“I get overwhelmed so easily / my anxiety creeps inside of me / makes it hard to breathe / What’s come over me? / feels like I’m somebody else / I get overwhelmed” sings Royal & The Serpent on her song “Overwhelmed”. You’ve probably heard this uneasy refrain before- tens of millions of people have. It’s the frenzied energy Royal & The Serpent, aka Ryan Santiago, injects into “Overwhelmed” that has captivated her hoard of listeners. As soon as she hits her stride, we step inside Royal & The Serpent’s racing mind, as if we’re on a ride-along for her panic attack. The song may have come out last summer, but its message still resonates today.

This year has already been an active one for Royal & The Serpent, releasing her reflective EP ‘searching for nirvana’ at the beginning of the summer and announcing a North American tour with PVRIS. One of the things we love so much about this artist is the way she doesn’t shy away from talking about the rougher patches of her mental health. Whether it’s her anxious hysteria on “Overwhelmed”, toxic relationships, or sexuality, Royal & The Serpent dives into her chosen subject with fervor and a piercing worldview.

B-Sides host Pete Mar spoke with Royal & The Serpent about how she’s handled the last year and a half without the external forces of work, how she almost pulled the plug on her new EP ‘searching for nirvana’ and more!

royal & the serpent - girls (feat. phem) (official music video)