Oct. 18, 2022

Royal & The Serpent

We're in-studio with Royal & The Serpent! Royal & The Serpent joined Brendan ahead of her Boston show with Demi Lovato! Brendan and RATS immediately clicked upon meeting which led to an awesome interview. Royal & The Serpent talked about new music, the HOLY FVCK tour, collabing with Demi Lovato on 'Eat Me', her growing success, When We Were Young Fest, and more. You can listen to our favorite Royal & The Serpent tracks streaming atop the Music You're Missing Spotify playlist now!

Music You're Missing is an artist interview style music podcast and Spotify playlist curated by Brendan Jeannetti. For more information, visit www.musicyouremissing.org

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Brendan (02:18):

The met last night. Boston. Today, Toronto in two days. Yeah. How are we doing? How many hours of sleep are we working on

Royal & The Serpent (02:27):

Right now? Last night we got back at like three 30 and we had Ben call it nine. So I don't, I don't know how to count very well, but it wasn't a lot <laugh>. No, but it's okay. I mean, like, it's crazy. Um, I have tons of energy somehow. Well, I guess I slept in the van a little bit. A lot, a bit. I slept the whole way. Drive. I, I slept the drive here. I'm not gonna lie to you.

Brendan (02:47):

I feel like, I mean, if anyone's gonna sleep, it's gotta

Royal & The Serpent (02:49):

Be you. It has to be me. Yeah. I kicked everybody else out of my row and I was

Brendan (02:52):

Like, are we like vertical

Royal & The Serpent (02:53):

Or are we We're vertical. Yeah. I can't sleep horizontal. I think it's Can you

Brendan (02:58):


Royal & The Serpent (02:59):

Wait. I mean, what's vertical? Wait, which one's which <laugh>.

Brendan (03:02):

Like if you're laying in a bed, would that be vertical or

Royal & The Serpent (03:05):

Horizontal? No. Okay. No. Yep. Rewind. I'm horizontal. I can't sleep vertically, but you know, like on a plane, like, can you sleep on a plane?

Brendan (03:12):

Oh no. But I will take a ton of like, sleeping stuff and then I'm like, do one of these.

Royal & The Serpent (03:16):

Okay. That's smart. I haven't thought about that.

Brendan (03:18):

It's actually, I don't know if

Royal & The Serpent (03:19):

It's smart. I sleep in a ball, like I curl up and I put my feet up and I Oh, that's comfort. Yeah.

Brendan (03:23):

I see. I used to do like, um, like a straight up downward dog in my sleep as a kid. Oh. And I feel like sometimes it comes out, like sometimes will wake up and I'm like, Oh my God.

Royal & The Serpent (03:32):

You're just like standing up on your bed. Like in yoga clothes. Yeah.

Brendan (03:36):

I'm in some type of pose, let me tell you. But yeah. Um, it is, uh, I, I recommend that if you've,

Royal & The Serpent (03:41):

If you've never, Okay, yeah. I'll try that next time. I'll try that. In the Van <laugh>. Yeah.

Brendan (03:44):

In the van. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, but what is the actual day off on tour look like for you? I know it's not often if that

Royal & The Serpent (03:50):

Happens. Well, tomorrow I have a day off, but I'm flying to Denver <laugh>. Yeah. And I have to, I don't have to, I get to, um, play a song with Lucy Child. We were just talking about loosely child at Red Rocks, so That's so sick. This tour has been really cool cuz all my days off have been filled with like, fly here and play another show. So it's not really a day off. Yeah. It's like, keep going, but it's, I don't know how I am. Like I love it and I have tons of energy and I could, I feel like I could keep going forever. Good.

Brendan (04:15):

Have you played Red Rocks before?

Royal & The Serpent (04:16):

No, I've never been to Red Rocks before.

Brendan (04:18):

No way.

Royal & The Serpent (04:19):

Have you

Brendan (04:19):

Been there? No. Well, so as I told you, I was supposed to go to a music festival right in the vineyard and I broke my foot Uhhuh the following week. I was supposed to see Lane eight at Red Rocks and like break my Red Rocks virginity. And then I broke my foot. So no, I haven't been,

Royal & The Serpent (04:32):

Oh no, you didn't go. No.

Brendan (04:33):

Oh. But now you're freaking playing it.

