do it?
AB: It’s definitely been a busy summer, so trying to take advantage of hanging out near [where] show spots have been happening has been one way. And then, you really have to schedule time to do other things, period.
PG: Your album released just this past April, Delicious Trouble, takes the innovation of Fly Moon Royalty to a brand new level. Compared to your first LP and past EPs, there’s a much more prominent sense of creative freedom. Is this exactly how you imagined the album to be? What brought upon this change?
AB: I think what’s definitely more telling is how we’ve grown and used what we’ve been learning along the way.
AJ: Basically, we finally caught up with ourselves. In the past, the records came out LONG after we wrote and recorded the music. This was us being able to give the world the “up to date” music. This represented our growth.
PG: Delicious Trouble also carries a large sense of variety and eclecticism, to where anyone listening can find some way to connect. It has the feeling of dance music, funk, jazzy upbeats, and empowering lyrics that most, if not all, people can find relatable. Was a concept like that intended for your audiences, or was it a showcase of the many talents you are capable of as artists?
AB: The only intention we really ever focus on is telling the story in a way that’s “US”, and I like to tell a good story. Perhaps that is what becomes the hand that touches each person differently, appropriately, inappropriately, and honest, haha!
AJ: We rarely “set out” to create anything. It’s the process that determines [the] final product. It’s the feeling while it’s being made. We sit back afterwards and craft music that [we] feel good about. Music that is “US”. We are eclectic people. We have eclectic taste. This is the only kind of music we can make. Maybe that’s what’s relatable. We want others to enjoy music how we enjoy music.
PG: The music video for the single “Grown Man” turned heads this spring! What inspired the ideas and plot for the video? And do you have another one that’s just as expressive in the works for the future?
AB: We have ideas for every song on the album, haha! You’ll just have to stay tuned!
AJ: I had the idea for a “Little Adra” singing her ass off and the director, Bryan Campbell, took the imagery I was looking for and wove the storyline that beautifully captured the energy of “Grown Man.” We love what he did.
We’re looking to have a variety of video types for this record.
PG: You two have such a tangible chemistry as artists who work together, it’s inspiring! At what point did you realize that you two were meant to work with each other, and when you started, did you think you would be where you are right now?
AB: I’ll let Mike tell you our “Android Love” story, ha!
AJ: Right from the very first song, “Android Love”, I knew we had to make music together.
AB: We both look at being lasting, making music that is still relevant years from now. I think that shared intent carries us.
PG: As Seattle musicians, how has living in this city influenced your music? What other locals can you say you look to as inspirations?
AB: I don’t know that I can fully say Seattle has influenced my music. I just was raised to appreciate music in different ways. My experiences are based here because I’m from here, but the places I pull inspiration from are vast and from everywhere.
AJ: Growing up in Michigan, I’d say my musical tastes are way more influenced by that region than Seattle. However, I’d say Seattle has influenced my live show and my freedom with songwriting. There’s a lot of talent here, so, by default, we all get better at our craft. There’s always someone doing it better that you can learn from.
PG: Now that the summer is winding down, does Fly Moon Royalty have any big plans for the fall?
AB: You just never know what we’ll do at any given time!
AJ: We’re playing Macefield Music Festival for the first time. The rest is focusing on videos and more music. And getting some sleep!
PRISCILLA GAMIT | Shamelessly admitting that when they played “I Miss Her” live, I cried | General Manager