Our Weekly Idol this time focuses on rock band Royal Pirates.

Royal Pirates are a Korean-American rock trio consisting of leading vocalist and guitarist Kim Moonchul , bassist James Lee and drummer Kim Sooyoon. Originally known as Fading From Dawn from 2004 – 2008, the band changed their name to Royal Pirates after the death of Moonchul’s brother Richard who was the previous bassist in the band, prior to James‘s joining in 2009.

Moonchul and Sooyoon posted a cover of “Time Is Running Out” by British prog rock band Muse on their Youtube channel in September 2008 and rock covers of well-known hit songs soon followed after that. This included the likes of Britney Spears ‘s “Circus”, Ailee‘s “Heaven”, TVXQ‘s “Mirotic”, SNSD / GirlsGeneration‘s “Make A Wish” and Super Junior‘s “Sorry, Sorry.”

The rock covers provided many new fans and countless views on their videos. After their cover of “Sorry, Sorry” Royal Pirates received an invite to appear on Star King by said show’s writer but the band declined due to scheduling conflicts with school. In March 2010, however, the band released an MV for their demo Disappear, explaining this was not the official debut of Royal Pirates but in fact a promotion for the band and an MV made solely for their fans.

On August 25 2013, Royal Pirates debuted on Inkigayo with their digital single “Shout Out” and released their first EP “Drawing The Line” in January 2014.

Popular Songs

Time Is Running Out – Muse

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwX18rvMEbw”]

Mirotic – TVXQ

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oFRhodO1d0″]

Sorry, Sorry – Super Junior

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYRjzRbRP6E”]

Heaven – Ailee You can see James on bass here

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6gNhOTnoEQ”]

Performing a cover of Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars on Arirang Radio‘s K-Poppin’

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScZt8p52D3A”]

Performance of Shout Out on Inkigayo

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoBHRrfymhI”]

Drawing The Line

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5c9H302jzk”]

Why I chose Royal Pirates as Weekly Idol

The band’s name kept popping up on a lot of Kpop sites and when I noticed they were going to make an appearance on Arirang‘s After School Club I sat up and decided to watch this episode to see what the band offered.

I was very impressed with their performances on the show and highly entertained by their fun chitchat sessions with the MCs. Getting to know who they were as musicians prompted me to go to their Youtube channels to check out their covers and I was blown away because they did justice to a lot of my favourite songs. Their own material generally makes me feel good/lifts my mood up but as “Disappear” and their covers show, they know how to rock out very well indeed.

For them to make an official debut as a band after gaining popularity through rock covers uploaded onto Youtube is very admirable and you can see their potential to make it big. Because they’re native English speakers, they could easily reach out to international fans even further. Let’s hope for a world tour in the future.


About Author

**Jan 2013 - Jan 2015** British Born Chinese who occasionally self-reflects. Has more Aegyo than she should for 'old' age status. LinkedIn / Review Blog