Royal & The Serpent (04:35):

Yeah. One

Brendan (04:35):

Song. So are you like stoked or you nervous? What's the deal?

Royal & The Serpent (04:40):

I'm so freaking excited. I'm not nervous. I, I played, um, the song with them at Coachella and I was freaking out about that and I was really nervous, but I feel like this can't be that scary comparatively <laugh>.

Brendan (04:53):

That's so cool. I mean that I feel like you're really in your, you're in your bucket list era. You're doing the shit people want to do.

Royal & The Serpent (04:59):

I do feel like I'm in my bucket list era, actually. I mean, I like write a goals list like every year at the top of the year and it's been like a lot of the same repetitive goals that like, if I didn't achieve them last year and I feel like this year I've been checking off a lot of them. Hell yeah. Which is cool.

Brendan (05:14):

Yeah. So what's left?

Royal & The Serpent (05:17):

Um, I really wanna tour Europe, so <laugh>. That would be cool.

Brendan (05:23):

That seems like we're maybe alluding to something that

Royal & The Serpent (05:25):

Hasn't been No, I don't know. I don't, I'm, I just, it's on my bucket list.

Brendan (05:29):

<laugh>. Okay. Okay. Okay. I feel that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Um, I, I'm assuming you've traveled to Europe.

Royal & The Serpent (05:34):

Yeah. Um, I actually went to London maybe a month or two ago. Um, my boyfriend's band was playing. They had like Redding and Leads Vest and they played some shows there and I went, I was there for like four days. I booked my fight like two hours before I left and I was like, I'm coming

Brendan (05:48):

<laugh>. That's sick. That was fun. Uh, well, like I said, bug list era. Obviously you're on tour with Demi Lovato right now. Yeah. Holy fuck. Literally <laugh>.

Royal & The Serpent (05:56):

Oh my God.

Brendan (05:57):

The holy fuck tour. The

Royal & The Serpent (05:59):

Holy fuck tour. I can't stop saying holy fuck.

Brendan (06:01):

So I know that was kind of your initial reaction when you got the opportunity to work with Demi. Yeah.

Royal & The Serpent (06:06):

No shit.

Brendan (06:07):

And then you released a song with her.

Royal & The Serpent (06:09):

Yeah. Yeah. I, um, I mean, I mean I've been a fan of Demi since I was probably 13. Um, which makes sense cuz I think she started when she was 15 and she's two years older than me, so since she existed Wow. In our, as a famous human singer person. Um, Brock <laugh>. Exactly. Well even there was that show before Camp

Brendan (06:28):

Ball rings. Yes.

Royal & The Serpent (06:30):

<laugh>. Yes, exactly. And it was like, it always was annoying cuz it was only half the screen. I always wanted it to be the full screen. Cause like the credits were rolling. Anyways, I've loved her forever. And, um, I freaked out when I got the call to go work on the project and I freaked out the morning that I was supposed to go in to write for the project. And I tried to cancel because I was so nervous. And, um, I'm so glad that my team was like, Bitch, you better be fucking joking <laugh>. Uh, and we did it. We wrote a song. It was terrifying. There was a whole camera crew there recording us. And, um, I had to be really on it. And we wrote the song originally just for them. And, um, then I got a text a couple days later and I was like, Do you wanna hop on this? And I was like, You better be joking.

Brendan (07:12):

That's wild. So you didn't even know that you were gonna be involved at the time? No,

Royal & The Serpent (07:16):

No. Of course. I mean, I didn't believe it really? Yeah. Until it was happening. Um, I lost my voice after I, I cut the vocals because it was Yeah. The hardest song I've ever sang in my life.

Brendan (07:25):

I feel like that must be hard to play. Like you've probably have to vocal training to play that

Royal & The Serpent (07:29):

On top. Yeah. Yeah. I warm up a lot before, before it. It's, it's a, it's a tough one. Do

Brendan (07:33):

You feel like that has kind of given you freedom to go more in that direction? I feel like your new stuff's really like

Royal & The Serpent (07:41):

<laugh>. Um, I mean, I love screaming. I love going crazy. I love all of that. I think, um, yeah, I mean this project that I'm putting up now is, is compared to the last one, I feel like it's not as like high in my register, which is easier to sing on stage. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but it's definitely like rock and fucking fun to jam out too.

