Gabriel Royal

  • Memorial Union
  • 800 Langdon St.
  • Madison, WI 53706
  • Phone: 608-265-ARTS (2787).

With humble beginnings in the New York subway circuit, cellist and singer-songwriter Gabriel Royal developed a relaxed-jazz and soulful-pop sound in response to the rapid pace at which modern urban life moves.

Becoming a musician and subway performer was not was not an obvious career path for the certified visual arts teacher. Shuffling his way home one day, through the dense and noisy New York City platform with only a single dollar in his pocket, Royal heard what he deemed a “pretty crappy” cello player. Upon getting closer, Royal discovered the performer’s bag had $20 in it. “That was twenty times as much as I had at the time,” Royal recollects. So he went home, got his cello and went back to the subway to take a chance. That first night he made $30.

“His voice is soft and sweet and proves the perfect antidote to screeching trains and squealing kids." - The Huffington Post

Influenced by Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach, John Legend and Janelle Monae, Royal’s “grown-up lullabies” bridge the gap between classic soul music and contemporary pop. His musical style is undeniably fresh yet still somehow familiar.