Royal Pirates

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Royal Pirates
로열 파이럿츠
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres Rock
Years active 2013 (2013)–present
Labels Apple of the Eye Co. (wiki)
Universal Music Korea
Website (in Korean) (in Japanese)
Members Kim Moon-chul
Kim Soo-yoon (EXSY)
Past members Richard (Moon-chan) Kim
James Lee

Royal Pirates (로열 파이럿츠) is a Korean-American rock band debuted in 2013. The band consists of Kim Moon-chul (vocals, guitar), and EXSY (drums)


Royal Pirates has two members. Moon Kim (Kim Moon-chul 김문철) is the lead vocalist and plays guitar. EXSY (Kim Soo Yoon) plays drums. Former bass player and Moon's brother, Richard Kim (who was there when the band was still called Fading From Dawn) died in a fatal accident.[citation needed] James Lee (Lee Joo-hyun 이주현) played the bass guitar and later the programmer/keyboardist, following his injury in 2015. On January 31, 2017, James left the band due to worsening health conditions.


2004-2008: Fading From Dawn[edit]

The group was formerly known as Fading From Dawn from 2004 with the guitarist-vocalist Kim Moon-chul, drummer Soo-yoon (later changed his stage name to EXSY) and bassist Richard Kim, Moon-chul's older brother. They used to play at several Korean events in California, such as the annual Korean Festival in Orange County. After Richard's death in April 2008 in a car accident in Pomona, California, they rarely played live anymore since they had no bass player. They changed their band name to Royal Pirates, as they could no longer be Fading From Dawn without Richard.

2009-2012: Popularity, YouTube and demo releases[edit]

With their talent and originality, Royal Pirates gained fame on YouTube by uploading covers. In September 2008, Moon-chul and Soo-yoon posted their first cover "Time is Running Out" by Muse on their YouTube account. After that, they kept uploading rock versions of hit songs such as "Nobody" by Wonder Girls, "Mirotic" by DBSK, and "Circus" by Britney Spears, the latter reached 18 thousand viewers in just two weeks and was also featured on Britney's homepage.

Their first original demo was released on the internet was "Royal Villain". Soo-yoon's song "Like Butterflies" was also released soon after.

In May 2009, Royal Pirates appeared on Korean News Channel YTN where they were presented as an independent rock band which became a new YouTube sensation, getting over ten thousand views with their powerful instrumentals and brilliant videos.

They covered the song "Sorry Sorry" by Super Junior in Spring 2009 and after the video was posted on the Korean website Cyworld, the band received an invitation from the writer of Star King to appear on their show. However, the band declined the invitation since they had "major conflicts with school" and "scheduling was difficult for both of [them]". Also, they did not want to leave the image of a "Cover Band" to the world and to Korea.

James Lee joined Royal Pirates as a bassist in September 2009 and in October 2009, Royal Pirates appeared on KOME channel to introduce their new bassist.

In March 2010, Royal Pirates released the music video for their new original song and demo "Disappear". They declared that "This is not the actual debut of Royal Pirates. This MV was made independently for the fans and also for promotion of the band."

2013-present: Debut[edit]

Royal Pirates made their Korean debut on August 25, 2013 at Inkigayo with their digital single "Shout Out".

On January 15, 2014, Royal Pirates released their first EP in Korea "Drawing The Line.

On March 24th 2014, Royal Pirates released their first album in Japan "Shout Out", which also included English versions of the songs Shout Out, Drawing The Line and Fly To You.

Royal Pirates performed on several music programs as guests of Kim Kyung Rok of "VOS".

The band also performed on a world tour with actor Lee Min Ho. As guests on the Reboot: Minho Tour, they performed at venues in South Korea, Japan, China and more.

On August 27, 2014, Royal Pirates released their second EP "Love Toxic", which included the English versions of the songs "Betting Everything" and "You". The band then later released a Taiwanese Deluxe version of their "Love Toxic" EP, featuring tracks from the "Drawing The Line" EP, as well as a Japanese edition, which included the Japanese version of the title track "Love Toxic".

On November 30th, 2015 the 3 members of Royal Pirates returned with a 6 track EP titled "3.3". Their title track "Run Away" was made into a music video. Member James Lee had a nearly-fatal freak accident prior to this comeback which made him give up the bass after 13 years. He returns playing the keyboard and programming which you can see in the MV of "Run Away". Enik Lin of EDM group IAMMEDIC helped write and produce the track. He also can be seen in the MV as well as in the follow up MV for "Dangerous".

James Lee announced his departure from the band on January 31, 2017 via handwritten letter on his Instagram account.



Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
Drawing the Line 41
  • KOR: 702+
Shout Out (Japan Edition)
  • Released: March 24, 2014
  • Label: Apple of the Eye
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • KOR: —
Love Toxic
  • Released: August 27, 2014
  • Label: Apple of the Eye
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • KOR: 807+
  • Released: December 1, 2015
  • Label: Apple of the Eye
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • KOR: 1,295+
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Title Year Peak chart position Sales
(Digital download)[2]
Hot 100

"Shout Out" 2013
  • KOR: —
Non-album single
"Drawing The Line" 2014 358
  • KOR: 4,408+
Drawing The Line
"Betting Everything" 353 N/A
  • KOR: 3,891+
Love Toxic
"Seoul Hillbilly"
  • KOR: —
"Love Toxic" 309
  • KOR: 5,088+
"Run Away" 2015
  • KOR: —
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region


Music videos[edit]

Publishing Date Track Name
August 25, 2013 Shout Out (Synth Rock Version)
January 14, 2014 Drawing The Line
January 16, 2014 Drawing The Line (Band Version)
July 31, 2014 Betting Everything Acoustic Ver
August 13, 2014 서울 촌놈 (Seoul Hillbilly)
August 26, 2014 사랑에 빠져 (Love Toxic)
August 31, 2014 사랑에 빠져 (Love Toxic) (Performance ver.)
October 7, 2014 사랑에 빠져 (Love Toxic) (Chinese Subbed by Universal Music Taiwan)
November 30, 2015 Run Away
January 28, 2016 Dangerous


Member(s) Commercial
  • YAP "I'm Not Stupid" Campaign: 2014
James Lee
  • ShinHan Bank Mobile App: 2013
  • Sony MDR Headphones: 2013
  • FW Lafuma "Lafuma Effect" Campaign: 2014
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Telecommunications: 2014
  • Laneige (with Song Hye Kyo): 2015
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 (China): 2016


  • Energy FM KPOP-Hall of Fame Award "Love Toxic" (October 12-November 2, 2014)

Exclusive Video[edit]

RP TV[edit]

Published on official YouTube channel.[5]


  1. ^ "Gaon Album Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  2. ^ Download sales
  3. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Korea K-Pop Hot 100 Music Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]