Brendan (08:00):

I'm really excited for the show. You're

Royal & The Serpent (08:02):

Coming. Oh yeah. Oh fuck Yeah. Bet.

Brendan (08:04):

Fuck yeah. Holy fuck. What up? Yeah, like I said, the Broken Foot, I haven't been going to shows. I'm finally back and I'm, I'm so stoked that this is like my first big show back.

Royal & The Serpent (08:11):

How's the foot feeling?

Brendan (08:12):

I'm gonna fucking take the boot off and you're

Royal & The Serpent (08:14):

Gonna wave it around. Oh my god. Okay. Yeah, yeah. Toss it on stage. I'll catch it. Thank you. Yeah.

Brendan (08:19):

Um, I wanna talk about the new music specifically. Do have my handy lyric sheet here. Okay. Because there is one lyric I was listening to at mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was actually listening to it yesterday. Okay. And I was like in a little grumpy mood mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and it was all worked related, all corporate bs mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then this came up and I was like, this is a reality check. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, our dreams are dead. The, and the thing is, I'm not gonna say it as graciously as you say it, <laugh>, our dreams are dead. The internet killed conversations, personality and friends. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, we're all depressed and self obsess. Our lives are wasted on pornography and rent. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> one. I love that. Thank you. I feel like that is so very explicitly stated and it's something that a lot of like, it's just like what the state of society is, especially for our generation. So I'm kind of wondering what is the head space you were in when you wrote that and where are we now when we look back on those lyrics? Hmm.

Royal & The Serpent (09:10):

Well, I mean, I feel like it's true, you know? Um, and I guess throughout a lot of this project I was still really sad and the goal was sort of to like not be sad anymore. Yeah. I think I was tired of writing music that was about being sad and I wanted to sort of like write some music that was about figuring out maybe why I'm sad and how to not be sad anymore. Um, cuz for a really long time I was just writing like depression music I guess I would call it. Um, but I think I was just sort of like, I mean, as an artist especially, you have to be on your phone all the time. I feel like. Um, you have to constantly be posting and um, it can be addicting. Like not only is it a job, but it's hard to like put it away. Yeah. I think, and I don't know, um, I think I have gotten happier post writing this project and that is really cool cuz I don't think I've been happy in like a really long time. So. Oh yeah. I feel grateful that, um, I think the music was healing in some ways. Um, but yeah, I mean that lyric is, it just felt right. It felt true, you know?

Brendan (10:21):

No, I do because when I heard that, obviously I was familiar with the song and then I like was really listening to it and I was like, Oh, this makes it, like a lot of my problems aren't necessarily real. Like, you know what I mean? They're like corporate problems.

Royal & The Serpent (10:33):

Well yeah. We're all like, sort of tapped into the same web of, of whatever it is. Terrible connection. Yeah. It's like we're connected but we're also not Yeah. You know, I feel like that's, that the lyric really is about how, um, we're all more connected than ever. Right. We're on our phones, we're like, I could hit you up and talk. I could be on the other side of the world and we could still be connected. But at the same time I feel like we're more disconnected from ourselves and from earth, let's say. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> earth,

Brendan (11:03):

<laugh>, <laugh>. I

Royal & The Serpent (11:05):

Understand. But you know, than ever. Um, then like the shit that really matters, I guess. Yeah.

Brendan (11:08):

And we also have the opportunity to craft what we say and like how we want to be. So it's like, are you actually being, if you're crafting it

Royal & The Serpent (11:17):

Or you can hide behind it and you can say terrible things because you don't have to say it to somebody's face. I mean, that's huge too. You know, there's lots

Brendan (11:24):

Of That's my next era. I'm gonna be a hater. Ooh. Okay.

Royal & The Serpent (11:27):

Sleigh, <laugh>

Brendan (11:28):

<laugh>. A kid. A kid. Um, you brought a special guest along. Can you tell me more?

Royal & The Serpent (11:34):

Oh yeah. Okay. Um, so this is Francine Augustine the third. Um, there, there's not a one or two, but we named her the third cuz it felt fitting. She's like my little tour buddy. Um, I got her, it was actually funny. I like was ordering all these clothes. This company left hand makes like a bunch of of really cool clothes. Sometimes I wear them on stage and they made this bunny and I wanted the bunny. And my boyfriend was like, Don't get the bunny. You don't need the bunny. And I was like, I want the bunny. And he is like, You don't need the bunny. And I was like, I'm gonna buy the bunny. And she's been with me this whole trip. I bring her out on stage with me, I clip her to my mic stand. Um, there was a girl in the crowd last night that had a sign that was like, Can I have your bunny? I was like, No, bunny. I'm so sorry. Um, I tossed her a rat though. And, and she liked that. So <laugh>, this is Francine.

