Elle Royal, formerly known as Patwa, was born in the Bronx, New York to parents of Caribbean descent. At age four, her parents divorced, leaving her to be raised by her mother in the Wakefield area of the Bronx. In search of a better 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 rappers Mase, Biggie, and Foxy Brown. As she grew older, she studied the rhymes of Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and AZ. While in high school, Elle spent many nights engaged in the process of making music at a cousin’s studio nearby. While watching her cousin and his friends record, Elle fell in love with the idea of expressing herself using wordplay and finesse. Elle slowly began to conceptualize herself as more than just a lover of music.
Elle brought music equipment on a credit card and built a studio setup in her room where she recorded songs simultaneously posting them on MySpace. It was on MySpace that her current manager discovered Elle, and began working with her on her first mixtape.
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 the 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 took an absence from music in an effort to revamp her music by re-imagining her sound and name in a way that she felt would be more reflective of her versatility and talents.
After 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's 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 Royal, 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. “I just want people to want the better things out of life and to not think that the only options you have as a woman is to use your sexuality in a demeaning way to get ahead”. “I want women to aspire to obtain things on their own, and value their independence rather than depend on anyone to do things for them.”