Roucheon Iloyi is an extremely talented, Singer, rapper, songwriter and producer. Her new album ‘Love Royelle’ is one of the most highly anticipated underground records of 2012. On the album we see her delve deep into her personal life and emotions, to give us raw and moving lyrics, that will have you replaying this album over an over again . her words will completely resonate with you, and there is a track for everyone, whether you are looking for a heartfelt track or one that expresses the unspoken issues in society. The album is Produced by Smooflow and Roucheon herself, Love Royelle is a deeply personal album, running the gamut from affairs of the heart , set against a sonic backdrop displaying her remarkable talent.
This young native of Zimbabwe. paints a beautiful picture of soul combined with hip hop giving you a feast of great music to enjoy. Some have crowned her a queen who has reinstated the art of quality music with intellect.
Thisis50.com admiringly describes her as ” The next big thing coming out of the UK as she has documented her glorious, multi-faceted life on record. Love Royelle– like its author/protagonist, is emotional, strong, loving, and intelligent, while retaining a delicate, sensitive balance. This young woman steps fearlessly into the musical arena, dealing with subjects that are close to her heart.
Q&A with the FABulous Roucheon:
What artists give you inspiration for your music?
Roucheon-I would have to say my mum first because my mum was a singer and growing up I always saw my mum sing, so it was constantly around me. Also I’d say my mum first because she was a woman, I saw her in her element and she really loved music, so it was constantly around me, and then after my mum I think its whitney Houston, Sade, Anita Baker, you know all the amazing artists, Bob Marley, so many of the greats really inspire me.
FAB-How much of a role does your culture play in your music and your upbringing?
Roucheon- It means everything to me, because I feel really proud to be African, and I feel really proud generally, especially being overseas, I feel like I have more of a responsibility to be true to myself, because back home its like we know who we are, and here. I just feel like it’s important for me to credit my Culture all the time, and to me its so important because im so proud to be African, its such an amazing thing to be, so its like a part of my life.
FAB-I love the way you have a very neo soul feel to your music, what led you in that direction in terms of sound?
Roucheon- It was just a natural progression to be honest, I don’t know where I will continue to go, I might grow in different realms, but I think its just what I feel in me, I think it’s what I hear when I write my songs, it’s my choice of sound when I hear the beat, so it’s felt like its been a natural progression to go in that direction and people continue to remind me “this is very soulful, this is very soulful”. Personally its because of my inspirations, I love music that touches you , and so that comes across, but it feels so right and I feel very comfortable with it, I’d like to explore a bit more, but I think I’ll always be very soulful
FAB-What sort of writing process do you go through, when you begin a new album?
Roucheon- it depends on the place I’m in, but most of the time I’ll hear music I love, and once I hear the music, that inspires the melodies and then come the lyrics, depending on the mood of the song, sometimes if I’ve written the song before a beat, then I’ll have to look for a producer, ill have to look for sounds that compliment it. My lyrics are very personal I’m very much inspired by life, what goes on around is always constant, so the music has to match the mood most times, but I write all the time, I never stop writing, and I’ve always got a pen and paper on the bus, just wherever.
FAB-Do you try your best to project positive and intellectual messages in your music and lyrics?
Roucheon- Absolutely as a human being, I really believe in being a contribution to society, and as a women I feel like its important for me to have something to say that can contribute to us as a whole. I try to stay positive and nourishing to people, so when they remember me, and when they think about me they feel good about something I had to say, because in my personal life I live by that, you know I try to be a positive contribution to my family, to my children, just in life in general , and so I hope that that translates in my music as well, because I think life is difficult and you always need something to make you feel empowered.
FAB-Listening to your album, Power is one of my favourite tracks, you come across very conscious and political , in the sense that you put an emphasis on the goings on in society, what brought this about, because I love the flow of the track completely?
Roucheon- Again I think its just personal, its my personal feelings its my heartbeat in songs, when I see things on tv, when I see things in my community, when I see things in schools for children, when I see things that affect womanhood, everything that I see affects me. How I like to make a difference is through my songs, so I’m hoping that what I have to say is going to shed light and is going to bring changes, you know I want people to feel power, to feel powerful, because I think that as human beings we have so much more power that we credit ourselves for, we look towards the media and all these things that seem to be more powerful than us but we are the ones that make those things more powerful. So in my own small way I’m trying to say the things that I feel, and hope that they are going to have a domino effect, and so I think its just my natural heartbeat I feel things every day, and that’s honest, I see things that make me feel, and so I have to say something about it.
