Interview // Broke Royals

photo via Sound Snap

DC-based electro pop duo Broke Royals have been performing together since 2014. Philip Basnight and Colin Cross connected through their love of music, but they didn’t realize how far their music could take them until their first single “About Time” hit airwaves and went viral in Thailand during a time of political hardship. Since then, Basnight and Cross have been writing and recording songs. They’ve also been touring with artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and Car Seat Headrest.

So far this year, Broke Royals have been recording a new self titled album, which is set to release on November 17th. The band’s first release off the album was “As Long As I Can See.” They worked with Penguin Prison on a remix, which was released this Monday.

We spoke with Broke Royals about their new album and how they are giving back to their community. Check it out here!

BCT: How did the two of you connect musically and decide to create music together?

Philip Basnight: We met in college on the music programming board so right from the jump we connected over a shared love of music. Colin built a studio and, after mentioning I was writing an EP, invited me to record in his studio. Free studio time so that he could use the songs in a demo for new clients. We had no idea it would turn into something much bigger. But we had a blast and the momentum just kept growing.

BCT: Tell us a little bit about “As Long As I Can See.” What inspired you to write the song?

Philip Basnight: The song was about the joy and relief of seeing someone you love after a long day. That feeling of butterflies when you notice them as soon as they walk in the room. We’re on the road a lot and this feeling is something we’re both familiar with. One situation I had in mind is when you see your partner in the audience at one of your shows after you haven’t seen them all week. The joy that brings definitely was part of the inspiration for this song.

BCT: Visually, “As Long As I Can See” is different than anything else I’ve ever seen before. Why did you choose to incorporate sign language into the video?

Philip Basnight: We wanted to build on the idea of a visual connection. We had the idea of highlighting non-verbal communication through ASL and Scott Hansen, the director, really ran with this project. He found these amazing actors and locations to create something special.

BCT: I heard that you will be donating the profit from the first week of album sales to the Nile DiMarco Foundation. Why is this foundation so close to your heart?

Philip Basnight: My sister works with deaf students. She’s very passionate about her work and really inspired the whole thing. We went on her recommendation with the Nile DiMarco Foundation.

BCT: Tell us a little bit about Penguin Prison’s remix of “As Long As I Can See.” How did this opportunity come about? How do you think the remix breathes new life into the song?

Philip Basnight: We’re so excited about this remix. We’ve been fans of Penguin Prison for a long time so working together was a dream. Our version relies heavily on a big minor chord at the beginning of each progression but the Penguin Prison remix dances around a really bouncy synth riff. That still floors me. Plus, the song is a banger. Certifiably fresh and ready for the club.

BCT: Tell us about the album! What can your listeners expect? How does it differ from that of previous releases?

Philip Basnight: This album is truly a culmination of all of our releases thus far. We wrote within the sound we have been honing over several years while incorporating new, bigger production elements than ever before. This is truly the most defined Broke Royals album we’ve ever released.

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