We first introduced you to singer songwriters Britroyal back in September. Made up of twin brothers Kais and Mazin Oliver, they have since released their debut album London through PledgeMusic. After being exclusively available to Pledgers for the past few months, the guys are now ready to unleash their album to the rest of the world!
To celebrate the global release of London, we caught up with Kais and Mazin to talk about the album, their inspirations and how they came to call themselves Britroyal!
Congratulations on releasing your debut album! You worked with PledgeMusic to crowd fund the album, how did you find this experience?
Thank you so much! We’re so excited about the global release! When we set about planning the new album we had quite a few options… but after a discussion with the guys over at PledgeMusic, where they explained to us their visions and how they bring the fans into the forefront of the whole experience, we knew they were the right people for us to collaborate with! Being music fans ourselves, the idea of actually being involved in the making of a record from start to finish and being allowed on the journey with an artist, in the studio with them, being a part of their everyday work on an album- we just loved the idea!
PledgeMusic were fantastic, they are run by music people so they really understand how special the bond is between artist and fan and the support we received from them was brilliant! The daunting part of PledgeMusic is that you’re asking fans to support you on a project in advance…. it’s not the traditional method where an artist goes away and makes an album, releases it, and then based on the first single and other song clips, the public then decide if they want to buy the record. You’re asking them to make an early commitment to support you, on something they haven’t heard yet.
It’s a real trust issue of how much your fans believe in you and love the kind of music you make. We were so lucky that we have such amazing fans and their support from minute one of the crowdfunding was just incredible and the whole process was made so easy. Within literally two weeks we had hit our target goal and by the end of the campaign we had gone way above and beyond! We were blown away by the support and belief in us from our fan base!
What is your favourite song from the album and why?
Mazin: I think for me my favourite has to be ’Stronger’. I can remember Kais and I both writing those lyrics together and how they just flew out so quickly. It’s a song about moving on, about becoming better and wiser from the pain of something, and how in the end everything will be okay. I think it really sets the tone for the album, it’s a record that’s uplifting and positive.
Kais: For me it definitely has to be between ‘Defiant’ as it’s so musically different for us and also ‘What Matters Most’ as that was written from a really personal experience, one that really shaped my life. I’m looking forward to telling the story behind it when we play out live!
Do you have a favourite lyric that you’ve written?
I think one lyric that seems to really have resonated with people and they’ve written us tweets and messages about it, is the lyrics in the song ’Change’… “Its never too late to dream”. We love that idea that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are in life, it really is never too late to go for your dreams, to push for what you want.
You recorded most of your album out in L.A, what was that experience like?
We love LA, it’s a vibrant and exciting place to make music. We recorded this album with J.R. Richards of Dishwalla, who is the most talented guy we know, he is such a phenomenal songwriter and producer and we just click together musically. We stayed long periods with him and his family, his wife Min is truly wonderful and a brilliant A&R executive and so we were able to lean on her expertise, which was invaluable! Waking up at 6 am every day becomes a bit easier when the sun is shining as opposed to London’s rainy, grey skies! Haha!
You’ve worked with big names such as J.R. Richards, is there anyone else that you would like to work with in the future?
Oh so many! The list is too long for this! Haha! But we would love to work with Ryan Tedder one day as we are the biggest fans of his work!
What inspires you when writing songs?
The aim for us it to keep them as real and relatable as possible. We take inspiration from life experiences, things that happen to our friends and family. All we really want to do is write a song that people can hopefully relate to and maybe in some small way it might help them.
What inspired you to call yourselves Britroyal?
Haha, we get asked this a lot! It all really began when we first went over to LA a few years ago and starting our whole musical journey. (Luckily when we were younger we got a chance to meet the Queen face to face and have a chat with her as she was a patron of our school and came to visit one day). Our manager in LA at the time joked that as we had met the Queen we were technically royalty haha!
Anyway as we are twins people find it easier to categorise us as one person (as annoying as that can be! Haha!) and people over in LA who we were working with would refer to us as “The Brits”, they would always say oh “the Brits are here” when we arrived at the studio every day. As time went on our manager starting saying oh the “Britroyals” are here and it was a name that kind of stuck and everyone started calling us by that!
Where would be your dream venue to perform at?
You know for us there has always been one place we have dreamed of playing, ‘Shepherds Bush Empire’ in London. We just love that venue and have seen some of our favourite artists play there and it’s always held a special place in our hearts.
What is your earliest memory of music?
As children our mum bought us stand up microphones, you know kids ones, and every single night we would place them in the living room, gather our entire family, dim the lights and then proceed to give them a one hour show, singing away our fave songs over and over! Our poor family! Haha!
Who are your current favourite artists?
We’re big fans of so many artists, but I guess we’ll go with who we listen to over and over in the car, on our iPods etc and that would have to be OneRepublic and The Script! Oh and right now our iPods are both blasting out a country artist called David Nail’s latest album! He’s great!
If you had the chance to perform with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
We have always said we would love to perform with Richard Marx! He’s been the biggest inspiration to us and is the main reason why we wanted to be singer/songwriters! Growing up, his music influenced and helped us so much!
When can we expect to see some live shows from you?
We’re hoping to be out playing live sometime at the end of February, beginning of March! We can’t wait!
How close are you to your fans?
We’re extremely close to them! Their support is the reason we can do what we do. We try our absolute best to be really accessible and available on social media and always connecting and chatting with everyone! It’s still mind-blowing to us that we have so many amazing people supporting us!
When you’re not making music, what do you like to do?
We love to binge watch tv shows and hit Netflix haha! We’re also big Arsenal supporters and we try to watch as many games as we can!
Seeing as you’re twins, do you have any bad habits that annoy the other twin?
Oh so many! But none that we’re willing to admit to in public! Haha!
Tell us something not many people know about you.
We both have a degree in business from Bristol University!
Thank you to Britroyal for their time and good luck with the album release!
London is available to download from iTunes.
Photo credit: Min Reid-Richards