Brendan (12:24):

I love, I absolutely love that. Thanks. Speaking of rats mm-hmm. Kind of hand in hand with this mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what's our association with rats? I kind of love the imagery we have with

Royal & The Serpent (12:33):

The rats. Thank you. Well Royal and the serpent spells out rats.

Brendan (12:39):

I've never blast cause it's an ampersand.

Royal & The Serpent (12:42):

Yeah, I know. Well it's funny, like I also didn't realize for probably two years of having the, the name Royal on the Serpent because I've always, always used the ampersand. And then someone on my team sent out some email blasts that they messed it up and they used an A instead of am Amber Percent. But they were using like the acronym and everyone on my team was like, Oh shit, snakes eat rats. Whoa. It's like the whole thing's meta man. So, Cause it's like full circle. That is

Brendan (13:09):

Really cool.

Royal & The Serpent (13:09):

That's snakes eat

Brendan (13:11):

Rats. That sounds like you would've pretty planned it.

Royal & The Serpent (13:14):


Brendan (13:14):


Royal & The Serpent (13:15):

That's, I wish I was that until it's

Brendan (13:16):

A happy accident.

Royal & The Serpent (13:17):

Happy accident. Most things are.

Brendan (13:19):

That is an interesting question too about, um, the stylizing of your name. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, do you get, are you an ampersand or are you an and gal?

Royal & The Serpent (13:26):

You know, I mean, for a really long time I was an ampersand gal, but I think now that rats exist, I have to use the a it's, and you know, it's, and all the

Brendan (13:33):

Way I was having a bit of a dramatic moment because like the Amand wasn't in the font package that we had and I was like, I don't know man, I don't really wanna have to clear this one with their team. <laugh>, I'm so anal about like, if, if an artist spells their name, like if it's all lowercase and it's like it's all lowercase for God dang

Royal & The Serpent (13:51):

Reason. Yeah, no, I respect that. No, but this looks great. I mean the and is has made a big comeback I would say in the past year or two since rats exist.

Brendan (13:58):

Well, yeah. Yeah. Um, so clearly we've, we've discussed all of the crazy shit that you've got going, like I said, like you're only on an upwards trajectory and it's a really exciting time for you. Thanks. When we were young. Festival is coming. I'm just in. I'm jealous that you get to play let alone obviously go.

Royal & The Serpent (14:17):

I can't believe I get to go.

Brendan (14:18):

Yeah. Are you, what's like our thoughts going into this?

Royal & The Serpent (14:21):

Okay, well thought number one. Paramore. <laugh>. That's it. Um, thought number two, My chemical romance. That's it. But thought number, thought number three. Like, I don't know, I, I think there's like a little part of me that like, kind of hopes it's gonna be the Fyre Fest of our generation. <laugh>. Like, I, like I want it, you know, it like broke the internet. It

Brendan (14:42):

Did break

Royal & The Serpent (14:42):

The internet. Yeah. They already, did you see they already released a lineup for next year?

Brendan (14:46):


Royal & The Serpent (14:47):

They haven't even done this year. Yeah. They released a whole lineup for next year. 180 2. Yeah. Green

Brendan (14:51):

Day. Because I was, I obviously have been tuned into like, the online, I never really subscribed to it too much cuz it's like how much do these people actually know? But like I've tuned into it a little bit. Yeah. Um, did not see that they had the next

Royal & The Serpent (15:02):

Lineup. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm so excited. It's, it's,

Brendan (15:04):

I mean, yeah, you're on it. Like, let,

Royal & The Serpent (15:06):

I can't believe I'm on it. Yeah. People know what it is, which is crazy. I'm, I'm playing it. I can't wait to like see some of these bands though, you know? Cause I grew up on these bands. Yeah. So I feel like, um, more than even playing it, I'm just stoked that I get to go and watch some of these shows. Yeah.

Brendan (15:20):

I mean, I know. Is it, how does it feel to know that you're associated with such acts?

