Elle Royal, formerly known as Patwa, was born in the Bronx, New York to Jamaican parents of Indian and Irish descent. At four years old, her parents divorced, leaving her to be raised by her mother in the Wakefield area of the Bronx. In search of a safer place to raise her children, Elle’s mother re-located Elle to Lawrenceville, Georgia where Elle completed high school and later college at Georgia State University.
Elle always had a love for music and a love for writing. As a young girl, she recorded herself over tape decks and mimicked the rhymes of Mase, Biggie, and TLC. As she grew older, she studied the rhymes of Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Queen Latifah, and AZ. Although always interested in music, Elle never took her interests seriously. She grew up aspiring to play professional basketball and thus spent her time chasing athletic dreams. While playing basketball for her high school team, Elle spent many nights engaged in the process of making music at a cousin’s studio nearby. While watching other artists craft rhymes and record, Elle fell in love with the idea of expressing herself using wordplay and finesse. Elle slowly began to envision herself as more than just a lover of music.
Elle bought a home studio where she recorded her music simultaneously posting new songs on Myspace. It was on Myspace that her current manager saw Elle, and began working with her on her first mixtape.
After returning to the Bronx (under the rap name Patwa), Elle began working on her 1st official mixtape “One Gyal Army”. While working on her debut mixtape, Elle felt fortunate to be recognized by Hip Hop legends such as Erick Sermon. Erick was featured on her debut mixtape while Elle received production from legendary, Mad Lion.
Although Elle’s popularity began to soar exponentially, Elle displayed unhappiness in an industry that she felt was boxing her into a niche. Feeling hindered, Elle withdrew from music in an effort to revamp her music career by transforming her sound and name in a way that she felt would be more reflective of her versatility and talents.
After 2 years of mastering her sound, Elle returned to the hip-hop scene, but only under her terms. Elle changed her emcee name to Elle Royal (meaning “She Royal” in French) to reflect her first name, Danielle, and her eagerness to bring respect back to the female. As Elle explains, “We as women are Queens, and I needed a name to reflect that.” Elle then aimed to create a sophisticated sound and image that she believed would challenge her listeners to think outside of their own neighborhoods. “I just want people to want the finer things out of life and to not think that the only options you have are to sell drugs or dance to achieve those things.” “I want women to aspire to obtain things on their own, and value their independence rather than depend on anyone to do these things for them.”