Music News & Reviews

Fly Moon Royalty to open Bumbershoot with their distinctive sound

Fly Moon Royalty is such an amalgamation of so many distinct musical forms, it makes it difficult to affix a single label to them. Funk, soul, rap, R&B, rock, hip-hop — minus the kitchen sink, there’s hardly a single thing you can’t find in what they do.

The duo of singer Adra Boo and emcee Mike “Action J” Sylvester first met at Mel’s Market in Seattle a few years back. While they were both in their own outfits at the time, they couldn’t help but notice the chemistry between them. Their influences were different, but their passion for music was stimulating enough for them to try their hand at collaboration, and Fly Moon Royalty was born.

With their latest EP, “Unfinished Business,” the group has taken their eclecticism to new heights. “This record was a fragment of different things taken from a lot of different time periods,” Sylvester said.

The real gem of their new album is the collection’s single “Piece of Me,” which can most adequately be described as a 21st century spiritual successor to the Stevie Wonder funk classic “Sir Duke.”

“The day we recorded it, Adra came in and it wasn’t that song yet,” Sylvester said. “It was those lyrics but we sat there and she said, ‘I’m just not feeling it.’ ”

Not ready to give up yet, Sylvester decided to pull out a funky bass groove that he’d been working on. It provided the creative spark that gave new energy to the number. “It was originally supposed to be this slow, melancholy song, but then I went, ‘Well, you know, I have this,’ ” he said. “She just sat there quietly — she’ll play it out and sing it in her head — and then she just flipped it and busted out the first verse. ...”

It was a breakthrough moment for the band, but one that doesn’t play to their overall creative process. Though only five songs long, “Unfinished Business” is a very thoughtful, precisely composed collection of material. “I don’t generally try to go down the improvised route, but sometimes when you do improvise, you get these beautiful things that you’d never come up with if you sat there and overthought it.”

To hear Fly Moon Royalty, you’ll have to get to Bumbershoot early: They’re slotted as the first act of the entire three-day festival.

“That’s just how it goes,” Sylvester said. “What we’re going to do is something like a breakfast show and we’re gonna serve free waffles and free coffee. It’s a continental breakfast with Fly Moon Royalty!”

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