I had the pleasure to interview Bad Royale, a DJ and producer group based in Southern California that has been killing the game in bass music and moombahton in the last year. Comprised of Maor Levi, Bruce Karlsson formerly of Norin & Rad, Kevin Wild, and Elias Ghosn, the three former trance DJs and their roommate have become pioneers in 2015. Set to play Infinity NYE 2016 in San Diego this New Year’s Eve, these guys are the kings of innovation and hard work, releasing original tracks left and right while dishing out Caribbean Bass. Here’s what they had to say.
You guys have been making a ton of moves this year, how did Bad Royale get started?
It started out as a joke. We all lived together and it was a drunken night and we just thought what if we tried a different style of music. It started to get serious when Diplo invited us to send our music to his label. We literally chased Diplo down in Las Vegas after a show where we were able to give him a USB filled with our music. That’s how we got involved with Mad Decent.
How is it like working with Mad Decent?
They are great people to work with because they are fun and easy to get along with. We see them as friends and we try to go up as much as possible to just hangout and kick it with a few drinks. It’s not always about music with them. They also have the best social media in terms of comedy, which is a great fit for us. We are just goofy people.
You guys have a unique music style, Kingstep. How would you define that?
Kingstep is a word we are phasing out in 2016. We’ve moved on to calling our sound “Caribbean Bass” because we were trying to infuse a lot of Caribbean music into our tracks. We just use a lot of crazy sounds and work with different genres to come up with something amazing. It just works out.
What is the inspiration behind the artwork on the EP’s and the four kings?
We wanted to tell a story with our artwork. Each EP illustrates a story and the four kings represent each of us and our different backgrounds.
You guys really made 2015 your bitch, releasing over 30 original tracks with more to come. How has the journey been?
By the end of the year we will have 47 tracks up and we’re not going to stop. But it’s been wild and pretty smooth since the four of us all have our own talent, which allowed us to really focus on making music. We are in Trinidad right now working with artists and producers to come up with some awesome music and to allow our sound to be influenced a little bit. In general 2015 was a time for us to learn from our mistakes and be more prepared. We already have a game plan for 2016 and it’s going to be a lot more organized and better.
With the amount of music you guys are producing, what is a typical day in the studio like?
With four people working together it gets pretty hectic, but we get a lot of work done. We are all producers with a lot of experience, so it’s easy to start a new track and get shit done. There’s a lot of arguing, but that means there’s more quality control. When you make a track and have three people say that it fucking sucks, it really ensures the quality of our music and keeps us on the same page. Studio-wise we organize a lot of sounds and always have an idea to work with, but even then when we open a new project, we start from scratch.
How do you feel when people tell you “quality over quantity?”
People who say that can’t do both. Every track we finish is not because we are rushing to release stuff. We’ve thrown away 100 times more tracks than we released and we have had times where we worked on a track for 7 days but then in one day we made a track that is better. We see the people and the environment and we work on what we want not what the industry wants. That’s how most people in the Caribbean work, it’s about the freedom not the money.
Are you guys really from Magicland?
Legend has it that we live in the Matterhorn in Disneyland, but really we call San Diego home.
What’s next for you guys?
We are going on tour Dec. 1 and we are also releasing our newest EP, “Before Common Era.” The upcoming EP is going to have a lot more diversity, some Caribbean future, reggae rap, and trap.
Do you guys have any final words?
Make sure the world knows that Kevin is uglier than the rest of us. Also if Glori is reading this, Elias says “hi!”
Bad Royale will be going on tour starting Dec. 1 and if you are in the San
Diego Area, you can catch them lighting it up at Infinity NYE 2016 in San Diego
on Dec. 31. To stay up to date on these talented producers, be sure to follow
To purchase tickets to Infinity NYE 2016 before they sell out, click here!