Dichotomy in a partnership is always tricky, but not for Seattle’s Fly Moon Royalty. Bleeding with all the heart and soul of blues and r&b, combined with the contemporary aesthetics of modern day electronica and hip hop, the collaboration of the Seattle-based duo is a perfectly fitting contradiction.
Comprised of soulful vocalist, Adra Boo and DJ/Producer/Emcee Action J, the two-piece are set to release their forthcoming EP, Unfinished Business, this coming February 18, 2014. Idling comfortably between the party ready glam of The Gossip, with the funk aesthetics of Gnarls Barkley, the EP is a progressive step forward for the band, and follows the release of 2012’s Dimensions EP and their stunning, self- titled debut LP in 2011.
Their self-titled release cemented Fly Moon Royalty as certified up and comers within the local Seattle music scene, with Seattle Magazine naming the enigmatic duo as one of the city’s Best New Bands, while City Arts voted them as best the city’s Best Local Band in 2012, following an Honorable Mention in the same category a year earlier. With a No. 5 debut on KEXP’s r&b charts, the band have since gone onto support the likes of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Macklemore, Slum Village, Robert Glasper, Nneka and Allen Stone.
While their backgrounds couldn’t be more different, the musical partnership of Fly Moon Royalty came about naturally. Often likened sonically to Janelle Monae, vocalist AdraBoo’s roots are planted firmly in musical theater. “I started to step out and sing in highschool – I got into theater, and whenever there was a musical, I was in! I learned the ins and outs of the stage, and went on to attend a theater training program, and then, through friends in the club scene, I started hosting.” Enter second half of the duo, Action J – a Grand Rapids, MI local and newcomer to Seattle, the all-round MC/DJ/producer threw himself into DJing straight after high school. “Ultimately, I just wanted to make beats. I had no mentors or anyone at all that could teach me, so I bought myself an MPC 2000 and taught myself how to sample. It wasn’t until I was taking a music program at the community college that I discovered my love for the piano. Before that moment I didn’t even know what Middle C was on a piano.”
Drawing inspiration from artists as diverse as J.Dilla and Bjork, to Stevie Wonder and Betty Davis, the duo quickly caught the attention of DeVon Manier, President of Seattle based indie Hip Hop label Sportn’ Life Music Group. Together, the two entities partnered to re-release the debut album as a joint effort, and currently have an ongoing management relationship with the band.
Behind the funk heavy basslines of opening track, “Piece of Me,” Adra explains that there’s more to the duo than meets the eye. “It’s the story of wanting to be seen and understood to the core, not just visually on the surface,” a perfect pretense to the following tracks, that flow to the Daft Punk-esque sounds of the electronically driven harmonies of, “DNA,” and the hip hop aesthetics of “Step Hard.” A flagrant not to the duos eccentric influence, Unfinished Business showcase Fly Moon Royalty’s strength in their familiar, yet in no way traditional approach to music.