FAB-How hard if at all is it for you to tap into emotions so close to your heart, when you’re writing an album?
Roucheon- Well that just comes out, it usually just flies out, because, it’s something to do with the way I’m built, its like the music and the emotion they just come hand in hand, especially when I hear music that sort of gives me a feeling, music that’s sort of sad, or that makes me feel powerful. For example with ‘powerful’, when I heard the beat I immediately felt powerful, and I felt like I had to say something that’s going to make you feel how I felt when I heard the beat, so I think once I get in that zone and the music comes, its like oh yes ive got something to say. it’s life experiences as well, when you’ve gone through things in your life you don’t realise they are somewhere inside you, and then when you have an opportunity to be creative they just all come out, and so it effects me immediately once I hear music, when I see someone as well, and I see people going through things, and I need to say something about that, I need to make things better, I need to help, so that’s not hard for me.
FAB-What got you interested in wanting to be a musician in the first place, did you start of with poetry and then thought I want to make this real, in terms of music and being an artist?
Roucheon- I think growing up seeing my mum sing, I think I always wanted to be an entertainer, what I thought was an entertainer when I was small, I always thought I’d love to be a fashion model, you know when you’re young, you know all these things were in my mind, and always loved singing but I was very very shy. As I started to grow up, I met my husband who’s my husband now, when I was in my teens and my brother was an mc, and so they were very bold as some men are, and I was very shy and they encouraged me on the mc side of things, and said listen we should do this we should be a group, we should rap and all that kind of stuff and I think experience has sort of pushed me out of my comfort zone, I always wanted to hide away, but I think I had a passion for it because I never stopped wanting to sing, I was always writing songs in the corner, imagining myself performing. It was a natural desire from really really young, and then as I got older experiences just put me out, and then the first time I performed and I got a response, and people felt what I had to say, it was quite overwhelming but at the same time it was very liberating, and I thought wow this is what im called to do, this is what I want to do, so its probably in the genes I think, I think its just in me.
FAB-So in the next few years what kind of path do you see your music taking?
Roucheon- I really just want to stay true to myself, I want to effect more people , you know I want to be in a position where I can exchange what I have with other people, with other human beings you know they give me something and I give them something. I also have a passion to see the world, a passion to meet new people, I have a hunger to develop and learn from the things I see on my journey and so I think im excited, because I feel like there’s no limitations. I just want to give my best to my craft, and just continue to be creative, I mean I’m recording videos for the albums so hopefully I’ll have done that, and hopefully a few more albums will be done, and from there just expand the whole brand of what I’m doing, because I do other things as well including the music, so I try to keep everything together, and ive got passion for women and how they feel about themselves and beauty so I’m hoping to branch into that as well.
What’s FAB about your name?- Well my mum made my name, and she created the spelling as well , and a good couple of years ago I met a man from the Asian community, and he showed me a reference to my name, and he said my name means “the one who brings the light” , and so I’ve adopted that and I thought that was so beautiful , to me it was really fabulous, I feel really proud of that .
What is your country of origin?– I am from Zimbabwe
Your country of residence?– UK, South London
What is FAB about those two things?– Well Zimbabwe is my earth, my love, my land, it’s the place that I was born its amazing the people are beautiful, its juts rich and there’s so much that it has to contribute to the world. London England is a lovely mix of people that are diverse and from everywhere and everyone comes here with their piece of the world to contribute to the society, I’m proud to live here as well because I feel like its given me a lot of things, and I’m hoping that im giving back to it while I live here.
What is your occupation?-I like to refer to myself as a creative being because I am a singer, a songwriter, I produce and I’m an mc , as well as a designer I make jewelry and I design clothes, and thing likes that, and I’m also a writer I write poems and short stories, and I just do anything that involves creativity. Also I’m a full time mother and a married woman and so my children are a serious part of my life, and I hope to be a contribution to my society too. But my babies are the best part of my life I feel so privileged, I have three sons and im really really blessed to be able to be their mum.
What make you FAB?– That I recognise that I have a creator, that I don’t function in the world on my own, that I need God in my life and that love to me is my weapon of choice, to me that means everything, it means I can be powerful and that I can overcome many things in the life, and says to me that everyone around me including myself can do anything, and it means that all things are possible, so I’m thankful, really thankful, and its good to be here.
Watch some of her videos below:
Video of Roucheon’s son Khaliyl Iloyi rapping at 2years oldby