Royal & The Serpent (15:26):

I have a hard time believing stuff. Really? I'm like, there's no, Yeah. Like even when the, when I got asked to do the de tour, I was like, no, there's, there's no way that until I was literally on the stage on the first night, I was like, it's not happening <laugh>. There's no way that's me up there. That's really funny. But yeah, it's, I'm grateful. It's crazy. I, I don't know,

Brendan (15:45):

That's funny for me as a consumer because when I see your name on there, I'm like, Yeah. Like that just makes sense. Thanks. <laugh>.

Royal & The Serpent (15:52):

I don't know. Yeah. Uh, I mean, I, I don't know. I yeah. No, I can't believe it. Sorry. <laugh>

Brendan (16:01):

<laugh>, what's our set gonna look like? Are we, are we uh, doing a special festival set?

Royal & The Serpent (16:08):

I mean it'll probably be the same. We haven't, because we fly right from New York to, um, Vegas. Great. So we damn have to hop off the demi tour early to go play the festival. So it'll be the same. I mean, we won't have the big cheese on stage, which will be a bummer. Cause I don't think you can fly with the big, huge cheese.

Brendan (16:23):

I don't think so. Yeah. But <laugh> not on this economy. No,

Royal & The Serpent (16:27):

Definitely not <laugh>.

Brendan (16:29):

So, Okay. We've, we've, we've hit on the craziness that we got going on. You mentioned a potential European tour, but like what other No, I didn't, <laugh> You may be alluded to maybe one day traveling and also playing shows. What, like, like do we, do we have like a goal? Do we want to do like a late night talk show? Do we want to do like Aza Low? Like is there any industry goal that you really want to do?

Royal & The Serpent (16:52):

I mean all of those things. Yes. I really wanna do like one of those genius things where I talk about my lyrics. That'd be really cool. Oh, let's do it. Set it up. Um, nope, those are two big ones. Late night would be freaking cool. Um, Zalo, I mean I love those. I watch them all the time. But like anything like this, I just love Yeah. You know, like getting to talk to people and hang out and like, this is fun. This is like half the fun of doing what I do.

Brendan (17:18):

Yeah, it is. I mean I love obviously chatting with artists cuz you get to see them in a new light and when you bring them in this environment, it's funny to like laugh and giggle with them. Yeah. <laugh>. Yeah. Well anyhow, Royal and the Serpent. Yeah, it's been a pleasure chatting with you. I'm super stoked to see you on tour tonight in Boston with Demi. Me too. What should I expect?

Royal & The Serpent (17:37):

Um, geez, <laugh> and lots of fun. No, the show is amazing. I mean, uh, Demi said is unreal and I geek out every night in the green room and I watch the whole thing on the TV screen and I, I sing every word. So get ready for the night of your

Brendan (17:52):

Life. I love it. I love it. Well, thank you very much. Thank you. Woo. That was amazing. You so much. Yeah, so fun. I'm super, I'm so excited for the show tonight. Dead ass.


Royal & The SerpentProfile Photo

Royal & The Serpent

Ryan Santiago (born May 25, 1994), known professionally as Royal & the Serpent, is an American singer and songwriter. A New Jersey native, Ryan Santiago was born on May 25, 1994. Santiago took up competitive dance as a child, until she "shattered both heel plates" after jumping off a stage while performing when she was 14 years old. She subsequently delved into musical theater. In her teenage years, Santiago learned how to play the guitar and began writing songs.

At the age of 18, Santiago moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as a bartender in a restaurant. She has credited encouragement from a co-worker, who later became her first manager, for motivating her to pursue a professional career as a musician.
In 2017, Santiago independently released "Temperance", her debut single under the stage name Royal & the Serpent. On her moniker, she has explained that "'Royal & the Serpent' translates to 'Me + My Ego'". In 2018, she released her second single, "Together", and was featured on the song "Wicked" by music producer Tommee Profitt. By the end of 2019, she had signed with Atlantic Records.

"Overwhelmed", Royal & the Serpent's first single on Atlantic, was released in June 2020, and her debut EP Get a Grip was released in October. That year, Royal & the Serpent joined English singer Yungblud's Weird Time of Life virtual tour as a supporting act.

In 2022, Royal & The Serpent joined Demi Lovato for the 'HOLY FVCK' tour and released 'EAT ME' with the pop superstar.