The Saint Albans, New York Native Reflects On Family Legacy And His Spiritual Purpose
From Amir Royale
When my grandfather passed away two years ago; my grandmother, my father and I, all sat with Chaplain Arturo Trew at Papa’s bedside. I played this song; something I hadn’t shown a lot of people, and a story I had been pining over trying to pen for years. Today, that story belongs to you.
photography by: Nova Photography
design by: SPECTRUMM Animations
composed by: Axel Ljung
lyrics by: Amir Angelo Oliver
performed by: Amir Royale
produced by: Axel Ljung
exec. produced by: Prince Royale
music consultant: Bob Power
arranged by: Amir Royale
mixed by: Amir Royale
mastered by: Amir Royale
musical key: A major
NEW YORK — Friday, September 22nd, 2023 — Amir Royale, a multi-hyphenate actor, recording artist, filmmaker, and entertainment entrepreneur, released his new single “Once Upon A Time,” a profoundly personal and introspective song that drew inspiration from his family history.
Click here to listen to “Once Upon A Time.”
“Once Upon A Time” is a hip-hop/jazz-influenced single, blending Royale’s usual heartfelt sincerity and wordsmith lyricism, with smooth, new mesmerizing melodies. The song delves into the themes of love, longing, and the power of perseverance, evoking a sense of nostalgia for the past while also celebrating the beauty of our current existence. Across three verses (each representing different generations with unique perspectives), Royale weaves together the story of his ancestral lineage and how he became the artist he is today.
“Every day I think about how many miracles it took for us all to arrive on Earth the way we did. There were countless struggles, triumphs, romances, and crazy little decisions in between that none of us had any say in,” Royale said. “Whenever I meet the person I fall in love with and raise the child I eventually hope to have, that very same miracle is going to happen all over again. I just knew for a very long time — I really needed to make a song about that feeling.”
The record paints a captivating picture of the human experience, inviting listeners to reflect on their own commitments to family, legacies, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment in an ever-evolving world. Royale released “Once Upon A Time” on the anniversary of his grandfather, Robert Oliver Jr.’s passing (September 22nd, 2021). The song was in turn dedicated to Royale’s grandfather, as well as his grandmother, Martha E. Oliver, who recently passed away in early February.
Royale returned to numerous roles during the creation of “Once Upon A Time,” including being the lead songwriter, melodist, and arranger, as well as mixing and mastering the record himself. Production for the single was handled entirely by Epidemic Sounds associated artist Axel Ljung. Additionally, renowned record producer Bob Power (A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, etc.), whom Royale studied under while attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, serves as a music consultant for the track. “Once Upon A Time” was predominantly recorded, mixed, and mastered at Splendor Palaces Screen & SoundWorks (Royale’s home studio in Saint Albans, Queens).
The promotional artwork for “Once Upon A Time” features a photo taken in 1961 of Royale’s grandparents Robert Oliver Jr. & Martha E. Oliver. The couple are seen embracing in front of their newly purchased home in Saint Albans, Queens. This same house would go on to be Royale’s childhood residence, previously being featured in Royale’s February 2020 hip-hop single, “Hold it Down (Freestyle).” The image was designed for SPECTRUMM Animations, with the lead photo being refurbished and digitized by NYC photography studio Nova Photography, LLC.
“Once Upon A Time” follows Royale’s 2023 releases of his alternative R&B single “Pretty Bird” in March, the sensuous hip hop record “Pruane” in February, and the masterful, electronic pop-jazz duet “Phonics” in January. Prior to that, Royale released his 5-track Stories of the Lost, Rich & Tormented EP in December 2022, the certified dance banger “For A Day” in February 2022, and the thought-provoking masterpiece “Paradox” in Spring 2021. Royale previously released a flurry of projects in 2020, such as his debut horror/comedy short film Les Poissons Morts, and the “hip-pop” infused electronic hit “Turnin You Out” (which was a collaboration with fellow NJ/NY polymath and pop singer-songwriter/producer DOMENICO). Furthermore, Royale re-released his debut 2015 mixtape Magnificent, released the surreal short film drama Please Stop Calling Me (starring A Beautiful Noise Broadway star Kalonjee Gallimore), and acted in the comedy sitcom podcast NEXT STOP. Royale also dropped the soulful hip-hop record “Hold it Down (Freestyle),” and his debut emotional single “People Say” in the early months of 2020.
Cover Art for “Once Upon A Time”
Click here to listen to the record.
is a multi-talented actor, recording artist, filmmaker, and entertainment entrepreneur with M. StageScene Communications, Corp. Royale is a graduate and adjunct professor of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (where he also earned a minor in Cinema Studies). Royale also is a graduate of the acclaimed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where he studied Drama. Royale hails from St. Albans, Queens — a neighborhood that was once home to many legendary musicians, such as James Brown, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, A Tribe Called Quest, and Count Basie.